If you are like many parents, your days have become much more complex lately. You may be working from home while monitoring your children’s schooling, all while running a household. Juggling these tasks can be challenging, but it can be done with the right approach, mindset and boundaries. Here are six tips to keep your sanity while keeping the balls in the air.
Separate the Space
Many home offices must now house a working professional and several miniature classrooms. One way to maximize space while providing privacy is by installing used office cubicles in the room. The physical dividers mean you can be next to someone else but not be distracted by their actions.
Block Out Your Time
School days are split up into time blocks for a reason: it works. When you know you only have to focus on tasks you dislike for a limited period, you may find it easier to give those tasks your attention. Schedule 15-30 minute increments, and include time to connect with colleagues, friends, even your spouse. If you do not schedule the important things, they may not happen.
You need breaks even from the jobs you like most. Set a timer if necessary. Getting up and moving around is crucial for your body and your mind. Breaks help reinforce learning, improve creativity, reduce fatigue and enhance productivity — for you and your students. Stretch, do calisthenics or walk around for five minutes. You will return to your desk refreshed and able to focus.
You cannot do it all. Make use of your strengths, and find ways to make up for your weaknesses. Enlist the help of neighbors, friends and family if they are available. If you are great at history but do not like math, hire a math tutor. Many learning facilities offer online services that can fill the gaps in your skillset.
Let It Go
Unfortunately, you may not achieve perfection no matter how hard you strive. Your home may get messy. Dinner may come from the freezer. School assignments may not be up to snuff and you may miss a deadline at work. Set priorities and delay anything that is not truly crucial. When you let go of minor tasks you can let go of major stress.
Keep Your Perspective
One day, your children will move on with their lives. Then you and your family can look back on these days as the good old days. Practice gratitude and stay focused on what matters.