Working from home is great. Ah, the sweet life of working a few feet from your own kitchen. You get to avoid traffic and work in your pajama pants! It may seem like the dream, but it’s not always a walk in the park, especially for parents who work at home while also taking care of their children. I’m not talking your standard stay-at-home mom or house-husband! I’m talking those select few of humanity that have an at-home career while also being a stay-at-home parent: the ultimate double-duty!
How do the work-from-home child-rearing parents of the world manage to keep everything balanced? With excellent time management skills, that’s how! Here are four important time management suggestions to make every minute of your day at home count.
Before you can start tackling your schedule and turning your day into a well-oiled machine of productivity, you need to figure out all of the important things you need to get done in a day. We all have a “pretty good” idea of what we do in a day but there are so many small things that are necessary that we often forget about. To help creative a comprehensive list, for a few days, write down everything you do on a notepad. After three or four days, you should have a really clear idea of all the things you generally do. Once you have this list, you can start organizing the types of tasks you do. Do you often stop and start tasks? Do you deal with things at odds time of the day? Is your schedule rather slapdash? Take time to really think about all the things you do. Eliminate the unnecessary and look for places where you can combine similar tasks to get things done more efficiently. Once you’ve done this, you’ll be ready for the next step!
Once you’ve got your tasks and major to-dos, organize it into a list. Checklists are great ways to make sure you are not forgetting to do anything and great ways to keep yourself on task. The important thing to keep in mind when you make this list is to look at how much time you need for all the tasks. Organize the list in order of what needs to be done but also put how long each task should take. It’s a good idea to also have a “notes” section on your checklist where you can jot down unexpected things that need to be taken care of. Utilizing this list will help you compartmentalize your time and keep on task.
But isn’t multitasking a key to success? It is… and it isn’t. It’s best to focus on one task at a time when you are working from home and juggling kids. Not only will this keep you on-task, but it will make following your checklist easier. You want to give your 100% to all of the things you do. When you set aside time for your kids, you want to be 100% present in your interactions with them, just like, when you are working, you want to focus 100% on work. The success comes with making sure you and your kids are on specific schedules.
It’s very important, for the sake of your health and sanity, to plan in a few breaks to your day. Giving yourself time to eat lunch without checking emails or doing one task or another is important. Eat lunch and really enjoy the taste of the food. Or perhaps watch your favorite show while you eat – just make sure to give your brain a chance to chill. Another good idea is giving yourself a break during the day to do some stretches. Sitting at a desk is not great for your back so giving yourself a break to stretch will help counteract that. Regular breaks are also important for eyes. Sitting and staring at a computer screen is another issue for your health, so make sure some of your breaks include not staring at a screen!
If you follow these four steps, you should not only have a more productive but, hopefully, more relaxing day! It's not an impossible task to work from home and take care of kids, but it does take care and focus. Perhaps you’ve just recently started working from home or you're waiting for your new business to get off the ground. If you need a little help making ends meet, we can help! Check out our installment loans for a good way to help fill in the gaps.