In just a matter of weeks, COVID-19 has forced us all to juggle our lives mostly from within our homes. Now more than ever our households and family life needs some structure, without it everyone tends to end up aimlessly floating around.
Well, at least this has been my personal experience.
Now that there’s no carpooling, work commute or that morning yoga class to attend, structure in our lives has become necessary, to make sure we don’t come out of isolation feeling like a headless chicken. None of us wants that to happen!
If you’re like me … you’ll find that when you don’t have some sort of structure and routine in place you find yourself wasting hours (& hours!) procrastinating and generally just not getting sh*t done!
Even more, if you have children, schools might be physically shut but the learning must still happen digitally, therefore having a routine in place is essential so our babies can continue to learn.
Whilst in isolation you should structure the day in a way that works for you and your family. Every family has a different rhythm and finding your new family flow in isolation can take some time.
In this blog, I’ll share with you how you can use technology like our Life Sorted app to help manage your families isolation routine! Life Sorted has been our saviour during these times.
// Plan your days and week in advance
Sounds obvious! But start by planning your days and weeks out ahead of time.
If you wake up each morning trying to figure out what you want to accomplish that day, you’re going to waste precious time brainstorming, so try to get a head start with prior planning.
I suggest sitting down with a cuppa each weekend to plan out the week ahead, I choose Sunday night as my mind is settled and clearest after all the weekend festivities or shall I say #isofestivites LOL.
Make a list of all the “priorities” or “things” you want you and your family to accomplish in the coming week, think home maintenance, exercise, work, homeschooling, mental health, etc.
Using a centralized family calendar like Life Sorted enter and assign these events and to-dos to the appropriate family member within the app.
TIP: Don’t forget to add reminders too.
To do this simply, add an ‘Event’ or ‘To-do’ on the Life Sorted calendar and fill in the necessary details.
Watch this short video to learn how to add events to your Life Sorted calendar:
Watch this short video to learn how to add to-dos into Life Sorted:
Congratulations you’re well on your way to creating some iso-structure!
// Scheduling time blocks in your day
Before COVID-19 … remember that?! My family’s routine operated like clockwork all supported by the sophisticated architecture of the Life Sorted app.
Since new isolation restrictions, our family has had to adapt our schedule to retain some sort of normality to our routines, because as you know a lot of us began feeling cabin fever!
In the good old days, your day might have looked something like this, you wake up, you start your morning routine, make breakfast, get the kids ready, school drop off, head to work, lunch around midday, then pick the kids up from school, zoom around to extra-curricular activities, supervise homework and then cook dinner!
Now that routine is completely thrown out the window and all those activities are blended into one free-flowing moment happening all within your home.
Since the whole family is confined to one space, you should structure your day using time blocks to break things up and smoothly transition throughout the day to avoid feeling out-of-routine.
I would advise creating a structured schedule that benefits everyone’s routine.
Consider assembling a schedule like the following (remember you can customize things to best fit your family):
Just like normal everyone in the household should rise at a time that allows them to wake up and start their usual morning routine (whether that be exercising, showering or even meditating).
I start my mornings with a blood-pumping virtual workout with my teenage daughter, then shower, get dressed and put some makeup on for the day.
TIP: If you have children doing school from home, you could get them dressed in their school uniform to mentally prepare them for remote learning.
As they say, breakfast really is the most important meal of the day, you want to nourish and fuel your family’s body for the day ahead.
This also a great opportunity to sit down at the table and chat about the day ahead, you can also use this as a time to go through household chores or what’s on the agenda for the rest of the week (don’t forget to remind them to check their Life Sorted calendar).
The first half of the day could be referred to as the morning session where all of the family concentrates on their normal morning day-to-day activities.
If you have kids this is when you might have to sit them down for home/remote schooling.
If you have your own work or job to attend to, sort your children out first then sit down and concentrate on your own work at hand.
If you have teenagers in university make sure they’re still tuning into their virtual lectures and studying hard! I know – easier said than done.
Morning tea break
Around 10-11 am energy levels and concentration starts to falter, schedule some time for your family members to have a break for some morning tea.
