As a working parent, you’ve got more than one team to collaborate with and who relies on your output. One group waits for you to develop marketing campaigns, and to work with Sales to convert prospects into happy new homeowners. They depend on you to interpret the data from your last market research analysis. And they ask for your opinion on marketing collateral.
Then there’s the other team whose members depend on you to ensure the fridge and pantry are stocked. They ask for your help to build an erupting volcano for their science class. This team also relies on you make sure they make it to soccer practice on time and find their favorite hat. This team supports you most and love you for doing what you do. And it’s this team that makes everything you do every single day worth it.
You don’t want to let either team down. Every day, you work through the guilt of not devoting enough time to your kids as much as you wish as well as consistently deliver your best output at work. You take on the challenges of juggling both responsibilities but always battle with the voice in your head that tells you that you should be doing more.
It’s understandable why parents often feel they are losing control. You’re certainly not alone. In fact, according to a Pew study, 41% of working moms said that parenting made it challenging for them to move ahead in their career; 4 out of 10 admitted that they always felt rushed.
Fortunately, there are simple yet powerful techniques that every working parent can adopt to help them stay focused and increase productivity. Here’s how:
Define Your Long-Term Goals
What direction is your personal and professional life headed? Without a goal to work towards, you’re working day to day without any real path which can lead to burnout. Think about what future success means to you; it’s different for everyone.
Be Wise with Your Time
When you have a purpose, you don’t need to clutter your calendar with items that don’t align with meeting your goals. Invest your energy on worthwhile projects. Focus your marketing efforts on channels the analytics show to be most effective. And when it comes to personal errands and household chores, delegate.
Stick to a Schedule
Plan in advance and set guidelines. Explain to your family that it’s important that they respect your time at work. Calls to you when you’re at the office should be limited to what you’ve agreed requires an interruption at work.
As a parent, you might feel weird scheduling time to spend with your kids. However, you will find that it not only helps develop a healthy routine, but it gives your children something to look forward to. Rather than feel embarrassed by it, think of it as a declaration and commitment that no one and nothing, especially anything work-related, can interfere with the time you have devoted to your family.
Keep a List
As a driven person, unfinished tasks will nag you until completed. By keeping a list, you get the satisfaction of ticking off finished items and moving on to the next. Lists help you maintain control. They help you feel fulfilled when you follow them, allowing you to see how much you’ve accomplished.
When it comes to your children and career, evaluate the boundaries and define where the lines of distinction should be established and when you can allow them to blur. There will always be times when your mind momentarily shifts to work when you are at home, or you think of your children while at the office. The key is to try to be present and actively engaged in the moments that align with reaching your personal and professional goals.
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