As we’ve gone through more than a year of a global pandemic that’s literally changed the way we work, play, shop, learn, and parent, we’ve had to adapt and adjust to survive. I don’t think anyone knew the extent nor the pervasiveness of how this pandemic would affect over such a long period of time. No aspect of our lives has been spared: even sleep doesn’t come easy to many.
For those working parents who are now juggling the role of provider, educator, and playmate, it can be even harder. Younger children may need more attention while doing virtual schooling, while older children may need more assistance with tasks you’ve long forgotten how to do. On top of all that, there are socialization aspects you’re having to consider to balance all aspects of their development.
In our professional lives, it’s rare that we’re not handling multiple requests and tasks via prioritizing and there’s no reason that these new challenges should be faced any differently.
A recent article by the Harvard Business Review talks about how we can use a chart (I know, this sounds like overkill for “home”, but bear with me) to determine which tasks are best to focus on and prioritize and which tasks might be better delegated/outsourced.
If you discuss all the different activities you do with your child, you’ll probably come up with a list of things that can fit into this chart. We would want to focus time and energy on the activities in Q1 that you both share passion and are willing to dedicate time for. This could be a shared love of cooking or learning about how things work.
Q3 is a dangerous one because we run the risk of pushing things we love or enjoy onto them. For example, do they REALLY love chess and mathematics as much as you do? Or are they humoring you because they know you love those things? Find a way to talk openly about what you may be trying to have them learn to find the overlap between necessity and their desire to learn it.
I won’t paraphrase the whole article, but this is one of the few parenting articles I’ve read recently that really made me want to re-evaluate the way I’m spending time with my children to determine what’s the best way to spend time together without draining/stressing either of us.
I know it seems like it’s much too “business-y” to take the time to complete this exercise for working with your own children. However, in your professional world, mapping out priorities and tasks help you maximize your efforts and increase your efficiency. So even if that just means more time and energy for playing Pokémon before dinner, I’d say that’s worth it.