All you need to do is ensure each family member has a good 15-30 mins of recess to enjoy a snack or beverage before they get back stuck into their work.
Around midday schedule in lunch for your family, just like pre-covid days allow everyone to have a good 45mins to an hour of lunchtime to chill out and refuel ready for a productive afternoon session ahead.
TIP: To feel more in routine you could even make your kids lunches the night before so they are ready and the kids can grab them at lunchtime!
The afternoon session consists of the last productive part of the day where each person in the family continues to chip away at their work!
After everyone has finished their work for the day between 3-5 pm (for example), it’s time for some joyous free-time for everyone to unwind after a productive day.
This could be in the form of crafts, screen time, afternoon exercising, walking the dog or even playing out in the backyard or pool!
The final block of the day is dinner! Make sure to schedule time in everyone’s Life Sorted calendar for dinner!
Just like your regular routine, you can sit down, reflect on the day, share some laughs and talk about what’s on for the rest of the week.
// How to use technology to organize your home/remote schooling routine
If you’re a parent with children in school, the COVID-19 situation has thrown you a massive curveball forcing you to homeschool!
If you have multiple children of different ages this can present some challenges as they each may learn in different ways, mediums and times.
To keep your children accountable, set up their homeschooling timetable in the Life Sorted app.
Start by breaking their individual classes into separate Life Sorted events, so they keep on task and time.
Then set up breaks or small recesses in between as events, for their minds to pause, refresh and reset.
Some useful tips:
- Use teachers or tutors – Reach out to the teachers or tutors for assistance and guidance, they’ll happily support you along the way.
- Lower expectations – Take a deep breath and remember this is only a temporary situation and you will not be able to teach everything.
- Start early – Being homebound all the time can cause your routine and structure to slip, start homeschooling early in the day to avoid doing it during the sluggish afternoon period.
- Refuel your children with snacks – Replenish your children’s energy levels with nutritional snacks to boost their brainpower and improve their concentration. Nutrition expert, Paediatric Dietitian, Viv Sullivan says don’t forget to include “Omega 3s and healthy fats, nuts and seeds are great”. These types of snacks include celery sticks, edamame, cereal with soy milk, trail mix with added walnuts, smoked salmon, salmon jerky or a couple of spoonfuls of ground flax seeds mixed into a smoothie.
- Experiment with Video lectures from course providers like Khan’s Academy or Youtube – Research by the University of Queensland has shown the pedological (related to teaching) benefits of video and digital interactive media can increase student motivation, enhance the learning experience and achieve higher marks.
If you’re really struggling with homeschooling check out the Bossy Mummy’s blog, where the fabulous Laura Furiosi mother of three, wrote a great article on “School Term 2 & Working From Home” read the insightful article here.
// Keep your household accountable with repeating to-dos!
Whether it’s chores, homeschooling, watering plants, vacuuming or exercise, keep your family digitally accountable with their chores by using repeating to-dos!
You can easily get distracted in isolation and sometimes forget to do things, with repeating to-dos Life Sorted will make sure you never forget anything again and gently push you a little reminder to do your task or activity.
Once you’ve set up your daily, weekly or monthly to-dos your mind can feel at ease knowing you don’t have to keep all this information in your head, Life Sorted has it all sorted and will promptly remind you on time, every time.
You can even assign repeating to-dos to family members known as ‘Assignees’ in the app. This is a great way to establish and manage household duties in your family.
Simply create your ‘to-do’ in the app, adjust when you would like the to-do to be repeated (e.g. every two days or every month, etc.), assign the list and family member it belongs to.
When it comes time the assigned family member will be sent a push notification reminding them of their task or duty at hand!
Voila! You now have a safeguard system to ensure things get done around the home even in isolation!
If you’re finding yourself scrolling through your social feeds comparing your isolation to what others are doing I say switch off from social media!
Please, please don’t get sucked into comparisonitis! You do you and do what works for your gorgeous family.
Remember you’re doing your best and that’s all that matters.
If you would like to try Life Sorted while in isolation, I’d love for you to try the app and to give you a FREE trial for 30 days.