Streamlining Your Personal and Professional Routines as a Parent
There’s no question that the pandemic changed the way most parents work. Now that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, though, your work environment might be shifting again. Many people will return to a traditional office environment. Others will be working remotely from now on.
No matter what your work situation ends up looking like, finding ways to streamline your daily routines, personal and professional, will make life easier.
Multiple studies have shown that mental health benefits to having routines, so setting them whether you’re staying at home or going back to work can help you make the most of your time and live more intentionally.
So, what can you do to more effectively manage your time and know what to expect each day?
Starting the Day the Right Way
Ideally, the two bookends of your routine would be going to sleep at the same time each night and waking up at the same time each morning.
Your morning routine is crucial for starting the day off on the right foot. Some ideas to get your morning going include:
- Stretching when you get out of bed
- Adopting a morning skincare routine
- Making a healthy breakfast
- Reading the news
- Going for a walk or run
Do whatever you can to start your day the right way, especially if you’re working from home and need to manage your time effectively. The routine you have first thing in the morning will set the tone for the whole day and make you more productive or leave you feeling restless and distracted.
A morning routine will also quickly get you started on your work for the day. One of the biggest keys to a successful work-life balance is giving yourself designated hours to work each day. Before and after those hours, you can enjoy your free time.
Manage Your Time Intentionally
Your routine should be about making the most of your time each day, both professionally and personally. If you’re working remotely, it can sometimes be harder to stay on track and easier to get distracted. Or you may be one of those remote workers who can’t switch off.
Either, it might help to make your routine more detailed and intentional.
You can do that by creating a schedule when you’re “stuck” at home. Your routine should include specific times when you spend your day at work, whether at home or in an office. You can break down that time into smaller sections when you have a lot to get done, and you want to schedule time for each task.
Doing so will help you feel more motivated and productive, especially at home. So, on days when your routine seems too open-ended, don’t be afraid to zoom in and make things more specific.
Make Time for Yourself
When you’re developing a routine, it’s tempting to fill it to the brim with things you “have” to do. But, it’s important to remember that a routine doesn’t necessarily have to be a set schedule. Instead, most of the time, it should be something that turns into a daily habit.
As a result, your routine should include time to relax and practise self-care each day. That could be a ten-minute break from your work to take a walk around the neighbourhood or taking an hour before bed each night to read your favourite book with a piece of dark chocolate or a glass of wine.
Self-care looks different for everyone. But, including some form of it in your daily routine will always make you feel better about your work-life balance.
Take Care of Your Mental Health
While we’ve already touched on the benefits of routines for your mental health, that doesn’t mean including too many things in your daily routine can’t be overwhelming. If your schedule seems constantly packed with things you don’t enjoy or things that are draining you emotionally, it could be time to make a change.
You might think that’s easier said than done. After all, certain tasks can’t be ignored. But that doesn’t mean you need to be the one to tackle them yourself.
When you’re living with intentionality, you can’t let pieces of your routine leave you feeling burnt out. Consider outsourcing certain tasks in your personal or professional life that might be necessary but unenjoyable for you. Doing so will free up more of your time and give your mental health a boost.
Not sure where to get started with outsourcing? Consider delegating tasks like:
- Calendar management
- Research services
- Job hunting services
- Pet care
The list is endless when you’re willing to outsource both professional and personal tasks. Consider what’s most important to you and how you would benefit from having more time and a better disposition.
Routines are very personal, so find what works for you and helps you to develop a stronger work-life balance. When you get into a routine that makes you feel good, you’ll start to notice the benefits in your personal life and professional life.