There is no doubt that parents have been doing double duty for years. But the impact of closures due to CO-VID19 has drastically changed everything and taken multitasking to a whole new level. There ARE some things we can do to reduce the impact on our lives and the impending stress level and chaos we are about to embark upon.
You must start by asking, "What am I in control of?". The answer is not a whole heck of a lot. But that's why these survival tips are so dang important! Listen closely!
1️⃣ Have some boundaries.
Most of us need structure. We have that basic human need for certainty and structure is one way that we can create that. When you have a plan, you are more likely to stick to it. Make it "in pencil". Things will change but it helps to jump back in when you have a plan loosely laid out. I use the app Google Tasks (which also syncs with my calendar) to plan and prioritize my tasks for the week.
2️⃣ Shake up your schedule
You can still "be the business owner" or worker and "be a mom" but you will have to make some adjustments. Things are going to look different. Normally I workout in the morning, but if your kids are like mine, they sleep in. This is my best chance to get focused work done. Plan kid activities during their peak hours and quiet time for you to get a few tasks accomplished. Just be flexible in how your schedule shakes out and adjust accordingly.
3️⃣ No "I" in Team
Communication is key. When you need to make adjustments, you need to communicate those new expectations and roles to involved parties. If it's your spouse or supporting person who's taking on "morning duty" or "bedtime duty", it's best to communicate that with each other and the kids. These adjustments can be stressful on anyone so don't assume the other person knows what you "need" to balance things out.
4️⃣ Start Early
It's not my favorite but it's honestly the most productive when I'm working from home. Most successful entrepreneurs will say they get an early start to the day and find that they get more done with better quality. I'll be honest when the alarm clock goes off I want to roll over but that quiet time before the chaos starts is priceless!
5️⃣ Work from a must-do list vs a to-do list!
Let's be honest. That "to-do" list is a revolving door of things you are hoping to finish but aren't usually even necessary. Think about what are the TRULY non-negotiable, must get done things that will be most productive in your day or have to happen. All that other stuff (ahem) organizing your desk for the 34th time, is crap that you can do any time!
6️⃣ Adjust your sails.
If you've even been on a sailboat, you don't just "go where the wind takes you". That will get you off course real fast! Things are going to shift. Technology will fail. Your kids will interrupt.
You might have to adjust your business goals to better match the "terrain" you are experiencing. Don't get dead on one course. Learn to adjust.
7️⃣ Take care of yourself.
If you aren't taking care of you, nobody is getting taken care of. That is a fact. Carve out time for you to level-set. Call in reinforcement if you need to but prioritize your and your health and make strides each day towards that goal. Sometimes that may mean a quick walk to clear your head, or heck, book yourself an hour and call in reinforcement! MAKE the time.
I don't have all the answer but I have found a heck of a lot of freebies that will help us get through this tough time (and be educational and helpful!) that will keep them entertained.