Switching to a full-time, work-from-home reality has been a challenge for all of us. But for those of us with kids, there’s added pressure, chaos and stress. Finding a balance between getting your work done and being there for your kids can be incredibly tough.  

If you’re struggling to find your groove, here are a few tips and tricks to help set you up for success (or at least make things a bit more manageable).

 

Create a schedule and communicate
If you’re working from home with a partner, see if you can do “shift scheduling.” Try to flex your schedule where one of you works while the other spends time with the kids. Can you split up the day into 2- or 3-hour blocks? Or does it make more sense to do a morning and afternoon shift?  

If you’re a morning person, beat the kids out of bed and tackle your inbox. If you’re a night owl, use the time after the kids are in bed to finish your to-do list.

Once you’ve set your schedule, keep everyone at home and work in the loop. Setting expectations and staying in communication will help make the transition easier.

 

Separate your workspace
It might be tempting to set up shop at the kitchen counter, but chances are you won’t get much work done. Create a dedicated workspace away from all the commotion, so you can focus when needed.  Also, noise-cancelling headphones are a great way to block out the background noise.

 

Prioritize your work
With less time to accomplish the same amount of work, prioritization is key. Set aside 15 minutes at the end of each workday to put together a priority list for the next day. Throughout the day, focus on your list as much as you can. If you have time left over, tackle the other to-dos that may have come up.

 

Be flexible
Interruptions will happen. Meetings will change. And tensions even may run high. No matter how much you’ve planned, there will be conference calls that you have to miss and projects that you need to put on the back burner. Just do your best.

If I’ve learned anything over the past few weeks, it’s to go with the flow, prioritize and enjoy the little things.

Case in point, this article was written over the course of three days — instead of a few hours — because, well, kids