5 Tips from parents on how to keep sane!
As we enter the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, there’s fear of another potential lock-down where everything is temporarily closed, employees must work from home, and school is back to online learning. Employees with children learning from home, especially those with children who are not self-sufficient, are struggling. They’re trying to manage meetings and help their kids attend their Google classes at the same time. With all the distractions and priorities at home, work productivity naturally decreases.
We surveyed parents with children (age range of 3 – 10) on how they survived the first two waves of the pandemic. Here are five tried and true tips on how to manage work and kids at home, as well as keep your sanity.
Tip #1: Always be prepared
How many times did an urgent video call meeting suddenly pop up in your calendar that requires you to drop everything to attend? Always keep a craft supply bin fully stocked and readily available. Make sure there’s always an activity in the bin that they can do independently. Whether it is creating a masterpiece with some glue and sparkles or making a puppet out of a brown paper bag, it not only allows your child to be creative, but it gives you some time to prepare and attend your meeting.
Tip #2: Meal prep
We, as adults, can survive a missed snack or meal. Children on the other hand, become extremely irritable and emotional which is the last thing you need to deal with while working. Try prepping your meals and snacks for the week during the previous weekend. You can send out those emails or finish the presentation that you’ve been working on instead of trying to prepare a new meal or set out snacks, 20x a day (this number is not exaggerated either!).
Tip #3: Flexible scheduling
If you need absolute silence to get your work done, try adjusting your work schedule around your kids’ schedule. Work early in the morning and/or late at night if you’re able to. You won’t believe how much work you can accomplish between 6 am – 9 am when it is quieter compared to 9 am – 12 pm with all the distractions. Also, try to schedule your meetings to align with your kids’ recess and nutrition breaks, as they won’t need your help with their schoolwork during this time. Keep them busy with Tip #1 above, or the next tip….
Tip #4: Screen time
You’ve read all the articles about limiting screen time as much as you can, but sometimes you need the kids distracted for a solid 30 minutes (or more!) to get your work done. We’re not suggesting sitting your kids in front of the TV all day long, but educational screen time in small increments throughout the day when needed. Put in your noise cancelling headphones as the kids sing their ABCs with the characters on TV while you wrap up that strategy document!
Tip #5: Exercise
This is important for both adults and kids to help reduce stress at work and school. Take a mid-day break and step outdoors to get some fresh air and Vitamin D. Walk, skip run, hop…whatever you choose to do, make sure it’s fun! A quick 15-minute exercise break will help your mind rejuvenate and boost your energy so you’re ready and more focused to tackle the rest of your working day. Take a fit break with your kids. They will love it! Here are a few free online resources for family fun workouts:
- Lebert Fitness Family Fun Workouts
- Family Fun Cardio Workout by Fit Sugar
- 10-Minute Baby Shark Workout
When you plan, organize, and stick to a schedule, working from home with your kids can have positive benefits for everyone! You may not be as productive as being at your place of work, but with some simple planning, it is possible to juggle work and kids at home during this pandemic. You just need to test a few methods and find out what works for you and stick with it.
To learn more tips on how to optimize productivity while working from home, read one of our previous blogs by clicking here.