The Best Daily Routine For a Work From Home Parent
Working from home is one of the best things in the world. You get to set your own schedule, you don't have to commute, and you can wear sweatpants all day if you want. But working from home can also be really isolating and stressful if it's not done right—especially since so many work-from-home parents (and non-parents) have limited funds for childcare or other types of help with their kids after school. So it's important that you have a routine that makes sure both your family and career are taken care of every day.
Here are some tips for creating a healthy routine for yourself:
Create a home-office routine
If you work from home, it's important to create a routine that will help keep your mind focused and free of distractions. You can do this by setting aside specific times each day for working. For example:
Start work at 9am and finish at 5pm every weekday (or whatever works best for your schedule)
Set aside one day per week as a "free day" where nothing gets done except relaxing or doing errands (this helps maintain balance in life)
You'll also want to make sure that before starting work each day:
You have everything on hand that will be needed during the next few hours (i.e., pens/pencils/paperclips/etc.; snacks; water bottle)
Take care of your health and well-being
It's easy to get caught up in work and forget about yourself.
Exercise, eat healthy, and get enough sleep.
Take time to relax every day (even if it's only 15 minutes). This could include meditation, yoga or stretching--whatever works best for you!
Get outside at least once per day (this can be a quick walk) so that you can breathe fresh air and enjoy some nature while getting away from your computer screen!
Find some me time
It can be difficult to find time to do something you enjoy when you're a parent, especially if the kids are young. But it's important that you do so. A little bit of me time can go a long way toward making sure that your day is more productive and less stressful.
If it helps, try scheduling an hour each evening where you have no responsibilities other than yourself: no laundry or dishes or errands or cooking dinner--just some quiet time for yourself in which you can relax and recharge before bedtime rolls around again. You might decide that reading books with your child(ren) is something fun for all involved; maybe yoga works better for relaxing than jogging; maybe listening to music while cooking dinner relaxes both of them (and possibly even helps them eat their vegetables). The point isn't necessarily what activity takes place during this period of unstructured playtime--it's just about finding an opportunity every day where parents get some undivided attention from one another without any distractions from outside sources (such as smartphones).
Relax in bed with a good book or movie
When you're done with your day and ready to go to bed, make sure that you get a good amount of relaxation time. Relaxing helps your body recharge so that it can function at its best the next day.
If possible, take some time before going to bed just for yourself--no kids or partner around! Here are some ideas:
Read a book or magazine (or whatever else strikes your fancy) in bed while drinking tea or coffee (this is my favorite).
Do some stretching exercises while lying down on the floor next to your bed (it's great because there's no risk of falling off).
Watch an episode or two from one of those shows where people renovate houses/gardens/etc., but not until after 8 p.m., because these shows tend toward violence and drama which can be really hard on our brains if watched too late at night!
Even if you work from home, it's important to have a routine that makes you feel good when you're done working each day. A routine will help your mind stay fresh and focused, which in turn makes it easier for you to be productive. It also helps keep things organized so that when it comes time to get back into the office or go on vacation or whatever else life throws at us, we won't be completely overwhelmed by all of the things we still need to do before leaving our house behind for a few days (or weeks).
In other words: having an evening routine can save your sanity!
As a work from home parent, it can be hard to find the time and energy for yourself. But if you don't take care of yourself first, then how can you take care of anyone else? It's important to have an evening routine that makes you feel good when it's over--and that doesn't necessarily mean spending hours at the gym or getting lost in social media!
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