This post is also available in: Deutsch (German)
Perhaps you also feel that the last months and years have passed us by so quickly that it wasn’t even obviously noticed.
Our daughter had her first day of school on 23.08.2021 – for my wife and me, these six and a half years passed as if in a rush and already we are standing as a family, at a new stage of life.
We parents in particular have to reinvent and reorganise ourselves again and again at irregular intervals.
- How do we split up when the baby wakes up in the night? And who gets enough sleep?
- How do we organise ourselves when we both have to go to the office, the daughter to day care, kindergarten or now school?
- At what new times can we work because our daughter now also has lessons in the afternoon? And when do we have to be present for our child?
- How do we determine which work has higher priority when we both have appointments at the same time?
- How do we plan the holidays, since we are no longer so flexible and we have to stick to the statutory school holidays?
These are just a few key points that I’m sure will sound familiar to you, and challenges you’ve probably faced or are facing right now.
If our daughter has taught me anything, it is to be flexible and to prioritise properly. And thus to limit myself to the essentials.
Admittedly, compared to my wife, my life is relatively structured. And I also think that with me, our daughter tends to know that I’m a tougher negotiator when it comes to spontaneously unpacking the sneak animals while I’m in the home office. Besides a guilty conscience that not infrequently arises, the time you spend with your child (and also with the whole family) is extremely valuable.
Of course it’s hard not to quickly check your email and of course you could answer your colleague’s chat for a moment – but if you want to spend quality time with your loved ones, you have to learn to set yourself apart.
I think that no company, client or job can give you back as much as the moments you spend fully with your child. And the ideal situation is that you balance your private life with your professional life in such a way that you give your full attention to both worlds and perform at a high level.
But you will probably ask yourself what our personal family situation and entering the first grade have to do with productivity?
Well – it is important that you (especially as a parent) stay organised and, at least in the beginning, have to have your child’s tasks on your radar.
Nothing is worse (and more embarrassing) for a child than standing in front of the entire class and being the only one:r to forget something.
So it’s certainly worth it and the big advantage for my daughter is that she slowly becomes familiar with methods that she can use later on.
What is the best productivity system for students and their parents?
The answer is very simple: The (physical) calendar.
What goes on your calendar gets done!Carl Pullein
This saying is all there is to it. What goes on your calendar gets done. Without apology.
We now live in a digital world and surely it would be too tempting to download the latest app to organise your entire daily and weekly schedule.
But it is much easier and more efficient! In our house, a standard calendar that you get as a gift from your local supermarket at the end of each year hangs on the wall.
The nice thing is that this calendar has four columns and each of us in the family gets our own column: my wife, myself, our daughter. The fourth column is marked “Family”. There we enter all the dates that concern us as a family.
The process is relatively simple. In the last week of the current month, our school sends us the information that is relevant for the upcoming month. And this is the most important part – when you read this information, don’t just close it at the end.
Take your calendar to hand and handwrite the important dates in the column where it belongs.
Add more notes and details, e.g. “Give CHF 15 for public transport”.
First thing every morning, go to the calendar and check whether there are any appointments due today.
You will see – after a few days this will become a habit and you will no longer forget anything. In this way you train two topics at the same time: Habits and efficiency.
Next to our family calendar, our daughter’s timetable also hangs on the kitchen cupboard. Here she can also quickly and easily see what is on the agenda for the current day.
Use the simple things – they are sometimes more effective than you think.
Enjoy these exciting time at school.