Working parents have a lot to balance! From maintaining your career to spending quality time with your children, managing all these responsibilities isn’t always easy. Plus, it’s often not possible to split your time evenly between the two—especially if you find yourself in a remote work environment. However, you can still be a productive employee and a present parent at home! While every day may feel different, here are five productivity tips for working parents that can help:
Take care of small tasks first
When you’re feeling overwhelmed, you may be set on taking care of your biggest and most time-consuming projects first. While well-intentioned, this can lead some of your smaller tasks to pile up—leaving you feeling more stressed and far less accomplished. To make these larger projects feel more manageable, try to set some time aside during your day for taking care of smaller tasks, like answering emails. Ensuring these smaller responsibilities are being taken care of can help you maintain your focus when it’s time to tackle bigger initiatives and projects.
Schedule meetings strategically
Competing responsibilities can take a major toll on your focus and productivity! While interruptions can happen at any time throughout the day, it can be especially frustrating if it happens during a meeting. To avoid this, try to have meetings at times in the day when your children are occupied. For example, if you’re working from home, see if you can schedule a playdate for your child during that time. If you’re in the office that day, you may want to schedule meetings around your child’s school or activity schedules. While this may not always be in your control, these productivity tips can help you eliminate some distractions and worries—allowing you to fully focus on and participate in the meeting.
It can be difficult to keep your work and personal lives separate, and this is especially true if you will be working from home (at least part-time). Not setting boundaries, however, can make you feel disorganized, unproductive, and burnt out on both the home and work fronts! This means it’s important to try to set boundaries with your family, yourself, and your employer. That could involve a variety of productivity tips for working parents, including discussing expectations with your supervisor, asking for a flexible schedule, communicating with your kids about when you are and aren’t available, and carving out time for yourself. Read also: 5 Ways To Set Work-Life Boundaries For Yourself
Work in flexible time blocks
Working in time blocks is one of the productivity tips for working parents that can help you immensely. While this requires some buy-in from your manager, taking a mindset of focusing on results, not hours can be a gamechanger. Rather than working a strict 9-5 schedule, try scheduling your day in time blocks around times that allow you to be most focused and productive. For example, this could mean you log in earlier, take longer breaks during the day when your children need your attention, and answer emails at night after hours.
Create a network of working parents for support
Many other working parents are likely in the same position as you, so you may want to consider building a support network! This could mean having a group you share carpooling duties with or parents you can coordinate playdates with for your kids. Having this network can not only help free up some of your time during the day, but can also provide you with valuable emotional and mental support!