The following post is from Brad, a web designer and father of quadruplets:
source: 4tunate Design
Jen and I have been working together from home for almost 3 years now. We are still learning a great deal about how to make that work better. But, in that short time, we have already learned some key things that have made for much smoother sailing. I thought I’d share some of those tips.
5 Ways to Make Working from Home a Blessing
1. Don’t try to do anything alone; plan your week together.
This was a huge lesson that took a while for us to learn. I thought 4tunate Design was my responsibility. We were often misunderstanding each other and our expectations for work time and home time seldom matched up. I finally told Jen that my business was going to fail unless it became OUR business. We began meeting at the beginning of each week to block our time out. This allowed us to better plan to get things done, and it forced us to consider both of our busy schedules and better prioritize.
2. Work time is NOT personal time.
Another struggle we encountered is that our work is always right there in front of us. We don’t leave an office and go home. We work right here, and this makes it difficult to get away from. We have both discovered that we need some personal time to relax, exercise, and spend time with the Lord. We try our best to allow for this personal time each week. It actually takes discipline to avoid using this time to work, and instead get refreshed on important things.
3. Get out!
We have to find time to get out of the house both as a family and as a couple. Since we don’t commute to work anymore, it can be tempting to never leave the house. We try to take the boys to parks, nature preserves, and other adventures to make sure we get out of routine. We also get out as often as possible on dates as a couple.
4. Separate yourself.
It is also difficult to separate yourself from home life to focus on your work. Personally, when I hear a child outside my office door who is in need of discipline, it is hard for me to just leave it to Jen. However, I have learned that she needs me to trust her with the kids, and I need to get my work done so that she can have a real break, and also time to spend on her consulting/blogging work. It can actually be insulting to Jen for me to stop and help as it shows a lack of confidence in her ability to handle things. Shut the door, act like you are at work. It’s worth it.
5. Count your blessings.
If you find yourself working at home with your spouse and children, it might be easy to focus on the challenges. I try to focus my attention on the rare blessing it is to work from home with young children. Are they loud? Yes. Can they be a distraction? Yes. That being said, it has been a tremendous blessing to be home with my young boys and wife these past three years. I have seen more of my family in the past few years than many fathers get to see them in a decade. Focus on the the amazing blessings, not the few difficulties.
Those are mine, how about you? Have you been mixing life and work at home? Have any tips that could help us navigate this even better?
||Brad is the father of four 5-year-old energetic little boys (quadruplets). He runs his web design business from home which blesses him with the opportunity to be a nearly constant influence on them. He has a passion for leading his family biblically as a servant, and enjoys nearly every moment of it.