Are you feeling overwhelmed by the day-to-day changes? I get it. These are some uncertain times. Many schools have closed around the country because of coronavirus. But, for many of us, working from home continues.
My daughter loved going to Montessori school every day since she became a toddler. I miss receiving pictures in my email of her tending the school garden with classmates. Or painting art on canvas that rivals Picasso’s paintings.
But like you, the coronavirus crisis turned our world upside down.
I’ve done great working from home on my own, but to add in managing my little one too has proved to be a challenge. I want to share a few tips to make you and your children’s lives easier and more productive during this pandemic.
1. Create a Schedule
Now I don’t mean a schedule so strict that you don’t have room to breathe. Instead, try time blocking your days. Time blocking allows you to manage your day within fixed blocks of time.
You can divide your day into one-hour, two-hour, or three-hour chunks of time for specific tasks. You’ll know what things you should work on and when to complete your work.
This technique is fantastic for work from home parents that need to:
- Juggle many responsibilities and projects plus take care of kids
- Attend a lot of meetings
- Manage constant interruptions from an active toddler or baby
- Carve out time for much-needed breaks
If you want to take things to the next level… Use the Eisenhower Matrix to prioritize tasks by urgency and importance or tasks as less important and urgent that you can delegate or toss out.
Remember to take it easy on yourself. You don’t have to feel you must get these steps perfect or else, but having some structure will help you handle working from home with your kids better.
2. Use Nap Time to Your Advantage
If you’re anything like me, you breathe a sigh of relief when your children lay down for a nap. But when your to-do list is stacked, how can you knock out as much work as possible during naptime? Here’s how.
When your baby or toddler is dozing off for an hour or more, use that time to crank out those tasks that require more brainpower and focus out of you.
When they wake up from the nap, you can then work on those less time-consuming and energy-intensive tasks (like checking email). Now, if you have older kids, maybe you could set aside non-negotiable “quiet time” every day.
During “quiet time”, your kids will get the memo to not disturb mom or dad while working. There you have it. You now know how you can maximize the little time you have to get your work done.
So, how can you buy some time when your kids aren’t napping or quiet?
3. Let Kids Work With You
Hey, mom or dad! While you’re hacking away at your keyboard or attending video conferencing calls. You can add an element of make-believe and create a working area for your kids next to you.
You can set up their own office materials like the perfect-size desk for them, paper, pens, and even an old computer you may have.
Then your kids can join mommy and daddy in work as your impromptu coworker. Or, if you’re still unable to get things done. Try breaking out a boredom box filled with arts and crafts and other fun toys.
This will allow your children time to work on specific projects. The best part is, young and older kids will be engaged, learning, and having an amazing time while you work on your assignments.
You’ve Made It
Communication is crucial to maximizing how well these tips work for your family. Everyone must be on the same page, so working from home will be a pleasant experience. Using the tips above can make this uncertain time simpler than you may have imagined.
All you need is an ounce of creativity and patience. What are some tips and tricks you’ve adopted while working at home with children?