AS Monklands attempts to settle into life in lockdown and self-isolation, the burden of work and home schooling can become an imposing thought.
But a national office-finding firm has offered some coping strategies to help home workers with what might be their most challenging period of life thus far.
Offering a personal touch to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Jonathan Ratcliffe of Offices.co.uk said: “Our kids were off school, both with dry coughs, therefore we are in self-isolation for the near future.
“The reality of home schooling whilst trying to keep on working is very daunting.
“Working from home is tough; home schooling is very tough. So, if you must combine the two for a long period of time, how are you going to cope?
“You are going to have to plan well, get organised and work to a strict timetable if you want to get everything done.
“Equally, you’ll need to have a proper split between work, school, fun and rest.
“The first thing you need to do is lower your expectations of what you are going to achieve, both with work and schooling.
“If you try to do too much the experience is going to be highly stressful.”
Jonathan continued: “Lower your expectations of what you will achieve with work and simplify your day into a set routine.
“Don’t try and achieve too much; pause and try and appreciate moments with your kids.”
Jonathan went on to offer 10 top tips on how to best cope with home working and schooling:
– Start early at the same time each day; routine is important for good sleep and mental health, for both you and your kids. School starts at a set time, so make sure you are ready and stick to the timetable.
– Get dressed properly like teacher and student; getting showered and dressed is important to divide sleep and school.
– Create spaces for different activities; you might set up a teaching room (kitchen), quiet room (spare bedroom) and a play area (living room).
– Structure your day like a school day; teaching time, activity time, play time and lunch time that is just like their normal school routine.
– Make a plan with your kids; at the start of the day ask them what they want to do (within reason) so they feel involved.
– Turn off your phone; how are your kids meant to feel involved if you are checking emails?
– Set aside breaks for TV, IPad and exercise; use these times to schedule work emails or calls.
– Take exercise; depending on where you live and if you have a garden or not, and try and get some fresh air; this also allows you find some head space.
– Finish at a set time and have bedtime at a set time; by getting a routine drilled in early on, you can try and get the kids to sleep at a sensible time, thereby giving yourself some space to work if you need to.
– Don’t be tempted to hit the wine; if you can, evening time will be the only real time you can realistically work. If you drink your concentration will be poor; sleep poor and you’ll wake in a grumpy mood. Try and keep drinking to a minimum.
Jonathan added: “It’s important to realise that time with your kids is a gift, don’t try and do too much.”