My Game Plan for a Successful School Year Working from Home

By Angela Caban

I have spent the entire summer mastering my work from home schedule. Keeping my two kids occupied, planning day trips while I worked by the pool, getting lunch served in the middle of a work call - I have it all under control!

So what's the issue?

As I stare at the calendar, the countdown begins. Only 19 days left before school starts and this means shifting my schedule - again. When you work from home, yes you are a bit more flexible, but making changes to your schedule means sticking to it. And let's be real for a moment, even the most organized person can cringe at the thought of needing to adjust their already functioning schedule.

This year, things will be different. My 4 year old daughter will going back to pre-school, but this time for 5 full days! I won't have my little office helper with me throughout this time, which means more time for un-interrupted work, but it also means more structure is needed to get her fully adjusted. So this will surely mean getting myself organized and ready to go before school is back in session.

My brain is brewing a game plan I need to share with others. Want to know? I am warning you, the brain of a highly organized person can get scary at times, so enter at your own risk...

So, here’s my game plan…

-Get sleep. I don't mind waking up early; however, I am the type of person who needs a minimum of six hours of sleep in order to function in the morning. No amount of coffee will keep me from looking and feeling like an extra from the set of The Walking Dead. I have learned the hard way that sleep helps me function better as a parent and a professional. I know what my body needs, and I listen.

-Focus on work, not chores. I struggle with this the most. I just can't pass by a sink full of dishes and not clean them. This then turns into cleaning out the pantry, followed by a quick mopping of the floors, and ending in the folding of laundry. Where did three hours just go? This year I plan on sticking to my schedule, and saving the chores for after, when the work has been completed. Optimizing the quiet time might just mean I get done with my work more quickly. That’s a win!

-Take a break when the kids get home. This is one that I have done since my son was in kindergarten. I tend to work until around 5 or 6, so when my son would get home, this was a perfect time to break and unwind with him for a bit. Snack time, homework, a bit of play and getting dinner started. This was always a prime time to connect and I am looking forward to incorporating my daughter into this routine as well.

-Stay flexible. Working from home, you have to expect some setbacks - especially when children are involved. Illnesses will happen, snow days, school closings – adjustments to my schedule will continue to be made. Instead of getting stressed out over the little things I can’t control, I will allow myself to be flexible, learn from past mistakes and in the process will see what works best for not only me – but my family.

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