Time is a scarcity for most parents.

I’m a parent that works from home, and let me tell you — it sounds easier and more fun than it is.

Sure, there are benefits to working from home, such as:

  • More flexibility
  • Less commuting
  • Ability to run errands during lunchtime

But there are some significant drawbacks as well.

You struggle to set boundaries, to draw that line between work and personal time.

Your kids constantly interrupt you and need your attention, and it’s difficult to focus when you are aware of the goings-on in and around the house. The at-home deliveries also can distract you. (Don’t tell my husband about that last one!)

On top of everything, you are likely also doing chores around the house because, you know, you’re there and it needs doing.

Working from home — especially with kids — is not for the faint-hearted. If you don’t manage your time wisely, you will quickly get overwhelmed and burn out.

I developed the following strategies to help me manage my time, I hope they help you.

Prepare For The Week Ahead

This is a game-changer. Every Sunday, I look at my calendar for the week ahead. It helps me to feel prepared, and it lessens my anxiety.

I note biggish events that are scheduled — such as doctor’s appointments, an important meeting at work, or a car service that is due — and I make sure there are no clashes.

There is no need to put more pressure on yourself than necessary. So it’s also essential to check that there will be enough time to commute between commitments. And allocate at least 15 more minutes than you think you will need. Life with kids is unpredictable, and nine times out of ten, something will crop up to delay you.

Even something as simple as getting up from my desk to go to my car will take longer than expected because my son will see me and want my attention. Or I remember a task I wanted to do and do it quickly before I forget.

When I do my prep on a Sunday, I also list the top 2 or 3 things I want to get done that week. Don’t do more than that because you likely won’t get to everything, which will demotivate you.

If you find you have extra time for more later — great! Take it as a bonus. But don’t commit to more than three items at once.

Prepare For The Day Ahead

Every night, I again look at my calendar, but for the following day. This time I go into detail to start the day knowing what is expected of me.

It helps to know ahead of time whether my day will be chaotic or not. That way, I manage my expectations of what I can get done, and I don’t become frazzled and out of control as the day progresses.

I also prep things around the house to make the following day more manageable:

  • I put laundry in the machine on a time delay, so I don’t have to rush and do it in the morning
  • I put my outfit ready
  • I put my child’s clothes ready
  • I do meal planning for the next day (you can also do this weekly)
  • If your kids go to school or daycare, pack their lunchboxes

Know Your Daily Priorities

Know your main priorities for the day and do them when you are at your most productive.

This is in the morning for most people but find your sweet spot. Book out your calendar for an hour or two and get that ish done.

Do smaller to-do items as and when, delegate them or remove them from your list entirely.

Out Of Sight Out Of Mind

Work out of sight of your kids if at all possible. They will distract you when they see you.

You will be more productive without constant interruptions.

Cook Meals In Bulk

When you cook, make at least double. More if it’s practical to do. You can use the extras for lunch the next day or freeze it and use it as a dinner alternative another time.

Set Boundaries

When you’re at work, work. But once you’re done for the day, close the laptop, switch off notifications and be present with your family.

This way, you switch off from work, take a mental break, and you will return to work refreshed the next day.

Don’t work overtime. The work will not get less if you do, and you will always have something else to do. So, don’t work overtime.

Final Thoughts

If you implement and stick to the above recommendations, you will be as time-efficient as possible.

Is there anything that I missed? What would you add? Let me know!


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