The perfect work/life balance is an infamously elusive concept. And, when it comes to school holidays, lockdown, and working from home; that glimmering, magazine-ready concept suddenly seems even less of a possibility than the pet Unicorn your kids keep putting on their Christmas lists. But, as we’re sure you’re frequently told, even Unicorns exist somewhere – you just have to have a little faith to find them.
Here’s a little round-up of the ideas we rely on for keeping the peace in our own homes. Just in case you do happen to run out of faith, trust or pixie dust.
Expect the worst.
Perhaps not the most positive note to start on, but planning for the worst is a skill that’s applicable to both business and parenting. If you get a few minutes alone, spend some time planning ahead of schedule. Do as much as you can in advance, even if that is as simple as organising your paperwork, or cooking a few meals for the freezer. You might not need it, but if you have to deal with a toddler tantrum or a severe bout of teenage angst, you’ll appreciate the helping hand. Thanks, past self.
Take a break.
We know that it’s a little harder at the minute. With lockdown, homeschooling and working from home – two separate parts of our lives have suddenly been thrown together, with varying results. If you’re finding it difficult to separate the two, try finding something that allows for a clear, distinct break. If you’ve finished work for the day, why not round up the kids and go for a short walk or a drive. It’ll feel a little fresher when you re-enter the house ready for your evening routine. And, if they’re reluctant to get out the house, there’s always an option for a cuppa on the doorstep.
Bring the kids to ‘work’.
Chances are, it’s hard to get anything done if you’re working from home with a house full of little ones. They’re curious too, which often means countless questions and paws on your paperwork. So, get them involved. If you’re creative, why not draw up some templates, so they can help you with some ‘designs.’ If you offer teaching or training services, get them to come up with a game and ‘train’ you how to play it. Developer? Get them code-cracking. And, if you’re an accountant like us? Maths problems. They’ll soon get bored, realise work isn’t so interesting after all, and hopefully give you some peace.
Find some family time.
It’s very easy to forget how wonderful your family really are. And when you’ve been cooped up together for four months, it’s even easier. Try to create some quality time together. Pick a particular day or night, and make it a weekly family event. Put your work things away, and watch a film, play a game or go for a day trip. If you’ve got a full brood, create a rota in advance, and the kids can take turns picking what to do each week. It might only be a few hours a week, but it’ll help relieve some of those rising tensions and make you appreciate family time again.
Look after yourself.
Our emotions are more balanced when we look after ourselves, stress is easier to manage, and we think a little clearer, yet how many of us can say we’re really paying attention? Why not take a ‘SEET.’
S – Sleep – are you getting enough, or too much?
E – Eating – are you eating the right amount of the right foods?
E – Exercise – are you moving your body a few times a week? (even if it is just a dance party in your kitchen)
T – Tablets – if you’re on any sort of medication, make sure you’re taking the right amount, at the right time, and no forgetting!
If you enjoyed this, you may also enjoy:
- How To Find Your Focus When Working From Home
- Self Care Tips for the Self-Employed
- How To Start A Business From the Comfort of Your Home