Across the world, due to the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), parents are struggling to juggle working from home, doing virtual learning with their children, and trying to keep their children emotionally stable and mentally and physically engaged. If that’s not enough, they are also worried about having enough hand sanitizer and toilet paper stocked in their house; all while still trying to manage the “normal” day to day functions such as laundry, cooking, and cleaning with no child care.
As we stay home, each day begins to feel the same and they all start blending together. There is so much we have had to take on and it can feel frustrating because we may not feel that we are giving our best to our jobs and reaching our goals because of being pulled in so many different directions.
In today’s blog post, we are going to look at four strategies to help you conquer working from home and parenting during Covid-19.
- Goal Setting
In the midst of helping your children with their school zoom calls, working with them on their schoolwork, and trying to stay afloat with your own business; it can feel like you’re treading water and not going anywhere.
A way to get out of this continuous cycle, is to set three goals at the end of each day that you want to accomplish tomorrow. By doing this, you can then start your day with your goals, you have a clear vision of what you need to accomplish and each time you get pulled in different directions throughout the day, it’s easier to come back and be focused and jump right back into what you were trying to accomplish for the day. These goals do not have to be big! Making your goals small and specific will help you to be able to meet them. You will then feel more accomplished and it will ultimately propel you to making new goals and sticking to them each day so you can get more done in your work life.
- Accepting the Situation
For many of us when the pandemic hit, we kept waiting for things to change. Hearing “the new normal” made some of us cringe. Who wants to accept that this is what life is like? No one!
In order for us to find a way to juggle all of our new responsibilities, we have to accept that this is our temporary situation for the foreseeable future.
This isn’t throwing in the towel and accepting that your life will never be the same. You can still have hope. You can still look for the light at the end of the tunnel. But in order to create clear plans on what will work for your business and family in the moment, we have to come to terms that this is how life is right now. By accepting that, we can find better ways to face our challenges.
- Create a New Plan
Once we accept that this is our temporary situation, we can figure out a new plan that will work for us. Think of the analogy of dieting. When we put off going on a diet to “tomorrow,” nothing changes. We just continue along the path of not feeling good about ourselves, not feeding our body what we need, feeling frustrated and we just continue in the same unhealthy cycle. By creating a plan, we’re able to end the cycle and get ourselves in a better place.
Here are some tips to create a new plan for your work and family life:
- Multitask the Mindless and Solo Task the Mindful
Do you feel as if you’re being pulled in different directions all day long? For a few moments you might be replying to emails for work and before you can even finish typing your sentence, you’re being pulled to step in as a teacher for your kids all while urgent phone calls for work continue coming in.
Stop trying to multitask everything. It leaves you feeling like you’re only giving 50% to work or your kids, at best.
Instead, only multitask the “mindless.” If you have administrative work that you can easily do without a tremendous amount of focus, work on that while you have to bounce between your kids and work.
For times when you need to fully focus on work, set your kids up with an activity (even if it’s some screen time) so you can fully focus on what you need to get done and not be pulled in different directions. Give your kids a time frame for how long you will be working for and you can even set a timer for them so they have realistic expectations.
Find activities that you know will engage them and only use those activities for when you need to have your full attention on work so that the activities don’t become “boring” for them.
Find some screen time options that you feel comfortable with that has a learning component so that you can feel comfortable having them do this without your supervision. We normally try and avoid lots of screen time for kids, but right now we just need to power through this and it’s okay if your kids are doing a little more screen time than normal. It’s just the situation we are in right now. Accept it and move on!
- Create a Schedule Around Your “Non-Negotiables”
Non-negotiables are things that must happen in the day and they can’t be moved.
- Your childrens zoom calls for school
- Your work calls
- Time specific work that needs to be done
Create an excel spreadsheet for each day and put in time slots. Highlight the time slots that have your non-negotiables in them. (Example: 11am call with your client, 2pm kids zoom call for school). Then make a list of all the other things that need to get done through the day for work. Put those items into different time slots but know that they can be moved around and flexible. This helps to create a schedule that is flexible but also helps you to make sure everything on the list is getting done.
4) Switch Your Mindset
We all know that this situation isn’t ideal, to say the least! But with everything, we can always find some positives and if we focus on those.
By changing how we approach our day, we can see things differently.
For example: It can feel really frustrating when you finally get your kids into bed and know in the back of your mind that you have to sit down and finish doing things for work when all you want to do is have an end to your day.
By focusing on the negative, you will be frustrated and you won’t be putting your best into your business and ultimately that will come across to your clients.
Instead, try reframing your thoughts. Instead of thinking “I’m so tired, I wish I didn’t have to sit down and finish working right now.”
Reframe to: “I’m so lucky that I got to spend this extra time with my family. I’m truly blessed that I can have the flexibility to work this evening while the house is quiet.”
By trying to reframe our negative thoughts, it helps us to have more patience with our kids and have a better outlook on our business. This will come across to our family and change your interactions with them as well as to your clients!
What are your tips for conquering working from home and parenting during Covid-19? We’d love to hear them in the thread below!