Juggling work and school can be hard enough but when you add additional responsibilities into the mix (like overseeing your children’s homeschooling) it can become almost overwhelming. While it can be hard to study with distractions, having a plan can help you get things done more effectively.
- Create a Family Schedule
You probably have a routine in place. And while most households fall into some rhythm, there may be room for improvement. With the potential for chaos all around you, think through your routine and formalize it into a schedule. Identify priority tasks and activities and then set strict hours around them. For example, set a time for you and your kids to do schoolwork. If you are working outside the home or remotely, work school time around that schedule. And, be sure to find time for essential household chores so that they do not build up and become overwhelming.
- Manage Your Time
Schedules only work if you stick to them. When you carve out time for studying, take steps to be as productive as possible. Know what you need to accomplish before you sit down. Then take steps to help improve your focus, such as using the “Do Not Disturb” features on your phone or computer. If you find that the schedule you have mapped out does not work, reexamine it and make adjustments where they are needed.
- Get Help
If You CanIf you are married or have a roommate, make sure you are both on the same page regarding expectations. You may need to set some boundaries around work hours, taking turns taking care of the kids and sharing household chores, like cooking. If you are a single parent, reach out to those around you. In these times of social distancing, it will be more challenging to get some help at home, but you may be able to involve your children in these routine activities. Or ask a friend or grandparent to set up a Zoom story hour with your kids so you can fit in some study time.
- Have a Dedicated School Space
One of the ways you can help yourself focus during your school sessions is to have a particular space in which to study. Imagine how your attitude transitions when you go into the school or workplace. New surroundings indicate that it is time to learn or work. If you have a room or even a dedicated corner, transform it into your working spot. And take steps to make it quiet, even if that means wearing a headset when you are in the zone.
- Take Breaks
With so much on your plate, burnout is a risk. Even though it may feel as though you do not have time, it is important to take regular breaks to recharge. Stay-at-home orders may limit what you can do but getting outside into nature can be cathartic. Schedule an afternoon or evening walk. Even brief breaks can help improve your focus.
Juggling school, work, and family is challenging, but it is worth the effort. Keep focusing on your goals think of the work you do every day that is bringing you one step closer to achieving them.