Michelle Knight is a personal branding consultant and marketing strategist who works with female entrepreneurs to brand and market their message and their mission online. Today, Michelle is sharing 3 tips on working from home with kids. These tips come from what she’s learned over the last 4 years building her business with her son at her side!
Hey Mama, so you find yourself at home with the kids now. Um, wow, I am applauding you. I understand that the last week, last two weeks, maybe three weeks have been a little rough sailing. You’ve been trying to navigate this new normal. And, before I dive into some of my top tips on how we can better thrive in this season of life, I just want to take a second to let all of you watching; know that I hope that you are happy, safe and healthy and I’m thinking— truly thinking of each and every one of you.
Today, I want to talk to you about working from home with kids. And before I do that, I should probably share with you why I’m qualified to teach this information today. So, my name is Michelle Knight. I’m a personal branding consultant and marketing strategist, and I work with female entrepreneurs to brand and market their message and their mission online. I started my business four years ago. That’s when my company brandmerry.com was born and my son at the time was just one month old. I decided in the midst of postpartum to venture out and start an online business, something I’d never done before with a baby. Was I a little crazy? Maybe. However, I spent the last three years building my business to multiple six-figures with a baby at my legs, on my back, doing live streams, writing content, blog posts, you name it. We spent a lot of time working side by side.
It’s only been the last year, when my family decided to travel full-time, that my husband has been home with my son who’s now, you guessed it, four years old. So I spent three years trying to fine-tune this craft of mother, entrepreneur, small business owner, and woman and really, kind of, navigating that journey throughout. So I’m excited to share with you three things today that I hope will help you thrive in this season of life.
1. Plan Your Big Three
All right, number one is plan. Now before you shut the phone off, you’re like, “I don’t want to hear about a calendar, Michelle.” Let me just share with you why this is so important when you are working from home with kids.
You’re not going to get it all done, right? If you were currently working in a co-working space, in an office, or you are uninterrupted most of the day, you might be used to sitting down for six to eight hours and getting a bunch of work done. That’s just not going to happen right now. I mean, three years in, it still wasn’t really happening for me. I had to learn to be a little bit flexible with my schedule.
Well, what really helped with that was having a plan in place. Now the key elements of this plan are:
Number 1. I want you to take ten minutes the night before to think about what you want to accomplish the next day. If you have meetings, consultations, coaching calls, whatever it is, make sure that those are on your calendar and you’re really clear of what time of day those are happening.
I’m going to share why in just a minute, and I also want you to pick your big three. What are the big three tasks that – if everything else kind of goes to crap the next day, and kids need nap time, and everybody’s hungry, and you got to get snacks, like, every five minutes – what are the three things that you know, okay, I’ll be on the right track? I’ve accomplished what I need to accomplish if I just get these 3 things done. Taking a little bit of time to identify those pieces the night before can completely change the game for you the next day. So give yourself a little time to plan it out.
2. Set Your Kids Up For Success
All right, piggybacking off of the plan is the idea of setting your kiddos up. Wow, I wish more people talked about this because I kind of stumbled upon it, I think, on Pinterest. I was in that first year, but it truly made the biggest difference for my son, Cal, and I the past four years of growing this business.
So when you look at your calendar from the night before because you followed step one, right? You know that you have meetings at specific parts of the day at those specific times. You know that maybe you need to get a bunch of content written, so you would like to try to be uninterrupted. Knowing that ahead of time will allow you to set your kiddo up to minimize distractions. If you’ve got a young one, nap time! That’s a really good time –I highly, highly recommend it.
But if your kiddo is a little older, maybe in the toddler range or even middle school, elementary school, you could have these projects. We used to have bins for Cal. A couple different bins that weren’t his normal toy bins. I would only pull them out when I was working on a specific project because well, we all know kids love new toys. So it was very exciting for him and it felt like you got something new, something he hadn’t explored for a while. So having these bins is a really great strategy.
