Last march, Quebec came to a halt. Before this sudden stop, for parents, mornings were a race against time to balance breakfast, lunch boxes and school drop-off. And another challenge: getting to work on time! And at the end of the day, the race was between dinner, homework, etc.
In the blink of an eye, countless workers had to adapt to a new reality: working from home. With kids staying in the house, the challenge seems insurmountable! Here are a few tips and tricks to better organize your daily routine.
Let’s be real: managing your family dynamic sets the tone for the rest of your day. The younger the kids, the harder it is to balance work and family. This is why some specialists recommend starting the day with a list of priority tasks and to divide them equally through short-term work periods (from one to two hours) at different intervals during the day.
How can you manage that?
When the kids are asleep, the parents dance
You could, for example, put nap time to good use and take advantage of that time to work on important projects or urgent requests. Even if your to-do list isn’t done by the time you reach of end of that work period, leave yourself a note to remind yourself to pick up where you left off. You’ll be able to take care of your kids while continuing to work. Take advantage of those moments to optimize playtime with them.
It is also recommended to vary your means of communication. While still keeping an eye on your kids, you can opt to make a phone call rather than writing a long, painstaking email. You also lower the chances of a misunderstanding or miscommunication. After all, talking to someone outside of your family circle will most likely be beneficial to your morale!
Fly little parrots, fly!
Another tip: encourage your kids to “work” on their homework at the same time as you work on yours. Often, kids feel a certain pride when mimicking their parents. Between your work periods, you can also encourage them to participate in chores or help with cooking. It’s a great opportunity to teach them new notions! For example, cooking requires skills taught in chemistry and math, while chores help improve one’s sense of responsibility.
And one last tip: encourage your kids to play with calm games after an active period. You’ll have the occasion to introduce them to relaxing activities, such as yoga or meditation.
Article translated by Laurie Dumas-Ruel