6/15/11

How To Get Work Done When the Kids are Home











As the boys and I are still navigating that balance of knowing they are entertained while I attempt to keep up with daytime TV work, today I finally discovered nirvana.

Please note that my boys are twelve and eleven. It would typically be thought that children of this age could keep themselves relatively entertained for longer than four minutes. This is key. Want to have a slice of heaven? Follow my lead:

1.Tell the children that the day is going to be spent cleaning up the house before Daddy gets home. This should start a chorus of groans and whines.

2. Once the children are engaged in their given chore, take a moment to check email. In my case, a client was requesting a phone call. You could find something that needs immediate attention. I would like to add that being truthful is recommended.

3. Choose a room with a door that said task can be completed in. In my case, I chose my bedroom. Because the air conditioning is out, I had three fans going that would block any potential noise that could occur while I was on the phone.

4. Once in your chosen room and working on your task, you don't have to leave immediately. I called my client, but she was not available. I left a message, but took the opportunity to catch up on some other tasks while I waited for her to return my call. Sure, I could have went on and did some cleaning, but THE CHILDREN? THEY WERE QUIET.


After about forty-five minutes of quiet time, I decided to sneak downstairs and just see why they were being quiet. I needed wanted a Diet Coke and something for a headache. I was almost scared I'd break the atmosphere and the whole deal would be off. Then when my client finally called back, I'd be threatening bodily harm through clenched teeth like I normally do.

But they were quiet. And keeping themselves entertained. Of course, they were probably afraid that I would get busy cleaning and pass out more chores....

So. I snuck back upstairs and continued to do more work rather than waiting until after bedtime like I'd planned. My client called me back. All was right in the world.

Then time was up because their typical behavior started back up, and it was business as usual.

Here is what I learned to make next time better:

  • It won't work every day. They may be small, but they are smart. 
  • I need to take provisions with me. Even if I don't use them. 
  • I need to be a better parent. It's ridiculous that I am having to resort to such extremes. Even if I was telling the truth all alone. 
How do you get tasks that need your attention done?





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