Being a working parent is challenging, especially when it comes to ensuring time management and productivity. From getting work tasks done, going to client meetings, and meeting deadlines to looking after the kids and housework, how do you achieve that work / life balance?
Working parents are often caught up in this messy cycle. They go to work and deal with the day’s tasks and then come back home straight into the realm of fractious, hungry kids who want undivided attention. There is no quiet moment to breathe.
All of this ends up taking a massive toll on their productivity, which also affects their motivation levels and overall efficiency.
If you are a tired, demotivated, working parent who’s finding it hard to manage their time well, we have some productivity tips to help you get back on track.
Don’t Multitask – Set Your Priorities
Working parents are undoubtedly ultimate multitasking superstars and have the ability to manage several things at once. However, it turns out that multitasking can actually kill your productivity levels.
You must set your priorities for the day. What goals and deadlines do you need to accomplish today? What can wait til tomorrow, could you outsource to someone else or scrap altogether? Work out the most important tasks and then get them completed first.
Write Down Your Tasks
Often, low productivity is a result of a lack of planning. When you have your tasks and goals for the day written down properly, you are better able to manage your time and get the important things done in the given time frame.
With the wide array of printed or digital planners, diaries and project management tools around, you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to what will help you manage your tasks effectively. It’s worth having a look to see if there’s a way to automate some reminders so that you can stop holding all that info in your head and have technology lend a helping hand to clear your brain clutter.
There’s a caveat here though; don’t let shiny new app distract you from what actually needs to get done. It’s easy to get sucked into making list after list and not actually get any tasks done. You’re better off having a pen and a scrap of paper and just sticking to working through your next 1-3 urgent tasks than wasting your precious time over-planning.
Plan the Night Before
As a working parent, an important thing for you to understand is that productivity doesn’t only refer to the present. You can pave the way towards time management and efficiency by planning things in advance.
Why not plan your next day’s schedule the night before and even cross some tasks off the list if there’s opportunity to do so? Some basic things that you can get out of the way are preparing your children’s lunch, picking their outfits, picking your outfit, sorting out important work-related tasks that you need to get done in the morning, and so on.
The idea here is to do anything and everything that will lighten your mental load and increase your haste in the morning, so you’re ready to hit the ground running and not have to tackle the morning “what on earth am I doing today” distraction.
Take A Break!
No matter how hectic your work or life is, it is extremely important that you take a break, breathe and allow yourself to de-stress. Even if it’s literally a minute or three when you can through the day.
Most of the time, working parents struggle in both their work and life because they juggle far too many things at once.
So, make sure to always take a break between work and home because nothing needs to be done at the expense of your mental peace and health!