I’ve been a stay at home parent for six months now and it’s hard work, schlepping two kids to and from school, shopping, cleaning and money management. These are the top five things that mess me up
Trap number 1: Poor Prioritisation.
Lots of tasks at home, with no supervision and plenty of distractions.
I’ll just have a coffee and surf,
hmmm! a cuppa and wonder if there are any new releases on the movie channels.
I was up late and early so I’ll have a snooze,
Then there are things like timing the laundry so it stops before I have to go out, leaving damp laundry in the machine, makes for a pretty awful smell. So it’s getting the timings right. We don’t have a tumble dryer so it’s also gauging if the weather’s ok for drying outside or is it going to piss it down. So as you can see there are lots of distractions and and plenty of way’s to de-prioritise things.
It can be pretty easy to become overwhelmed, especially with the ability to pause films and wander off to make a cuppa, you suddenly realised that ninety minute film lasted three hours. The solution is one of those “easy to say, hard to do” things: you have to confront the time-killah and wrestle it to the ground before it destroys your productivity altogether.
So my lack of organisation is the problem, time to sit down and start being ruthless with my daily to-do list. Reduce the must-do tasks to the few items that truly matter, based on the needs and whatever must be done (collect the kids from school).
Trap number 2: Distractions/Interruptions
Well as you read above, being at home gives you plenty of distractions, I’m considering building in daily procrastination time to manage the distractions. Interruptions on the other hand, well you can’t manage when they occur, the best that can be done is assess them as they occur and deal with them, such as the school ringing up saying one child is ill can you collect and then manage the timings accordingly.
Trap number 3: Overwork
This one has surprised me, managing the shopping, laundry, cleaning and school runs has been a surprising amount of work, especially if you throw in the distractions and procrastination.
Trap. Number 4. Poor Self-Discipline
The workplace gives you a certain amount of discipline, core hours, tasks and bosses and your employment contract give you discipline otherwise your salary ends. At home I think I need to have an imaginary supervisor to check up on me.
Trap number 5: Poor Organisation
The antonym of this would be superior organisation, if I had an answer to poor organisation I wouldn’t have any of the above four time-killahs. The poor quality of my organisational skills at home would go if I deal with the procrastination and the distractions
The Bottom Line
There you have it: my list of the five top time-killahs based on six months of running the house.