The kids are screaming because they are on school holidays. The parents are screaming because they are not. We know the juggle and feel the struggle, so we are here to help! Here are our top tips to support you in getting work done with the little ones on school holidays.
1. Discuss your situation with your Manager
Explain the circumstances to your Manager and find an effective solution. Working from Home or a hybrid model may work well for you. Many Manager’s perceptions of productivity have changed due to COVID, with the realization that Teams can work just as efficiently from home. Find an appropriate compromise and prove its effectiveness. This will make things much easier when trying to solve the same problem next year.
2. Set up a designated workspace, preferably one with a door…
One end of the kitchen table or a random desk in the living room is asking for trouble. Create a space that inspires you to want to go there each and every day. If you have to sit there for 8 hours, its gotta be good.
We also recommend a door as it acts as both physical barrier between you and the kids, and a barrier between the work and play mindset. Depending on what side of the door you are in will dictate what you are doing, making it easier to compartmentalise and focus on the important tasks. For inspiration on work spaces, listen to our Podcast episode with She Creates Co.
3. Plan activities that do not require supervision
Jumping on the trampoline is probably not the best activity for the kids when you have work to do. Plan low-risk, indoor activities when you have big ticket items to complete, such as meetings and conference calls. You could then complete monotonous tasks whilst sitting on your back patio as they bounce on the trampoline.
4. Schedule your breaks to move kids between activities
Unless you have an angel child, I imagine their attention span is abysmal. However, there may be a way around this, by using timing your breaks to move them between activities. A 10-minute break snacking on a museli bar could also be multi-tasked with moving the kids from the colouring-in table to the couch. A lunch break could be aligned with a quick trip to the park to burn some energy. Get creative!
5. Create hard exits for your work
Once that office door is shut, you are off duty. Shut down the computer, turn off email notifications on your phone and enjoy some quality time with your little family. This will also minimise working parent guilt, as the time spent with your family is uninterrupted and all about them.
Have a safe and happy Holidays!