When the coronavirus pandemic hit, schools shut down and people shifted to remote work. By now, you’ve likely settled into a new normal—one that involves working from your couch and finding creative ways to keep your kids occupied. But it’s normal if you’re struggling to adapt to these changes. Working productively can be extremely challenging when you’ve got children at home who demand your constant attention. Here are some tips to help you iron out the wrinkles and make it work!
Reduce Your Workload
Let’s get one thing straight right away. You won’t be able to work at your full productivity level while you’re juggling kids and other household distractions. And that’s okay! Try to find ways to reduce your workload so you can handle everything without losing your mind. For example, outsourcing your more menial responsibilities could save a lot of time and help you put your mental energy towards more pressing projects. If this sounds like a dream come true, consider hiring a freelance personal assistant. Your personal assistant can handle all kinds of administrative tasks, from scheduling appointments to responding to emails. And by hiring a freelancer, you won’t have to worry about paying an employee salary or payroll taxes!
Use Tech to Keep Your Kids Busy
The longer you can occupy your kids with entertaining activities, the more time you’ll have to plug away at your work. Hit two birds with one stone by keeping your kids busy with educational games! Making learning fun is a great way to keep your children engaged in education while schools are closed—and save you from taking on the role of a full-time teacher. From fun, educational websites to VR-based distance learning, there is technology out there for students of every age. Just make sure you have a reliable internet connection to support gaming and at-home learning!
Carve Out Space Just for You
Creating a dedicated home workspace is crucial for your success in working from home, especially if this will be the new normal for a while. You’ll find it much easier to get into the work mindset when you can separate yourself from the rest of your home and personal life. Maintaining a personal workspace at home will also make it easier for your kids to understand and respect your boundaries and work hours.
Once you pick a spot for your office—ideally in a room with a door—get some office furniture to support your workflow. Remember to invest in some storage solutions to keep everything tidy! If you’re getting buried under paperwork, Ducks in a Row can help you declutter and organize your home office, so you work as efficiently as possible.
Establish a Family Schedule
As CNN explains, a consistent family schedule will provide structure to your homebound days and ensure everyone knows what to expect and when. Build a schedule that includes set hours for your work, your children’s homeschooling, playtime, mealtimes, chores, and bedtime. You might even look at your schedule and decide that you can steal some extra work hours in the morning before your kids get up or late at night before they go to bed.
Make Time for Exercise
Most importantly, make time in your schedule for self-care activities like regular exercise. According to Entrepreneur, daily exercise will help you keep your stress levels in check, boost your mood, and improve your ability to focus on work. At the same time, exercise will help your kids burn off pent-up energy, so they feel relaxed and content during their at-home learning sessions—and they’ll be less likely to pester you when you’re trying to get your work done!
Adapting to a new normal during the pandemic hasn’t been easy, especially for working parents. Believe it or not, it really is possible to balance a remote work role and children who are participating in at-home learning. You just need a good plan. Create a solid schedule, outsource some of your work, and keep your kids busy with online educational resources. You and your kids will get through this!