You can also set your kids up, if your kids love movies like mine does, I try not to put him in front of the TV all day, right? Give or take this season of life. However, I would build a tent in the living room, you know, leading up to some calls that I had. And then, I would put on a movie and give him some, you know, crayons or things that he could do, and it really minimized the amount of time that he was coming in and interrupting me.
Piggyback off of this have snacks ready. Like just do yourself a solid and have snacks in little baggies.
If your kids are old enough to open the fridge and grab them, they can go ahead and do that themselves. But if they’re young, kind of how Cal was when we first started, I would have them sitting by my computer. So if I was on a coaching call with my clients, who totally knew I worked from home, then he would be able to come in and be able to hand them a bag and he would go back and doing his thing.
So set your kids up for success. It’s going to make it easier for you. And honestly, it’s really exciting for them. Puzzles, coloring books, boxes with different activities, activity sets, books, movies, or even changing the location.
So sometimes before you have to sit down and write a bunch of emails or something, think about how long you have been in the house. Like, our kids don’t understand that we’re growing a business, really, unless they’re teenagers. And so, they want to be moving, they want to be entertained all the time – sometimes just moving outside can be really helpful or moving to another room. This is the true laptop lifestyle in my opinion. So if you know that you need to sit down and bulk create for about 3 hours, go put yourself outside, have some snacks, let the kid run around and get your stuff done.
Okay, so taking the time to plan and setting them up for those big chunks of time that you need to minimize interruptions and distractions will change the game for you every single day.
3. Prioritize Grounding Each Morning
The third thing I want to share with you is actually the start of your day. When I was working from home in the beginning, everyone was telling me that I needed to meditate, right? And I’m a big advocate for meditating, but it seemed almost impossible when I had a little baby crawling all over me. So what I found is that I just really needed to dedicate 20 minutes every single morning to grounding myself, to looking at my plan from the night before and reminding myself of my big three, to sitting with my son and kind of, you know, journaling. We used to journal together. I would journal and they can draw right? Meditating. They can listen to music while you wear some earphones and do your meditation or even working out. This is probably my favorite one still today. Cal still does this with me! I would work out because I love movement, so 10 to 15 minutes of a video workout and letting them come in.
I think sometimes we think that like we have to be an absolute silence or you know, our morning routine might be over because our kids are home now. But it’s such a beautiful opportunity to invite them in and teach them these really fundamental principles of how to ground yourself in the morning to have a semi balanced rest of your day. So I highly highly recommend that you take that time every morning. And the beautiful thing is, maybe, before you were commuting to daycare, commuting to school, or you know, you were spending that time driving back and forth to a co-working space. You might have a little bit more flexibility right now. So use that that to ground yourself, maybe even as a full family because it truly is a beautiful beautiful time of the day and will set you up for the rest of the day. I always know in the mornings when I don’t take a little bit of time, my fuse is about this big. So take that time.
So just to recap number one: have a little plan at the bare minimum: know your big meetings, your big times that you want to minimize distractions and your big three for the day. So if nothing else goes right, at least you know doing that big three keeps your business moving forward.
The second is take some time to set your kiddos up that five minutes to get them setup will save you hours in the long run. Again, this can be activity bins, puzzles, movies, snacks, whatever works best for your kid and think about changing location throughout the day. And the third thing is taking that time in the morning to get grounded, together if that’s possible because you are working together now throughout the entire day.
The last thing I want to share with you is to please give yourself some grace during this season of life, especially if you are now a full-time entrepreneur with your kid at home and homeschooling. No one’s expecting you to have it all figured out in this moment. It took me four years to kind of figure out these strategies and know that they really worked for me. So give yourself some grace in this season.
Thank you for letting me share this with you. I hope that this was really really helpful.
If you’d love to connect with me. I’m on Instagram @michelleknightco, that’s @michelleknightco, and my website is brandmerry.com. I have a whole blog post and resource on this topic as well as other things to support you as well. I hope to connect with you on Instagram. And again, I hope that you are all safe, healthy, and happy. Thanks for letting me join you! Bye.
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