Working from home can be a blessing for many parents who need a flexible schedule, but it can also provide many more distractions and stressful situations than working in an office can. The key to finding work/life balance is to stay organized and create routines that everyone in the family can follow. You can also look for resources for your children that will help them stay busy, incorporate learning into their playtime, and prepare for school. Take a look at Collaborative for Children, where you’ll find information on early education services that can give your child the tools they need for success.
Use these helpful tips to create some order and balance in your household:
Organize important paperwork
Organization is key when you’re trying to keep chaos at bay, and when you work from home, that means keeping all of your most important paperwork in order so you can easily access it.
- Utilize online tools to manage documents for work. This will not only save time, it will allow you to easily share important files with coworkers or clients no matter where you are. Learn how to edit a PDF in a few simple steps and cut down on paperwork.
- Create a separate filing system for home and work documents. Digitize what you can, use a safe for your most important docs, and keep it all neat and accessible using folders and labels.
- Keep a large folder on hand for all the papers your children bring home from school, which will keep your counters and refrigerator clear. You can go through the folder once a month and purge anything you don’t want to keep.
Stick to a schedule
As you get organized, it’s a good idea to assess your current schedule and consider making some changes.
- Keep your work limited to certain hours, if possible. Let clients and coworkers know when you’ll be available; after that, don’t answer calls or emails unless they’re emergencies.
- Establish routines within that schedule, both for yourself and the kids. Children thrive on routine, and knowing what comes next will help eliminate stress for everyone.
- Don’t forget to give yourself breaks! Taking a moment for yourself is crucial when you have a full schedule at home, whether you’re stretching at your desk or eating a healthy snack to boost your energy and productivity.
Give yourself a stellar workspace
It’s much easier to stick to a schedule when you have a great work area.
Get outside often
Sometimes, work/life balance requires a new perspective. Getting outside, whether alone or with the family, can be beneficial for all aspects of your health.
- Go for a walk on your lunch break, or take the kids to the park when the weather is nice. This can boost your mood and provide much-needed playtime for everyone.
- Take your laptop outside and work from the patio, or head to a local coffee shop while the kids are in school and use the wi-fi there. A change of scenery during the day can help relieve boredom or stress and help you feel energized.
- Even with short trips outside during the week, you’ll still benefit from spending time outdoors on your days off. Take a day trip with the family and go for a hike, or head to the pool during warmer months.
Working from home as a parent can be exhausting, but it doesn’t have to be. By getting organized with online tools, creating a schedule and routines for everyone, and focusing on your mental health when possible, you can ensure work/life balance and enjoy what you do.
Collaborative for Children is dedicated to improving early childhood learning opportunities for children in the Greater Houston area. Learn more about how you can help.
Article written by Brad Krause