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How to Stay Productive When You're On "Sick Kid Duty"

Posted by Dave Clarke on July 15, 2015 at 3:11 PM

If you work from home and have little ones, you're undoubtedly going to encounter a sick kid duty day. It happens. Naturally, you want to devote your attention to making sure that your child is comfortable and appropriately taken care of, but understandably, you want to still try to get some stuff done. Here are a few tips to staying productive when you're forced to put on your nurse's hat... 

 

Night Owl It

If you have the flexibility (aka, coverage), flipping your work routine allows you to tend to your child. Tend to them during the day and when your relief comes home from his or her job, you can go into work mode. This is called night owling. (That may not be a household term, but's what we're going to call it.) Naturally, your ability to tend to your sick child during the day and then work into the night is dependent on a few things, specifically your line of work, your customers or clients, and any deadlines you might have. Be proactive and notify everyone who needs to know that you're schedule has temporarily changed. 

 

trike

 

Knock Out Little Things

If you're hanging out on the couch with your ill little one watching cartoons during the day, this can be a perfect time to check a bunch of little tasks off your list. How, you ask? Mobile devices, that's how. Catch up on bank reconciliation or expense management with your accounting app (hint, hint). Review your website traffic. Plan blog posts. Use your bank app's mobile deposit function to deposit checks you've received. Compare P&L statements: this month vs. last month, this year-to-date vs. last year-to-date, etc. Review your invoice template. Plow through and respond to old (like, reallllly old) emails. Follow up on lukewarm sales leads that warrant a little love. Archive old files or projects. Bottom line: wherever you can fit it in, take this couch time to check things off your list that have been there forever.

 

Study up on what should be in an invoice.

 

Accept Reality

If you try to forge ahead and take care of your sick child and work a regular day, you're only going to get frustrated. Accept the fact that, for today, your priorities are different. 

 

Plan your Business' Future

This seems like an odd suggestion, but if you've got a sick infant sleeping on your lap, you have lots of time to think—so why not think about your business? Although you should have already, plan out where you want your business to end the year. Do you have a specific revenue forecast in mind for the year? What about cash flow? Where do you see your business in five years? Ten? What will it take to get there. Having a good understanding of your historical growth can give you a sense of what to expect and how to set realistic goals. Are you going to be able to get detailed? Of course not. But you will be able to put together a rough sketch of where you want your business to go and what it'll take to get there.

 

Revisit cash flow basics.

 

But above all else, take care of that kid! 

 

Have your own "at home with a sick child" productivity tips? Drop a comment!

 

Topics: Small Biz Tips