Moms and stay-at-home parents—this one’s for you! We’ll admit it’s been a tough 2020 so far. Many of us have had to adjust to a new routine and way of life that requires more energy and mental focus than we’re used to giving. And even with businesses now reopening and some parents slowly migrating back to the office, you might feel the social pressure to stay behind to help your kids race to the final push before graduation or avoid going out for fear of getting you or loved ones sick.
Between working your office job from home, performing regular household duties (i.e. meal planning, laundry, cleaning, etc.) and helping your kids prepare for finals, there’s much more responsibilities to juggle these days. And if that wasn’t enough, you might also be dealing with stress and anxiety of what may lie ahead.
So, how do you find the right balance? The good news is you’re not alone, and despite the nagging voice in your head, you’re doing a great job! The key to better mental health and wellness is finding coping techniques that allow you to stay positive, keep focused, and set realistic goals you can complete by the end of each day.
Tips for Staying Focused While Working at Home
In addition to helping you stay focused at home, your kids can also benefit from the following tips. It’s likely they’re experiencing a similar anxiety to stay productive and finish the end of the semester strong. Together, you can practice these strategies to find balance.
Block Out Distractions: There’s many ways to achieve this step, and it will depend on the types of distractions you get throughout the day. For example, your company may rely on Gchat, Slack, iMessage, or a different communication platform to stay in touch, share info, submit ideas, etc. These tools are helpful, but they’re also incredibly distracting. You may, for example, begin work on a project, and at the corner of your eye spot an incoming message on one of your open tabs. Try as you might to block it out mentally, the constant flashing of a new message is hard to ignore.
- Tip: Silence the notifications on your phone, email, instant messaging tools, social media pages, etc. for a specific period of time. If you have a project scheduled to work on for 2 hours, be sure to mark off that time in your calendar and mute all electronic notifications, so you can focus on the task in front of you.
Stick to a Routine: Many of us crave routine to stay focused. Though you may be staying at home for the majority of the day, having a routine that gets you up and moving around will ensure you don’t feel overwhelmed or sit at your desk without regular breaks and physical activities throughout the day.
- Tip: Try packing lunches at night to enjoy the following day; take half hour breaks in the late mornings and afternoons to go for a walk, clean the house, listen to music, or run an errand; schedule regular bedtimes and wake ups for your kids; or plan study sessions throughout the week.
Keep Work Hours the Same: While working from home and simultaneously managing household tasks, it’s easy to put in more than an average 8-hour workday. In fact, if you’re running around getting the kids ready for their next lesson, studying with them, or preparing their meals, you might feel that you’re neglecting your office tasks and decide to work late nights to make up the difference.
- Tip: Plan out your 8-hour workday (always remember to schedule breaks in-between), and when you reach your maximum hours, shut down your computer and call it a day. Depending on your career, you might even be able to work out a schedule with your boss that allows you to clock in earlier or later in the day to suit your new schedule.
Need More Tips for Staying Productive at Home
For more ideas and tips on how to stay focused at home with your kids, job, and other essential tasks, check out our blog that highlights the Four C’s of COVID-19. For ongoing support during this pandemic and throughout your wellness journey, we invite you to connect with our team at The Calli Institute to learn more about our Telehealth services, including individual therapy, couples therapy, family therapy, and more!
If there is one thing we’ve learned during this pandemic, it’s that so many people around us are resilient and courageous, especially parents. But what we must always remember is that we’re all in this together, and it’s okay to ask for help when you need to find the right balance.