Being a parent is a busy lifestyle, add in working from home and it doubles how crazy the schedule can get. If you have younger kids it's even more difficult to work with a regular schedule and get everything else accomplished. So how do you make it work?
Here are some quick and easy things you can do to help add some consistency to the day and hopefully accomplish more on all your lists.
Knowing what's the most important and what can be pushed off for a while is the most important aspect of coordinating work and family under the same roof. You can set deadlines and meetings and goals, but unless you know exactly how much wiggle room you have and where the lines are drawn you can't stick with a schedule.
Avoid creating a constant flow of last minute action oriented events if possible. Once in a while is ok, things come up and that's perfectly alright. But constantly going from one "fire" to the next is more tiring than it is productive. Instead try to plan ahead - look beyond the week and try to predict if not dictate what and how and where the hours will go.
Write it down
It's all find to be able to figure things out in your head or to have a mental idea of what's up. Yet it doesn't matter how grand your brain is -- if you add too much on to the pile you're bound to forget or overlook something and from there it's more likely to snowball. Write down your plans, your goals, your proposed schedule. Just because it's on paper doesn't mean it's permanent - it's not stone.
The pressure of taking care of a family can be enormous - but earning an income is as important as loving the kiddos. As a result it's important to work both sides of your life into your schedule as equally as possible. Be realistic with how much work you can handle and how much time your kids can deal without your full attention. It's possible to work it out evenly, as long as your are open minded and realistic with your own needs and capabilities.
No matter how much you plan, organize, look ahead, schedule or try to balance, there will be unexpected changes and snags. Sometimes good and something just plain inconvenient. Be prepared to the possibility and allow yourself the room to work with and adapt to the changes as needed. The world doesn't end when our schedules are thrown off, it just feels like it at the moment -- then we go to bed, wake up and start a whole new day.
Working from home is rewarding in so many ways, but it does take a lot of hard work on our parts to make it all flow like it needs to.
Do you have any tips for making it work?