As many work-from-home parents know, staying on task and handling your important items in a timely manner can be difficult if you are easily distracted by all the other things you could be doing around your house. Likewise, stay-at-home parents often have a difficult time finding enough hours in the day to handle all the daily tasks required for running a household. Combining the two can seem like a nightmare.
As a stay-at-home and work-from-home dad, I have experienced both (at the same time). Here are a few tips to help get through each day:
- Set aside uninterrupted time every day. This may seem impossible, but find at least an hour somewhere in your day that you can sit down and focus without any interruption. It may be at 5 am or the last hour before you go to bed, but dedicate that time to your work. If you have a partner or spouse, make sure they understand they are on call during that time so you can hammer out the most important things on your list.
- Work as a team, if you have one. If you have a spouse or partner, make sure the two of you are on the same page. This is easier said than done, but you have to understand who has what responsibilities and at the same time be flexible enough to handle the otherís task if they cannot get to it. Knowing who is tending to the kids in the middle of the night before heading to bed can alleviate a lot of headaches as well, especially if you have infants.
- Keep your to-do list fluid. You can write the perfect list in the right order, but when kids are involved you never know what you will be able to get to. It is important to tackle the most important things first, but at the same time set yourself up so if something does not get done today, you can check it off first thing tomorrow. If your list is rigid and you get down on yourself for not completing everything, you will battle internally everyday. Do what you can whenever you can, and be ok with what moves to tomorrow.
- Consolidate your trips. No matter how hard we try and keep household tasks for the weekend, you will inevitably have to go run errands. The baby could be out of formula, the diaper pale needs to be refilled, or a prescription has to be picked up. Pile everything up as long as possible and then make one trip if you can. It keeps you from running out of the house for every little thing, and getting the kids ready to go seem to take about half the time anyways. So if you can consolidate to one or two trips a week, you can save yourself a lot of time.
- Relax and go with the flow. Finally, just sit back and take it as it comes. You are literally trying to do 100 hours of work in a 50-hour window, so not everything is going to be completed. The house will not always be clean at the end of the day and dishes might be piled up for three days. You cannot do two full time jobs simultaneously without something slipping through the cracks. Just make sure what does slip through isnít a report for work that was due yesterday.
Eric Stauffer is a stay-at-home/work-from-home dad and part of a credit card processing watchdog group that reviews payment processors. They write reviews for companies like Dwolla and Global Payments, and help small businesses negotiate fair contracts.
on this article or submit your tip to CreativeHomemaking.com.
for a printer friendly version of this page.
Follow me on Pinterest
Receive new article links via Twitter
Follow Creative Homemaking on Facebook
this article to a friend!
our article archives.
to subscribe to our weekly newsletter.