We are currently enduring (hopefully) the last few weeks of social distancing here in Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia. With no cases in over three weeks, we are hopeful that things will ease up in the coming weeks a little and we’ll be able to get out and about. But for now, we have been working on how to be productive during COVID-19 with our 6-month-old at home.
How to be Productive
The short answer is to take turns and block schedule your time. Set an amount of time for each parent in the day. While one parent is working/exercising/doing something they really enjoy, the other parent takes care of the kids and makes sure they are completely uninterrupted (if possible).
What’s Our Strategy
Personally, we like to do 1-hour or 2-hour chunks of time but this will vary depending on your kids, relationship and general family vibe.
For some, this will look like a 4-hour time block. We have a 6-month-old, so if I tried to not feed her for 4 hours in the middle of the day, she probably wouldn’t be very happy.
Make the Most of YOUR Time
When you have kids interrupting you every 5, 10 or 15 minutes – having an hour of undisturbed time, is incredibly productive. Also, you will have the mentality of making the most of this time, which means you focus better and get more done than you would have otherwise.
DISCLAIMER: Special Circumstances
This is something that I really believe can work for most people, though admittedly, there will be some people whos situation doesn’t allow this flexibility (i.e. essential workers, single parents, mothers with a newborn, or anyone caring for those with disabilities, or other special needs).
Routines and schedules are hard to really comment on with a baby as they change so frequently. Anyone who’s had kids, also knows that this schedule can go out the window completely without much warning.
What Our Schedule Looks Like: Being Productive During COVID-19 With Kids (6-month-old baby)
8.30am – wake up
9.00am – coffee/showers (taking turns)/getting ready for the day
9.30am – breakfast
10.00am – play with the baby/meditate (taking turns sometimes)
10.00am – mum’s 1-hour chunk of time
11.00am – baby goes down for a nap (for anything between 8 minutes and an hour usually)
11.00am – mum and dad workout together (every other day)
11.45am – baby wakes up, baby eats
12.00pm – dad’s 1-hour chunk of time
1.00pm – lunch time
1.30pm – play with the baby/swim time
2.00pm – baby goes down for a nap (again, could be 8 minutes, could be an hour or two)
2.00pm – mum and dad get some work done, tidy up, do washing, prep some food, read, hang out together
2.30pm – baby wakes up
2.30pm – play with the baby, go for a walk, draw, learn, research, work, tidy up
4.00pm – baby goes down for a nap (usually 1-hour long, sometimes 2!)
4.00pm – get some work done, get a workout in if didn’t happen earlier, showers, swim, afternoon snack, do a puzzle, read a book
5.30pm – baby wakes up
5.45pm – family walk, food for the baby, play together
7.00pm – bed time routine starts (mum or dad every other night)
7.00pm – all together; storytime, nappy change, get into pajamas, dim lights
7.15pm – baby eats
7.30pm – mum or dad (every other night), puts baby to bed
7.30pm – other parent makes dinner
8.00pm – dinner and clean up
8.30pm – both working on laptops (parent who put the baby to bed is to resettle if she wakes up)
10.30pm – close off computers and head to bed
10.40pm – reading, reflecting on the day and chatting about tomorrow
11.30pm – lights of and asleep
As I’ve already mentioned, take this schedule with a grain of salt.. This is definitely not how every day goes and it’s probably a little optimistic to call it ‘our schedule’.
How do YOU Stay Productive?
I’d love to know what your schedule is looking like and how you’re being productive during COVID-19 with kids hanging around too.
Let me know what else you want to see – looking forward to exploring more of the Northern Territory and Darwin soon!