Raising children can take monumental effort, time, and resources. Aside from providing for your children’s basic needs, you also need to be there for special occasions and important milestones.
If you’re a working parent, deadlines and obligations at the office can sometimes clash with your parenting duties. However, since the global pandemic has forced most companies to adopt a work from home set-up, you can now spend more time with your loved ones.
Majority of us have been working from home for more than a year already and have been attending family dinners and birthday celebrations while carrying out our responsibilities. All this extra time with our loved ones is great, but the blurred boundaries also have many working parents struggling to keep the balance.
Therefore, we came up with five ways to help you manage your professional and parental responsibilities – without sacrificing one or the other:
Create a flexible schedule.
The absence of any structure for your day can spell disaster. Yet for a parent who’s also running a business or balancing a job, a rigid one won’t be of much help either. Instead, just draft a rough outline for how your day should go.
It doesn’t have to be super detailed or super specific. It’s enough to create one that’s flexible but will still emphasise what to prioritise daily. Rather than scheduling your day to the minute, you can set time blocks for virtual meetings, bedtimes, mealtimes, and personal tasks.
For example, if you find yourself more productive in the morning, schedule all your Zoom calls and client meetings between 8am until 11am. You can then relegate other parenting-related tasks to the afternoon.
Establish your non-negotiables.
I’m referring to your top priorities based on your personal goals, values, and principles. It’s important to identify these so that you will know what to prioritise at any given time.
If your priority is having dinner with your family, block out an hour in your calendar every night. This means you shouldn’t respond to emails or schedule Zoom meetings at this time.
On the other hand, if you want to build a strong remote team, set aside two to three hours each week for training and coaching.
You may also want to share these non-negotiables with your family and staff. This way, they’ll be aware of the best time to schedule appointments or meetings with you.
Set clear boundaries between your work and personal life.
Prior to the pandemic, it was easier to shift from parent to entrepreneur or manager the moment we set out the door – and vice versa. These days, this boundary has blurred a great deal or has even disappeared for some.
This is undeniably one of the biggest drawbacks of remote work, unfortunately. However, there’s a solution. No matter how hectic work gets or how demanding your household becomes, always stick to your boundaries.
You can start by finding a space in your house where you can work without being disturbed. Convert a spare room into an office, for instance. If you haven’t got one, a quiet and well-lit area will suffice. Tell your family that unless there’s an emergency, they shouldn’t disturb you while you’re in your workspace.
Conversely, tell your clients, team, and/or partners that you’ll stop responding to emails or calls after a certain time of the day.
Make plans in advance.
This goes for both the office and the home.
For instance, it helps to rely on an arsenal of quick recipes you can prepare with your pantry staples. Planning the week’s menu beforehand also means you won’t have to stress over what to have for lunch.
Assigning household chores and designating indoor games and educational activities can also help keep your kids busy as you work. (Not to mention, helping to keep your home tidy!)
As for your remote teams, schedule meetings a week in advance so that everyone has time to prepare. This will also give you more time to review their recent output so you can provide constructive and comprehensive feedback.
Give yourself a break every now and then.
This pandemic is difficult for everyone, so cut yourself some slack. You don’t have to get it right the first time – or all the time. If you had a rough time balancing your professional and parental duties today, you can always try again tomorrow.
Just keep going to figure out which strategies work for you. As long as you keep your business afloat and stay on top of your remote teams, that should be enough for now. Don’t forget to enjoy every minute of your time with your children right now as well.
You wear a lot of hats juggling your roles as an entrepreneur, manager, and a parent. But you don’t have to do it alone.
With outsourcing, you can delegate the most tedious yet necessary tasks to top remote talent instead. Remote Staff has been assisting AU SMEs and entrepreneurs to do exactly that for the last 14 years and counting. We do all the leg work for outsourcing the talent you need – so you can spend more time on the things that really matter.