Everyone is living a new normal right now. The typical “going back to school doesn’t exist”. Many of our kids are home-schooling or virtual learning and we are also working from home or handling the kids while our spouses goes off to work. Don’t worry, I am in the same boat as you.
It can seem practically impossible to juggle the many hats we have to wear throughout the day. Now is not the time to lose our heads, now is the time to be extremely focused and organized if we are going to make it through back to school season with our well being. There are also ways to manage your time more effectively, to read more click here.
I have collected 25 tips to stay organized through COVID, homeschooling, and working from home. I hope this helps you be more production then you ever have before.
Tip #1: Have a designated place to do work.
Have a spare room or a room you don’t use very often? You can make that your designated place to do work and school. If you have a child that is not of school age then create a place where they can play, explore and be creative without destroying the place.
Or, you may want a separate place for you to work and your kids to do their school work. If they are home schooling or schooling from home due to COVID it may be better to have independent work spaces.. Either way find a place where you and your kids can be most productive and know when they are in this space they should be working on their specific tasks.
Tip #2: Create a routine
It is important to have a morning routine and a night routine. This will take some time but once the kids and you have your routine down pact, you will never go back.
Example of a morning routine:
-waking up at the same time each day
-brushing your teeth and or taking a shower
-putting on clothes
-gathering materials for the day
-being in place to clock in or attend class
Example of a Night Routine:
-brushing teeth/ taking a shower
-Putting on pajamas
-Reading a book for 30 minutes
-Laying down in the bed
-Sleeping at the same time each night
Of course you and your child’s routine will be slightly different depending on what works best for your family. Routines are extremely important for getting everyone on the same track and helping kids know what to expect each morning and night.
Tip #3: Use organization systems
There are so many organization systems out there that help keep your belongings organized and readily available to you. When your home is organized you feel so much better about yourself and your life.
You are able to find the resources you need easily and don’t waste time finding a pencil for your son’s math class. When you have a system in place your kids won’t have to bother you with request for paper and markers the next time they have a project and your in an important meeting!
Tip #4: Use a planner or calendar
A planner can be your best friend. There are so many planners for all situations. There are work planners, meal prep planners, school planners, etc. I’m sure you can find one your looking for here. Calendars are also a good way to track your progress throughout the week and stay up to date with things to do.
Tip #5: Create a budget
I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, when your finances are right everything is tight. Meaning, when you don’t have to worry about your budget or finances it leaves room to be organized and productive in other areas of your life.
If you are pregnant and worried about how to budget for a newborn use my financial budgeter for free!
Tip #6: Set Alarms/ reminders
You can also set alarms on your phone for other task and reminders you need throughout the day. If your kids are changing classes online, make a reminder to make sure they are in the right class at the right time. Let technology do the work for you!
Tip #7: Create Goals
Get a white board and write down you and your kids goals for the day. This could be one big thing such as study for test. Or multiple small task such as reply to important email from customer, read 20 pages of my new book, and cook a nutritious dinner.
Just have your goals somewhere extremely visible and actionable.
Tip #8: Get enough sleep
This is so important! When you are tired you make horrible decisions! It is nearly impossible to be organized when your brain isn’t working properly.
Make sure you and the kids get a at least 8 hours of sleep each night to keep your brain functioning at tip top shape.
Tip #9: Have a place for everything
Everything should be in its place. It is so easy to get side tracked and just throw your clothes in the middle of the floor never to be picked up again but when you have organizational structures in place it makes it a lot easier to stay focused and informed.
You also don’t waste mindless hours trying to figure out where to put your earrings.
Tip #10: Make a plan for if things go wrong
Always have a back up plan. What happens if your child opens their laptop and it has to update for 30 minutes. Do you have a tablet or phone they can use with all the apps they need downloaded?
What happens if your newborn has a complete blow out 5 minutes before you were supposed to be on a call? Have you already filled your co-worker in on your part of the presentation?
Planning for the unexpected is a sure fire way to stay ahead of the curve.
Tip #11: Use the weekend to reorganize and reset
You have to take a break sometime. You have to take a moment to relax and unwind. Go for a hike, go swimming, maybe a little retail therapy. Do something to decompress from the week and put your mind at ease.
Think about what you want to achieve in the coming week and what you need to do to reach those goals.
