Ok, full disclosure, I do not have kids.
However, this tip is too good not to share…
I was chatting with my friend, Jennifer, talking about one of the strategies that I learned in How To Turn Off Work using simple post it notes as a trigger to “check in” and “check out” for the day at your desk.
Then, Jennifer shared with me one of her great secrets of success while working from home while managing two children, ages 9 and 13.
Jennifer was creative in finding a way to help acknowledge to her children when she was in an important meeting and could not take herself away from the screen.
What she shared with me was so simple and practical that anyone who is trying to stay focused in a meeting will love.
All you need is a pen and paper and you can help set some boundaries.
In this video, I cover what her technique and two more strategies to help create your own boundaries with children while in a virtual meeting.
Think of phrases like these to add to your own cue cards:
“Not right now”
“As your mother/father”
“Are you hungry?”
“Can this wait until later?”
Ok, lol, maybe not the last one…
Or maybe? :p
The idea is to come up with cue cards that make sense for you and your family.
Then, another thought that came to mind for me is to create a cue card that says “Can you please write your question down?”. Maybe it’s something that can’t be explained quickly but is still important.
My roommate and I have done this before and it’s easy to place a notepad nearby and read a question while still staying focused on the conversation.
Lastly, what if you were to create a stand that sits beside your desk, or use a door hanger (if you have the ability to close your door) and use that as a signal that lets your children know that you are “not just busy”, but having an important meeting and can’t be disturbed at the moment.
If you have a conversation with your children ahead of time you could chat with them about the importance about focused time, and make a positive game out of it where if they follow your rules, then they earn play time, computer time, or something of that nature.
Think about how you can incentivise them in a positive way to help understand the boundaries that you set for yourself and you need to keep!
Like I said, I loved the idea so much I had to share it with you. I hope this helped!
Enjoyed this article? Here are three others to help you succeed: