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At the time of this writing, so many folks are working from home when they didn’t expect to be…
And to make things even trickier, their kids are home too!
You see, the world has changed:
Schools are closed.
Day Care centers are shuttered.
We don’t know how long this new dynamic is going to last.
So we’re figuring out things as we go. Trying to keep the kids engaged while somehow getting things done for work.
It can feel overwhelming at times.
Because just as soon as you have a “success” day where things seem like they start to click, you can just as easily have an off day the next day.
And while there might be a lot of upsides to being shuttered in if that applies to you, there’s a tremendous amount of added stress right now too.
if you are fortunate enough and happen to be able to work from home, you’re in a different place from essential workers who are at greater risk because they don’t have that luxury.
But we should be grateful to them and show our appreciation however we can.
And all in all, if you are working from home, you have a LOT to be grateful for. And yet, despite this perspective, it can be VERY challenging to work from home with little ones running around.
But the thing is…
Given the current situation, just because things are challenging doesn’t mean we can’t adapt.
But this new reality requires new approaches to thinking and balancing work and life.
So here are a few tips to manage our “new normal.”
Tip #1: Reduce Time On Household Errands
The #1 thing that is frustrating about the current situation for parents trying to work from home – with their kids at home too- is there simply isn’t time like there used to be for routine tasks.
So here’s what you can do to adapt:
First, figure out what errands and outings you can absolutely do without. In many places, the recommendation is to stay at home. So you gotta figure out how to be as efficient as possible.
While a few essential stores might be open, you don’t have to need to go to the store every single day. Now, for example, is the perfect time to start grocery planning for the week if you haven’t.
By reducing your short term need for outings and errands, you’ll free up time in your day for work and the kids.
If you’re in a city that offers delivery services for groceries, you can use that option (and tip well!).
Or if delivery isn’t available, you can at least use the pickup option more and more companies are offering.
For every errand you don’t have to go on, that’ll be more time you can have in your day for other tasks.
Tip #2: Make Every Hour Count
This tip might shock you if you implement it:
If you’ve ever thought about trying to lose weight you might have heard about counting calories…
But have you ever counted your minutes?
Talking about really tracking how you spend every minute at a granular level. As a parent working from home, your time is more valuable than ever before.
Without a system for strategically monitoring your time, it’s so easy to get distracted by a social media rabbit hole or thinking about what home projects you need to work on.
A simple fix for this is time blocking out what you want to achieve.
Then, you can use a variety of techniques – such as the Pomodoro – to chunk up the time you spend on certain tasks.
Doing this will help you realize and be more mindful of the time that you waste on trivial things so you can maximize your limited hours in the day on things that matter.
Now, you don’t have to go crazy with this and do it all the time.
It can be a simple one time exercise to see – and be more mindful- of how much time you waste on projects that aren’t a high priority to you.
Tip #3: Put The Oxygen Mask On Yourself First
With so much going on the world, changes to everyone’s routines, and your local gym being closed, it’s easier than ever to slip on taking care of yourself.
Late-night feedings of little ones can deprive you of sleep. The sleep deprivation of caring for a baby can zap your energy to workout. And with gyms all pretty much closed down, it can be harder than ever to care for yourself.
But the reality is, with so many extra demands on your time these days, you’ll be able to manage everything better, and take care of yourself if you keep your own health a priority.,
Now sure, it’s easier said than done. If keeping up with some of the basics you used to seems difficult in the era of shelter in place orders, try this approach instead:
Rework your priorities for what you’ll achieve for however long this lasts. Because this new reality isn’t like our old normal. In difficult times, simple things like drinking plenty of water and getting lots of sleep can make a difference.
And when you do all three?
The workday will fly by with much less stress.
So there you have it folks.
3 tips you can follow to make working from home with kids a little less crazy.
is it a comprehensive list?
Absolutely not. In fact, you could say it’s just a start.
Got more ideas? Drop them in the comments below.
We’d love to hear them.