How do we juggle WFH and Homeschooling?

Working from home has its own perks. You can wake up early in the morning and read your favorite books instead of commuting to the office. However homeschooling suddenly takes a chunk of your day. In my case I have 1st grader and a PG, so it is not easy to let them maneuver their zoom call alone without supervision. So we split the task my wife takes the young one , i take the old one.

On daily basis I would be sitting next to my son from 7:00 to 11:00. Many variations has been done to make sure I can get some job done:

1. Multitasking – putting my laptop next to his and trying to work – Result: My son is not learning anything as he is too busy looking at me. I did not get my job done as I keep reminding him to pay attention to his teacher. Not to mention the emotional toll of trying to be strict and I can start seeing my son and I grew apart as I keep yelling at him.

2. Multitasking Semi – Using a cellphone instead, trying to fit in between breaks to reply email and whatsapp. My son still concentrate a bit as I can help if he doesn’t understand the subject. But when I am into one particular task it is difficult to inhibit myself from continuing my work in my head. Result a terrible exhaustion in my mind that I could not function well after lunch time as I have put so many tasks in my head during the homeschooling time.

3. Laser Focus Attention – I commit to teach my son during his homeschooling time and when there is downtime like the teacher was asking the other students or the teacher is grading the others, I would practice with him on spelling, counting, coloring etc. Result his ability to learn independently increase gradually and he can finish his homework much faster, I still have so much energy to work productively from 13:00 to 19:00 I have shorter working time but I get more things done. My mind is not exhausted because I don’t hold any of my work when I am teaching him.

Not everyone may have the luxury of working according to his own time.  It is an idea worth considering if employer can provide flexible hour to our employee.  

Understanding when our employee allocate their time can help the organization work productively.

1. Down time – when employee focus on homeschooling time or taking a power nap (yes, I mention it.) nap is important it doesn’t have to be everyday but it is okay to do so once in a while when you don’t have anymore juice to think. 

2. Analytical time – no meeting and discussion – crunching number time, programming time, designing time, replying email time and all other solitary actions. 

3. Meeting/Discussion Time – flexible time is important but it is annoying if we can’t reach someone to discuss and to collaborate. Set the time to have this within the department. Time when you are available and focus for others and vice versa.

About the author:

Wicky Andry is a trainer and coach in productivity and talent optimization.

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