Tips to get work done even when the baby is awake ALL day

Working from home? Excellent. How do you get work done? Wait, did you say you have a baby at home? Excellent-o. How the heck do you get anything done, let alone work? Valid questions. But I’ve been there, done that. And worse. So, grab a pen and make note of these gems I’m about to share, on how to get work done at home even if the baby won’t sleep at all – 
  • Mental Manadhil – You need to be the master of your mindset. Raging hormones aside, you need to be positive, see the bigger picture and make yourself a list (my memory became housefly-esque after I gave birth) and try and stick with it all through the day.
  • Booby time = Mail check – What better time to check your emails, respond and all that than when you’ve got an infant latched on, one hand free and can’t exactly reach your workstation? Best time to have your smartphone handy and check and respond to mails.
  • Learn some skills – It’s an art having a baby on one hand, typing with another and using your leg to rock a bouncer while balancing a phone on the crook of your neck – all at once. Yes, it pays to learn new skills once you have a baby and have work to do.
  • Wear your baby – If you can. It gives you 2 free hands! Almost.
  • Don’t nap when they nap – As if! Get as much work done as you can if they nap. If they don’t you power nap when they’re in a safe environment to give you energy – make sure they’re safely buckled on to a bouncer, car seat or something similar, have been fed and changed and set an alarm for 15 minutes later and conk off. Wake up refreshed to a pot of coffee and work your ass off.
  • Caffeine is your best friend – They will ask you to restrict your caffeine levels when you are breastfeeding. But they don’t have babies and they don’t have to work. Do what works best for you – shots right after feeding or decaf throughout. You got to do what you got to do.
  • Flexibility is the name of the game – Be it flexi hours of work, or taking a step back from your responsibilities, your work is going to be a success only if you can have the liberty of choosing how it pans out best for you. Remember you may start your work day at 8 am and not finish till 10 pm. But with scheduled breaks and naps, you’ll be good to go.
  • Hire a babysitter – This is a no-brainer. Sometimes, you lay have to go to meetings or work a more structured day. So just hire a trusted baby sitter to fill in while you run errands or catch up with a meeting. It’s essential to have a few trusted folks in your phone book – family, friends or sitters who’ve worked for you in the past. They’ll all come in handy at some point.
  • Work on your concentration – I used to be able to quote Harry Potter at the blink of an eye. But that’s before the mommy hormones came in and I’ve now got the memory of a housefly. Things take a hit, priorities change, once you have a baby. Acknowledge the change and try to work back up to whatever you’ve lost – be it a lapse in concentration or your reading limit, work at it by 5 minute increments to get to your goal.
  • Learn to separate -  Trying to do it all at once is a bloody pain and damn near impossible. You can’t be the best parent and the best worker all at once. Try to be one at a time and focus all your energies on it. Shift gears rapidly when needed and move with the flow. With experience, it will all ease up.
  • Let the baby make the schedule – Which once again comes down to flexibility. With a newborn, predictability is a thing of the past. They don’t have a set routine and as likely to poop as they are to sleep at any given time. Accept that the days of your control-freakiness are now over.
  • Time block – This is a very handy tip to get work done from home. Add timelines to your signatures on emails to let people know when you will address a certain issue. And then mark it in your calendar to give yourself the time to do it. It’s effective, keeps you organized and informs the people expecting to hear from you of when it is likely.
  • Add more devices – With all the technology available, use devices that can type as you dictate, that can switch to speaker if you need your hands free, and basically can make your life easier when you don’t have full control of your hands. You’ll become a pro at handling them and they will work for you.
  • Be honest – Tell everyone you work with that you’ve just had a baby. And so, there’s only so much you can do and only so fast as you can do it. Setting the expectations right early on also set the tome to how you ease back in to work.
  • Take scheduled breaks – When a partner or a sitter covers for you, make sure to enjoy some “me” time. Whether it’s reading a chapter of a book as you sip coffee on the balcony, or whether it’s playing Candy Crush Saga, make sure you get some unscheduled time so as to not go completely crazy.