This is one of those occasional guest posts that pop up from time to time. I know many parents are spread thin, and simply get through each day. While these tips may seem straightforward, repetition on any good lessons are a good thing. They’re tips that I implement regularly, chores, planning, finding space. And as far as finding time goes, I usually use the fall daylight savings time to find an extra hour for productive use. Enjoy.
Have kids, they said, it would be fun, they said. When you’re a first-time parent, getting into the role can be somewhat of a nightmare, no matter how many books you’ve read and how much advice you get. The truth is that when children come, our lives irreversibly change, and often we need some time to let that sink in.
Being productive and getting things done while having young children easily becomes a daunting task, but it can be done if you are willing to commit yourself to it, instead of handling things as you go and forgetting to breathe in the meantime. Of course, you will have to be ready for some impromptu problem solving, but once you’ve completely accepted that parent is who you are now, everything will run smoother. We’ll share with you some pointers on how to be more productive parents, which will in the long run make both you and your children happier.
Planning Is Your Best Friend
Maybe thus far you’ve been an adventurer, who always liked to do things in the spur of a moment, but those days are now behind you (at least for a while). Having a baby or small children in the house means you need a strategy and a schedule to keep everything under control, unless you want to lose your head. You and your children need to know exactly when will what happen in the household and make preparations accordingly.
This means, getting up and going to sleep at the same time, having meals at the same time, having naps at the same time, playing and tidying up at the same time, everything needs to have its timeslot. We’re not saying this schedule will be easy to keep in the beginning and kids will fuss, but as time goes by, your family will develop an inner clock that will work very well. Of course, leave some leeway and don’t freak out if things do go according to plan every day, but do your best to stick to it as much as you can.
Don’t Succumb To Clutter
If you’ve seen one house with small children, you’ve seen them all. Unless you’ve got super powers, things will be everywhere and you will find things you didn’t know you had, because a big part of tending to a child happens in a sort of a blur. Your house being a mess will happen from time to time, but strive for it to be an exception from the rule instead of the chaos being the rule.
Here, things are very simple – get rid of anything and everything you or your family don’t need or use. You don’t want anything unnecessary getting under your feet while you’re balancing laundry in your arms and you don’t want your child to trip over something. Keep the essentials of course, but know when it’s high time to get rid of something. Also, try to find a place for every item, so that when someone takes it, they know where to return it.
The Whole Household Should Take Care Of The House
Of course your babies can’t get their toys in order, but as they grow up, don’t be afraid to let them do things on their own. Teach them how important it is to get everything back where they found it and how to do deal with responsibility by assigning them with small tasks. It will be extremely beneficial for them and it will make your life easier too.
Naturally, your spouse should do chores too or at least take some part in them. Don’t burden yourself with doing it all on your own, because being a martyr won’t do you any good, your productivity will drop and you’ll be stuck in a vicious circle. This way, when everybody does their part, you will have more time to play with your children, do some work, read a book or take a nap, for that matter.
Get Rid Of Distractions
This goes for whenever you’re trying to be productive, and especially when every minute is precious. If you’re working from home, then you must enter hyper-productive mode whenever your children are asleep or are otherwise entertained. More and more parents are managing to make money and take good care of their children, but you have to be smart about your time, this means no time for distractions whatsoever.
If you think you’ve earned to spend an hour browsing through 9gag, you’re probably right, but doing that will set your productivity back by a mile and you can’t get that hour back. There are some excellent plugins that deal with distractions and limit your time on websites you think are most distracting to you. Also, getting a handy VPN might not be a bad idea, because it will protect you from all sorts of ads that draw your attention and provide you with an excuse to postpone work just a little longer. The sooner you realize just how invaluable every minute of your time is, the sooner your productivity will improve and after that you won’t need any app to limit you, you’ll be able to manage your time without any problem.
Work And Play Don’t Mix Well
This goes out to all those work-at-home parents that are constantly juggling their children, their home and their work in a one-(wo)man-act – do one thing at a time. Yes, this sounds impossible when you’ve got crying children screaming for attention and your deadline was yesterday, but go back to the first advice we talked about – plan carefully.
First, think if you’re setting yourself with too much to do in day, which means you’re setting yourself up to failure. Prioritize and then prioritize again and only what makes the final cut is worth your time. Second, when you’re playing with your children, do that and nothing else and when they’re asleep, you can get some work into the equation. Finally, start getting up earlier to be one step in front of the whole household, so that you can sort out breakfast, make a schedule for the day and maybe even squeeze in some exercise.
Never Forget About Yourself
Yes, this is about “me time”… Which you have to have… No matter how complicated it is to incorporate it into the schedule. You will have periods when you’ll forget to eat and sleep because too much is going on, but having some time for yourself is paramount if you want to stay sane. Moreover, you don’t want to become unsatisfied with your way of life and relinquish all you are, because it will reflect poorly on your family relations, as well as your relationship with yourself and that never, ever ends well.
About the author:
Adam Ferraresi is 23 years old, but he first became interested in writing when he was in high school. Today he’s a successful web developer living in Dallas, Texas, and one of the most trusted writers at wefollowtech.com. In his free time, he’s an avid mountain climber and enjoys playing basketball with his friends.