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If you answered yes, you might be a parent of school-aged children who are now back at school. Many people juggle work commitments and childcare duties during school holidays. Often resulting in parents that are distracted and much less productive. By the end of school holidays many parents feel guilty and frustrated at not having done either job to the best of their capacity.

5 tips for parents wanting to improve productivity

The benefits of flexible work arrangements can’t be denied. Nowadays more of us have the luxury of greater autonomy over how we manage our time. However, this privilege can turn into a curse if we wind up blending our professional and personal lives to an unhealthy degree.

1. Be prepared

This advice rings true for most facets of life. There’s no doubt that being organised and prepared is a pathway to success. When it comes to school holidays here are some ways you can help your time management: 
– Arrange holiday camp days for activities your kids enjoy, such as art, tennis and soccer. It helps if they have friends attending the same camps so check in with other parents.

– Do additional work in advance of the holidays to free up time you can spend with your child/children.

– Plan which days and times will be work-focused and which will be child-focussed.

2. Write prioritised to do lists daily

This is one of the best productivity life hacks. It’s a simple habit to establish but it will make a significant difference in your time management and productivity. Write a list of what you need to do, then select the three most important tasks and make sure that they get done. Follow this method daily and you’ll find you greatly alleviate stress and achieve more.

3.   Compartmentalise

Multi-tasking is a myth. Numerous research has shown that our productivity levels are significantly reduced when we swap between activities rather than sticking to tasks for longer periods. If you’re trying to work with your children in your care, then your productivity will take a massive hit. In order to achieve everything you need to while juggling competing demands you need to allocate your time effectively. 

4. Outsource

There are not enough hours in the day. Or so it can seem. There’s no way to change this but we can essentially gain more time by outsourcing certain tasks. Depending on your circumstances, this may include hiring another staff member, a gardener or a cleaner for your home. If you can afford to, it’s well worth identifying areas that you would like to outsource.

5. Set goals

Showing up and working hard is much easier when you have a clear vision for what you want to achieve in life. Setting goals helps establish what you value and what you need to prioritise daily. When we have clarity about our purpose we are more productive and driven.