During this uncertain time, many people have different schedules and a lot more unscheduled time at home.  I have found it helpful to set a schedule, and eliminate distractions during my work time or while helping my son with his school work.  I hope you find some of these tips helpful as well.

Time Blocking

I use a planner to time-block my week first and then my individual days (I usually do this on Sunday nights).  I find that I am most productive/creative in the morning, so if possible I schedule a few hours of work time each morning.  I’ll be honest, this was much easier when my son was in school.  I would get him on the bus, workout at the Y and then work for about 3 hours straight.  It doesn’t work for me to schedule time in the morning currently.  I typically have a PCW for my son for a few hours in the afternoon, so have had to switch to afternoon work hours.

Because I have such limited time I can work, I need to make sure that time is productive and distraction-free.  Essential oils help to make my work time productive.  I like to diffuse Motivate (when I feel like procrastinating) or Passion (when I need creative inspiration) in my home office.  I also apply a rollerball blend I call Focus to the back of my neck.  I combine 20 drops Peppermint, 20 drops Wild Orange in a 10 ml roller and top with FCO.

Family Calendar

Family Calendar

We have a family calendar on the wall where we keep everyone’s activities.  Each family member has a color, so we know who’s activity is scheduled and who will be home/out of the house at any given time.  Our youngest is 17 and has Cohen Syndrome, and cannot be left alone.  This way I know when my husband is available and I am free to schedule consults/classes.  I also schedule my work commitments digitally on my calendar app and write them in my planner.  This may seem like overkill, but it helps me keep myself organized and helps me keep my commitments.

iPhone Tips To Keep On Task

Eliminating distractions has been more of a challenge.  I like to think of my phone as a helpful tool, but honestly, it is often more of a distraction.  Some things I have implemented to make my phone less of a distraction include:

  • DNS – Use the Do Not Disturb tab on your phone.  I have mine set to receive no notifications (except calls from my husband, mom and son) from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. nightly.  I also turn on DNS during my work times (so only the same people can get in touch with me — or if someone calls twice in a row in case of emergencies).
  • Notifications – I turned off all the notifications on any social media app on my phone.  I only get notifications of calls, voicemails and texts.  This helps me stay focused and only jump on social media during times that I have allotted.
  • Family Time Box – we made a “Family Time Box” that everyone puts their phone/tablet in for special family times (like dinner and family game night).  This way my kids learn from an early age to engage with people without distractions — that giving someone your undivided attention is important.  I want my family to feel valued by me, and putting my phone away helps them feel special, and know that they are my priority.

I hope you try some of these tips, and you find them helpful in scheduling undisturbed work time for yourself, as well as undisturbed family time.  If you have any tips to share with me, please leave them in the comments.  I am always looking for more ways to balance family and work obligations, as well as carving some time for myself.

Hugs & Health – Michelle