Make the Most of Back to School When You Work at Home
It’s back to school time. My two older kids have been back for a couple of days and I’m still getting used to the routine. In fact, I’m working on a new one, adding in more specific fitness time and fun time for my youngest. Of course, I also want more work time. These hours with fewer kids are something any work at home parent should take advantage of.
Start the Day Well
I’m lucky. My school is walking distance, as in takes less time to walk there than to load the kids, drive there, find a parking space and unload the kids. Like most schools, the first few days are the worst for drop off, with cars parking almost up to my house. Of course we walk.
This is a great time to make sure that my day gets off to a good start. I’m up, out and about. Perfect time to take a longer walk, so I go around the school block, which is about 1.3 miles, almost entirely on a hill. Downhill is pretty easy, but that uphill is on the steep side. Not San Francisco steep, but respectable enough.
I’m alternating this with walking my toddler to the playground. It’s a longer walk total, but with the playground time I get a good break between sections. She loves the time there, as she’s well aware that there’s a playground at the school, and she’s not allowed to use it. Giving her time to play outside while the day isn’t too hot helps tire her a little too.
This is a great way to get the day going if you want to be sure to include exercise in your daily routine. It’s nice to get it done before the day gets hot or you get too involved in work and suddenly realize you forgot to exercise again.
If the weather isn’t right, you can simply play with any kids you still have at home. Give them some attention before you get busy with work.
Plan Your Day
One of the things I do early each day is a bit of marketing work. It may be link building or other very basic marketing activities. Nothing too intense at this point, because I have a toddler who demands attention at random intervals, so I want these times to be work which I can leave and come back to easily.
As my littlest one naps while her siblings are at school, that’s perfect serious work time. Time to work on video marketing, article writing, anything which requires focus and/or quiet.
After the kids get back from school, it’s back to less focused work for me, if I do much at all. There’s homework to be dealt with most days, plus talking about their day, things like that. Things aren’t always terribly productive later in the day for me, up until the kids are in bed, at which point I may choose to work again on things that require more focus, assuming I have the energy.
Your own schedule may well vary from mine. You could get up before the rest of your family because you’re more productive in the early mornings, a thought which makes me (a night owl) shudder. If it works for you, make the most of it.
If all your kids are in school, you probably have a good number of solid work hours, and you should really take advantage of them. Get away from distractions as best you can and get some work done.
I suggest you have at least enough of a schedule to ensure that you do all the things you need to get done every day. If you have a home business, be sure you include some marketing activities every day, for example. If you have a work at home job, see how much you can get done with the kids out of the way.
A to do list or a written out schedule may help. Think about what you need to get done each day and write it down. If you like schedules, estimate the time you’ll need for each and what time you will work on it. Do something so that you’re accountable to yourself at the very least.
Don’t Overdo Activities
Some kids love to be signed up for all sorts of activities, and back to school is a big time to hear about activities to sign up for, clubs to join and so forth. If you have to take your child to a lot of activities, you may be eating into your own work hours or your child’s homework or relaxation time, both important.
Same goes for you, of course. Don’t give yourself more work than you can handle. Work hard, yes. Overwork, no. We all need time to rest and clear our heads.