Remote work sounded almost like a dream for most parents when the pandemic hit. No more morning rush juggling breakfast, children’s homework, and making yourself look presentable in an inhumane amount of time. You can wake up later than usual and enjoy some downtime immediately after working hours. Not to mention the savings you get to accumulate. The lesser the gas and food money, the more funds you’re able to redirect to your other needs.
As the new normal persists, however, you’re beginning to encounter the unique challenges that come with being a working parent at home. Productivity falters, and the line between work and personal life has blurred.
If you’re having difficulty getting your work performance up again, then consider focusing on your time management skills. You’ll be surprised at how a little improvement in your day-to-day activities can make remote work and parenthood more bearable.
You Can’t Multitask Everything
You won’t be the first parent who tried it and failed. While a lot of parents and professionals claim to be expert multitaskers, time management gurus will attest that juggling two or more activities at once is counterproductive. You can, however, make sure that when you do two things at a time, you’re actually getting things done. This is mostly possible when the same mental faculties aren’t used in accomplishing these activities.
Say, for example, you’re keen on doing the laundry but you also need to study the social media predictions for the next five years. You can deal with your laundry while listening to podcasts and audiobooks just fine. This is because the physicality of loading the washing machine doesn’t compete with the language module of your brain. The same applies when you’re running on the treadmill and reviewing company data for the report due next week. Effective multitasking is all about pairing the correct activities to get the most out of them.
If your company pursued cloud migration consulting services and has successfully utilized the cloud for employee convenience, then you’re in luck. The more devices with which you can access your workload, the better able you’ll be to squeeze in some work while getting your house in order.
Honor Your Routine
Still, you can’t expect to get a decent amount of tasks done without being properly seated in front of your computer. Creating a routine to make enough room in your day for work is one thing. Honoring that routine is another.
Time management is all about making a realistic assessment of your obligations and sticking to the schedule you create. If you don’t commit to the second part, then you’ll always be struggling to find time for the big and small things in your day. ;
One of the most practical and effective ways for working parents to honor their routine is to get their children involved. Let them know when you plan to work and what you expect from them during these hours. Creating a dedicated space for different activities also helps. Remove work-related objects in your bedroom to encourage your mind and body to relax. Keep your exercise equipment away from your workstation and vice versa, as both can be distracting when you’re supposed to be focusing on one activity.
Lastly, remember that you won’t always feel like doing the things you planned to do. That’s okay. What’s important is that you do them anyway. You’ll feel better for pushing through your emotions afterward.
Maximize Your Children’s Downtime
What’s the best time to get important things done? For working parents, it’s always while their children are either asleep or preoccupied with play. Distance learning will also consume much of their time at home, so when scheduling your tasks, align the most important ones to their busiest hours. This will increase your chances of focusing and therefore improving your productivity.
When work and school are both reduced to virtual meetings from home, you all need to work together to create the most conducive space for both activities. Let them know what you’re doing while they’re busy with schoolwork, and give them the right to their own schedule as well. They’re more likely to respect yours if you respect theirs.
Thinking of time as a construct that’s always against you makes managing it all the more difficult. Consider it instead as a currency that you want to spend wisely, and you’ll gain a better sense of control over it. Once you know how you can manage this currency best, the higher your chances of being more productive during the pandemic.