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Maximize Productivity and Efficiency with the Kids at Home


If wet swimsuits, playdates, and playdough have invaded your workspace this summer, take heed; you can maximize productivity and efficiency at work through summer vacation with just a few tips.

You've enjoyed quiet hours at work while the kids were in school, but unless you have Mary Poppins at home or a great summer camp, they are going to work with you every day. Depending upon your children's ages, you can still find time to maintain your professionalism with your clients while fulfilling your most important job as mom.

Have a Plan 

Before that final bell rings at school, gather your brood together and discuss your work needs versus summertime plans. Be clear about how many hours you need to be in your home office, and then identify tasks the children can accomplish while you are at work. If you need to be on the phone with clients, be sure your children understand your phone rules (and that shouting and screaming are not acceptable during work hours).

Create a Daily Schedule

Purchase a large, dry erase daily schedule board from the local office supply store, and post it in a high traffic area. Items you could include in your schedule are possible chores for each child to complete while you are at work. These could include laundry, cleaning bathrooms, taking care of pets, and even washing the car.  Be sure the chores are age appropriate so that your child sees them as fun, instead of overwhelming. 

Additionally, you could fill some time during the workday by providing educational learning opportunities for each child. You can purchase a grade-appropriate workbook at the local educational or book store.  One or two workbook pages per day can consume up to half an hour, which is probably the most amount of time the child will want to work on any school-related activity over the summer! 

Develop a Summer Incentive Program with Goals 

Your children see the example you set every day by going to work and reaching your goals.  Allow them to share in the satisfaction you receive by creating an incentive program, where they are given rewards for good behavior or completed tasks. Incentives could include a fun day or weekend trip to their favorite destination, going out for ice cream, money, small toys, or time alone with mom.  Tap into whatever motivates them and offer it as their treat. 

Arrange for Part-time Childcare 

You could hire a neighborhood teenage girl to come by to play games with your kids for a few hours while you work.  Middle and high school age kids are always looking for ways to make money, so find a trustworthy neighbor or friend. Create a schedule where the teenager comes to your house during your work hours and keeps the kids busy. 

Another form of part-time childcare is to arrange for playdates outside the home during work hours with friends.  You could reciprocate by having a playdate at your house (after work or on days you don't work). 

Follow these steps to ensure productivity while working at home...even with the kids in the house!

Gina Ragusa is a freelance writer and mom from sunny (and sometimes not) South Florida. Her 15 year experience ranges from writing about banking to tattoo parlors. Read more about her adventures at

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