The Covid-19 lockdown has converted our homes into offices. This has left us juggling between our families and our office work.
It can be challenging to achieve a work-life balance when working from home. You never know if your child will scream your name while you are on a video call with a client. There are days when you cannot do any work at all because your kid is sick.
Nonetheless, it does not have to be that way. You can still maintain your productivity while having a healthy family life.
There are a few effective time management tips that can help you through these difficult times. They can help you reduce your stress and get over this "remote work" challenge.
This post will walk you through ten tips that can help you manage your work and household responsibilities.
1. Set realistic expectations
There's nothing wrong with aiming for big goals. But if you set smaller, achievable goals, then you'll more likely achieve them.
So while planning out your workday, make an achievable to-do list that has a clear division between household tasks and work schedules.
This list of goals must be things that you can achieve in a general day. Do not overestimate your abilities and make grand plans for the day.
When you achieve these goals, you'll feel confident with management skills and you'll want to achieve more. Writing down your goals can also make you more accountable for finishing them.
There's also plenty of science to back this up as well. For example, 42% of those who write their goals are likely to achieve them.
So, why not take your pen and paper, and jot these goals down. Jotting these will motivate you of the specific actions that you'll want to take.
2. Repurpose your old commute time
Do you know that typically, the average American drives about 16 miles for a one-way commute to work?
This means that you will have plenty of time to get your house in order. Doing so will not interrupt your work schedule. You'll also be able to finish your daily household chores and pay attention to your work later, without any distraction.
For example, you can set aside some time in the morning for decluttering, organizing your things, and cleaning.
Pick at least one room or a specific household chore that you want to complete for that day. With this division of household chores, you can finish quite some tasks by the end of the week.
You can also organize and clean up your workspace as you try to pick up where you left off the next day.
3. Decide the frequency of your chores
Depending on the number of kids and pets you have, you don't always have to clean every part of the house.
Sure, it is vital to keep your house clean, but you do not have to focus your energy on activities that can wait for another day.
For example, you can clean areas where your baby or your pets spend most of their time on a daily basis. You can leave dusting, mopping, and other household chores for the next day.
If you want to save more time, you can get everyone on board with a "clean as you go mindset". Teach your kids to pick items and place them where they belong.
Our families can take responsibility for household chores and convert hours of cleaning into a few minutes.
So, set household rules for specific spaces to eat, do homework, and play. This way, you can schedule time for cleaning those areas on a daily basis.
4. Determine easy-to-complete chores
Working with kids and a spouse is already challenging. The challenge is much harder if you're cleaning your house.
How you try to manage work with your cleaning schedule will mostly depend on your kids' age and what type of work you do at home.
As parents, try and involve your kids in your lives more by teaching them to clean, organize and help around. That way, you and your partner can balance your roles as parents and workers.
Try to determine what are the easy-to-complete chores, and if you can, try to break these into chunks. You can come up with a separate list of tasks that you'll want to do on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.
Also, try to focus on what needs to be done immediately so that you can get that chore away with. If you procrastinate, it might come back to bite you.
So, complete easy tasks and prioritize the ones that you really need to tick off of the list.
5. Clean rooms from top to bottom
When it's your schedule to deep clean, we suggest you do it from top to bottom.
Maid Sailors Commercial Cleaning Service New York suggests people to always clean from ceiling to floor. This is to ensure that every crevices and surface are spick and span.
You can grab a basket or container and then place the items on the tops of furniture and floors in here.
Doing so makes polishing furniture, sweeping the floors, and vacuuming, so much easier.
6. Adopt the "Clean as You Go" mindset
As we mentioned before, your kids need to be a part of your team when it comes to the division of household chores.
If you have kids, teach them habits such as organizing utensils, keeping their clothes in place, or emptying trash containers.
While you might feel bad for making your kids put in so much effort, it is teamwork that will make your daily life a success. Also, your kids will be learning good values that will stick with them throughout their lives too!
7. Take blended breaks
If you're working from home, then chances are, no one will tell you when you should take a break. This includes getting up and stretching, taking a short stroll, doing simple exercises, or having a quick snack.
Taking breaks is really important for improved mental health and physical health. You should make it a top priority to be well-rested because you can forget to do this while working from home.
That said, it would be best to schedule your breaks. Do not consider your lunch or dinner time as your only resting time. Divide your day into work sessions with small breaks in the middle.
Doing so allows you to refresh your mind, find time to do some quick cleaning, check the news, and give some time to your personal life.
Remember that you aren't tackling any major household chores. Instead, you're doing simple tasks that you can complete in just a couple of minutes.
8. Make a housekeeping plan
Similarly, you can take a couple of minutes each day to develop a rough cleaning structure that lets you maximize your time.
For example, if your kids are at school, then clean their rooms while they're away. Note the chores that usually take in the least time, and try to work these in between your breaks.
Since working from home gives you more flexibility, you should try to get the most out of it.
In the same way, you can also multitask by doing a couple of chores all at once. You can tidy up other parts of your home while finishing your laundry.
Similarly, you can also clean the bathroom while waiting for the food in the oven to cook. You can try out various combinations as well.
Every time you carry on a task on your own, without requiring a lot of involvement, you can concentrate on other things, which helps save you a lot of time.
9. Come up with a back-up plan
Working remotely with kids comes with a lot of unpredictability. It is a new curveball thrown at working parents.
So, you need to have a back-up plan on your workdays.
There will be days wherein you'll feel mentally busy or strained, and you cannot bring yourself to clean your home. You might find it hard to clean your home regularly.
So, as a back-up plan, consider employing cleaning services for your home. This arrangement can help in minimizing your chores.
10. Work when the kids are busy
Children, especially younger ones, are very hard to entertain. They will not understand the boundaries between the workplace and home while you are remotely working.
So, it is best to work when they are occupied or busy. That way, they won't be in the way if they need something from you.
You can let them watch TV, allow them to play video games, or read. That way, you can go on doing household chores.
If your kids want to "help out," then set an area wherein they can pretend and encourage them for the great work they're doing. Doing so enables them in the future that they can help out.
Conclusion: Don't Do Everything on Your Own
We understand that managing household chores and your work can be challenging. There might be moments where you experience confusion, helplessness, and resignation.
However, your family is your team when it comes to the distribution of household work. Together, you can meet the demands of work and get over the challenge that this lockdown has thrown at us.
1. Set a Flexible Schedule
If you work from home, consider breaking down your schedules to take care of household tasks and your work. Doing so can help you determine when is the best time to clean your house, do the laundry, or spend the entire evening with your kids. The key here is not to pile everything into a single day.
2. Hire a Professional Home Cleaner
If you are pressed for time to clean your entire house, you may have to opt for the services of a professional home cleaner.
Doing so can help make family time a priority. Meanwhile, it also ensures that your house is cleaned regularly.
3. Teach Your Kids Some Chores
Another way to reduce the amount of cleaning you need to do is to teach your kids some simple chores and habits. Of course, it has to be age-appropriate.
For instance, your toddlers can manage to tuck away their toys. Your grade schoolers can help with setting and clearing the table, while your high schoolers can help with the laundry and during meal prep time.
4. Know When to Take a Break
Of course, the best way to increase productivity is to take breaks, and not just on nights and weekends.
Take breaks regularly to clear your mind can improve your mental health and reduce stress.
We hope that the home management tips listed above can help you improve your family relationships, become more productive and achieve that golden work-life balance that you have always wished for.
If you have any questions drop it down in the comment below and I will be sure to answer it