The thought of home-schooling whilst trying to work is a new experience for me. I started my business in June 2020, by then my children were back to school, albeit part-time. I have thought a lot about how I will manage to support my children, whilst completing client work that I have committed to, on top of continuing to grow my business.
It is going to be difficult but I can try and do things to make it hopefully run a little smoother.
My top tips of managing this difficult situation for anyone trying to work from home (whether it be for your own business or as an employee) are:
– inform your boss or clients of your situation to make them aware that you may be slower at completing the tasks or responding to emails.
– set yourself achievable deadlines.
– If you have online meetings scheduled in, make the delegates aware that you have your children at home and you may be disturbed or that there may be some background noise.
– plan as much as you can for the week ahead but don’t put too much pressure on yourself.
– meal plan and prepare lunch boxes with plenty of snacks for your children to avoid the constant “I am hungry” conversation(s).
– Lay the table the night before with the relevant pens, paper, laptop charger etc.
– Ensure that you have enough plain and lined paper, colouring pens and pencils and computer ink.
– Prioritise and see what can be pushed back to a later date.
– outsource, whether it is doing an online food shop instead of having to physically go to the shop, hiring an accountant or Virtual Assistant etc.
– ensure you allocate breaks for yourself in your day.
– if you find that you get distracted easily with social media (I do!) maybe allocate times during the day when you can check your social media.
– have back up work for the children (there are lots available online) just in-case there is an issue one day accessing the work (if it is based online).
– if the work sent from the school is worksheet based, print it in advance and label each worksheet with what day it needs to be completed.
– allocate a box/drawer/area for each child so that they know where all their home-schooling equipment/work is.
For me, even housework is an extra chore to have to add to the equation. In general, I list what needs doing and I do a few bits each day. I load my washing machine the evening before, so it is ready for me to put on first thing in the morning.
It may sound like a simple and obvious thing but don’t forget the importance of giving yourself some time out too and don’t forget to drink lots of water to keep hydrated.
Remember that a lot will be trial and error and what works for one won’t necessarily work for everyone. All we can do is try our best and each day/ week may work differently.