A number of coachees and clients have been asking us for help around how best to plan a working day when you are caring for for children. We know there will be a big difference between what an employee with two children aged 11+ and a furloughed spouse at home can reasonably do in a day compared to a single father with a primary school child.
We have created a 1 Day @ A Time FOCUS PLANNER (there are a few pdf versions below) to help you think about and plan the day ahead.
If you have young children and you’re co-parenting use the two-column version (shown in picture) to plan each day together to avoid overlap/ensure there’s always one person ‘on-call’. Then the other person is free to focus, go into flow and get their work done. If you have older children you might stick it up where they can see so they know when you are focussed and when you can be interrupted.
How to use the 1 Day @ A Time FOCUS PLANNER
As a bare minimum we suggest:
- Identifying the THREE MOST SIGNIFICANT THINGS you want to get done today.
- WHEN EXACTLY you are going to focus on each one.
- HIGHLIGHTING the time slots you will be working on each of the three most significant things.
Even if you have the whole day available (e.g. older children and/or a partner who is available to take care of them all day) we think writing down three key things you want to get done today is good idea because:
- It helps you stay focussed when other things threaten to derail you.
- It’s almost certainly going to lead to a sense of satisfaction at the end of the day.
- It allows you to know when to stop.
- If you’ve shared your planner with the family it helps them to know when you are working on one of your 3 significant things and when you’re ‘happier’ to be interrupted.