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We Asked A Mum: How to Get Everything Done (And Still Have Time for Yourself) During Self-Isolation

by on 04/06/2020 2360

Needless to say, self-isolation has disrupted all of our lives – even if we are absolute masters at juggling everything, having a global pandemic to consider certainly makes running even the simplest of errands more complicated.

In an aim to help you keep all of the balls in the air, here is a shortlist of the things that have helped me, Julia Robson: a mum of two kids and two dogs, and an entrepreneur, get (nearly) everything done, with minimal added stress:


1.    Schedules and Plans Are Your Best Ally

If you are not already a master at making schedules, now is the time to perfect this art – it will streamline your day and help you tick off most of your to do list.

I start by adding the bulkiest items to my daily plan – I use the calendar blocking method – like sleep (yes, sleep), work (we now both work from home), cooking, taking the dogs out, and so on. I already have the kids schedule on there for the week, so I work around their lessons and playtime.

What time is left I fill with smaller errands: ironing, reading, shower – I know it will seem overly organized, but I don’t know how I’d get anything done without it.

2.    Wear Different Hats

My husband read about this somewhere, and we’ve been using it even since – we’ve made different hats for all of us to denote different kinds of activities: work, school, playtime, do not disturb. The kids liked making them and they now like wearing them, and we all appreciate the ability to at a glance tell when someone is busy or when they can be interrupted.

Since I work for myself, there are times when I absolutely need to be left alone (on a call with a client, for example) – and I love the fact that the kids can look through the door, notice I am wearing a red hat, and know not to interrupt then and there.

Plus, the hat is a great conversation opener on video calls.

3.    Forgive Yourself for What Doesn’t Get Done

This is a major lesson to learn – you can’t expect yourself to work and be like nothing is going on. If this means you will be slower on some days, if you won’t be as productive on others, and if there are more bad mood days than there used to be – you just have to accept it and not demand too much from yourself.

We learned this lesson when we started homeschooling – we didn’t have a clue where to start and how homeschooling should work in the first place. Luckily, we found some great resources, started implementing them as soon as we could, and things worked themselves out.

Instead of trying to be teacher, parent, friend and disciplinarian all in one go – cut yourself and the kids some slack, and enjoy your time together.

4.    Keep the Kids Entertained

Another lesson we learned early on is that the kids need to have something to do at all times. While this does not mean their days are as scheduled as mine, it does mean we have come up with more activities than we normally would.

We do virtual museum tours, we watch more TV, we play quizzes with the family over Skype, and we generally try to do something we don’t normally do, to make sure they don’t get bored and as fed up with self-isolation as we already are.

5.    Be There for Each Other

Finally, a bit of relationship advice (and I don’t just mean with your significant other, it applies to all relationships) – let go of everything you can.

The little things you normally bicker about, the annoying habits you usually point out, the small stuff that doesn’t need to be sweated right now: let it go.

If the rooms are not as tidy, don’t make a big deal of it. If the socks are not in the wash but near the wash, don’t make a fuss. Everyone’s nerves are a bit frayed – so being there for each other and trying to stay as positive as you can will go a long way in helping you get through this.

Of course, this applies to how others treat you as well – enforce a general rule of less fuss and more stress-free communication, and when all this is over, try to keep it up.

I hope some of these tips will help you figure out self-isolation for you and your family!


 Guest Writer: Julia Robson