Make a schedule…and stick to it!
While the first few days at home may feel like a holiday for the kids, keeping some normality and shape to your day is vital for the whole family’s productivity.
Get your partner and kids involved in making a schedule which builds in clear boundaries for work time, but also plenty of outdoor activity and downtime. Ensure everyone gets up, gets dressed and gets outside for a bit of fresh air at the start of the day to fight that sluggish feeling!
Make sure you know everyone’s upcoming deadlines. Both for schoolwork and for your own work, and build these into your schedule. Don’t be afraid to schedule in some treats too, like a move night or a family hike. Having fun makes everyone feel more positive.
Physical and mental boundaries are important
Having somewhere quiet to work without the distractions of phones, TVs, and family chatter, can make a huge difference to concentration. If you can find space to shut the door and focus for a few hours, and equally a space where you can shut the door behind you at the end of the day, you’ll be able to keep your head clear and get your work done.
Don’t let the working day drag on longer than normal just because you’re not getting up to leave the office. Turn off your computer and try to find time to relax in the evenings and in breaks during the day, maybe going for a run, or getting everyone round the dinner table. Making sure home doesn’t come synonymous with work can help to keep stress at bay.
Challenges and chores are your friend
Looking for ways to keep the kids occupied that don’t involve social media or video games? Getting them involved in chores like washing up, making lunch or walking the dog keeps everyone busy. It’s also a chance for younger kids to revel in feeling self-sufficient and responsible at home. It also means your To Do list might look a little shorter!
Old-school activities like puzzles and card games are also great ways for kids to challenge themselves and learn new skills. Set them up listening to an audiobook or playlist and let them get on with that 1000-piece puzzle that’s been gathering dust…
Asking for help is ok
Are you normally the one getting the kids to school, cleaning the house and prepping the meals? Or maybe you usually rely on a nanny or grandparent for childcare? Either way, having everyone at home 24/7 with no outside help can be daunting. It’s a huge change for everyone. Remember to work together with your partner. Sharing tasks and checking in regularly with one another to ensure the balance is working for you both. It’s ok to feel overwhelmed with everything on your plate right now, so don’t be afraid to ask your partner and even your kids for help in keeping everything ticking along.
If you’re used to socializing during the week or meeting up with other families at the weekend, remember to keep on investing time in your social life. Picking up the phone may be less fun than meeting for food and drinks (though a lot cheaper…) but setting aside time to have a laugh and keep feeling like yourself is vital to avoid cabin fever!
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