Summer was full of slow mornings and lots of free play time. Or it was full of boredom complaints and snack demands. Either way, the kids are back to school! And now mompreneurs and work-at-home moms everywhere will have All the Time to be productive!
Somehow, that’s not quite how it works out. It’s the “Kids at School” Time Myth.
The bus comes at 8 am and they are at school and out of the house until they return at 3:00. That is so much time to get work done! Then why doesn’t any significant work get done?
We forgot to factor in all of the other things that come along with the school year that suck up our time. First and foremost, paperwork! How do such small humans bring home that amount of paperwork nearly everyday? Once the initial paperwork is finished, then it’s the homework. Neither of these components were part of your daily summer routine.
Then there’s the meal planning because now you have to send your kids to school with lunch! And you need to think about it more than five minutes before lunch when you throw some veggies and ranch along with some sandwiches on the table. And of course the activities start now, too. So 3:00 is just the start of a whole other work day in which you get to play taxi for soccer, football, dance, Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts, music lessons, and the list can go on and on and on.
The kids may be out of the house for a longer period of time, but there are also additional tasks and responsibilities that come along with this time of year that make it all too easy to tell yourself you’ll get to your own work “later.” Moreover, since the kids aren’t home as much as they may have been all summer, when they are at home, they want and need more of your focused time and attention.
So how do you stay productive in your work and manage your family and home during the back-to-school transition?
The best way to start is to be intentional about focused time and multitasked time.
Let’s face it: we can’t be extremely focused all the time. We also can’t (and shouldn’t) multitask all the time. Our culture advocates for almost constant multitasking even though plenty of psychological and scientific research shows that it is not the most productive manner of working.
But sometimes it is necessary. If you aren’t intentional about when to choose each type of time and task management, you will find yourself trying to multitask with tasks that need true concentration and attempting to focus on a task when it’s clear all you have time for at the moment is multitasking.
Ultimately, you have to decide what tasks need your undivided attention, but in terms of optimizing how you can rock your business AND nurture your family, consider these thoughts…
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