Tip #12: Meal Prep
When I tell you this concept changed my life. When I started meal prepping, I realized I spent way too much time figuring out what to eat every day.
Try to cook majority of your meals on Sunday. Cooking dinner after a hectic day is the last thing you should have to worry about. Meal prepping also prepares you to eat healthy balanced meals instead of trying to make quick unhealthy decisions..
Tip #13: Use Time Blocking
Time blocking is a method used by many productive people. It is the idea of spending chunks of your time focusing on one task. This takes organization in and of itself.
As mothers we want to be multi taskers and do everything at once, but in doing everything you usually wind up doing nothing.
Tip# 14: Get dressed every day
I know this is very difficult to do some days when you think about the fact that you’re just going down stairs.
This will really help children get into the mindset that it is time to work and start the day. Even if you don’t feel like you need to put on pants, be an example for your little ones.
Tip #15: Eliminate Distractions
This is so hard to do. There are so many things in this world that can distract you from your daily tasks.
Try to put down your phone, cut off the tv, and get that bag of chips out of your hand!
Now more than ever is the time to focus on accomplishing everything we ever dreamed of. You can’t do that with all of the background noise.
Tip #16: Pick out clothes the night before
I learned this very quickly after spending literally 20-30 minutes everyday just trying to figure out what I was going to wear for the day.
If you pick out your outfit the night before you will feel so at ease and feel so much more confident the next day knowing you already made the right decision.
Tip #17: Put things back where they go
This is crucial. Getting into the habit of putting things back where you got them can save so much time and energy in the long run. Try to clean up and put away things throughout the day so it won’t be overwhelming after things start piling up. When your house isn’t organized your mind isn’t organized.
Tip #18: Declutter regularly
Along with putting your belongings back where they go. Set a routine for decluttering your house and car.
Maybe the first Saturday of every month is decluttering day. Donate things that you don’t need and reorganize as necessary. We can easily get bogged down with mess in our life.
Make an effort to keep your home as clear as possible if not just for your own sanity!
Tip #19: Create a To-do List
Make a list the night before for the next day. Make a list of 5-7 things you want to accomplish.
I would advise not putting more than 7. If your list is too long, you run the risk of feeling overwhelmed and it defeats the satisfaction of checking items off the list.
Tip #20: Take a break and take your time
Take time to relax and reflect. Get your thoughts together and refresh your mind throughout the day.
You should take breaks every 2 hours to stand up and walk around. Get your blood pumping again.
Take a walk outside and get some Vitamin D. Give your eyes a break from screen time and shake off the monotony of the day.
Tip #21: Reward your kids for staying organized
Give your kids something to look forward to for staying organized during the week. Maybe go to one of their favorite places or get them a special desert and tell them how important it is to stay organized and orderly so they can be productive every day.
Tip #22: Eliminate distractions
We are all so connected at all times, but when it’s time to work, it’s time to work. Put your phones on silent, turn off any electronics you are not using and focus.
This can also be other distractions such as: emails that are not important, online shopping, or being hungry.
When you have other things on your mind it is hard to hone in on what’s important and what will cause you to be more productive.
Tip #23: Use sticky notes
I love this one. Sticky notes are my favorite for reminders and affirmations. Put them on your mirror or laptop to make note of what is important to you.
I would even put my favorite quotes or bible verses on sticky notes so I can see them everyday and give myself a confidence boost.
You can also use them in your organization system as labelers. Sticky notes are so versatile.
Tip#24: Create a cleaning schedule
Just like your decluttering schedule, make a schedule for cleaning. Maybe you clean a different room every other day or use one day a week to clean everything.
Whichever schedule works for you do it and stay consistent!
Tip #25: Create a routine around your kids schedule
Sometimes this is not 100% possible. However, make an effort to create your work times around times your kids are sleep or working themselves.
If you have a newborn don’t plan meetings during the same time they usually feed or play, wait until they nap or have time in the swing or bouncer.
If you have older kids plan meetings during times they are doing their work not during their lunch time or breaks. Create a schedule that benefits all parties involved. Trust me you’ll be a lot happier.
I hope some of these ideas help you stay organized while working from home with kids. We are all struggling to make it work during this trying time. Leave a comment with some ideas that are working for you and your family.
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