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TomislavNovacicBF for Bornfight

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Top 5 essential skills for fresh parents

Intro

This article is all about work-life "balance" and how to continue progressing in your career after the baby comes. I will write about my conclusions and organisation in this new environment. We will wrap things up with 5 essential skills you can work on to prepare yourself for the arrival of the newcomer.

The comfort zone

Things are going great, you are learning new stuff and reading work-related articles on a daily basis. You are as motivated as ever, advancing really quickly and on your way to become a ninja developer (or other equivalent role). Your diet is on check and you are getting your workouts in. Nothing can stop you! And then one day you become a parent...

The chaos

At the beginning things are going good, but as the baby grows you start to realise that your free time becomes shorter and shorter, and soon enough you will have practically no free time. You now don’t have time for your partner or working out, let alone for personal development.

What to do now? How to continue working on your goals and be there for your child at the same time?

People always talk about work-life balance and you always thought it was some nonsense that lazy people say? Yeah, me too. Well there is some truth in that approach, because now you just have to make things work somehow. Save yourself a few months (or a year) of getting the hang on things and start working on this skills immediately if you are expecting kids any time soon.

Top 5 skills ambitious parent needs

1. Time management
Day only has 24 hours so try to get the best out of every minute.

  • Read whenever you have a few minutes to spare. Read while your partner is playing with the baby, when you're in the rest room, in the bed after everyone is asleep and you have few atoms of energy left.
  • Get up early. Wake up first and start your day in a complete peace (and use that time wisely).
  • Work from home. If you have the option to work from home, just take it - you’ll save a bunch of commute and getting-ready hours, and you can use that in a better way. If that is not a possibility for you, then travel to work with public transportation so you can do some work while you are on your way to the office. If you, for some reason, prefer the car over public transportation then you can listen to audio books or podcasts while driving.
  • Don't sacrifice sleep, it's counter productive after some time and it's not worth it in the end. Fresh mind = more focus = better productivity and more growth.

2. Organization

  • Try to plan every minute of your day up front. This enables you to see how much literature you can consume in a day. According to that you can set realistic goals and don't get frustrated thinking you've done too little that day. When you precisely estimate every action in your day, you unknowingly start to do repetitive tasks even more quickly (eating for example).

3. Multitasking

  • Incorporate learning in any activity that does not require your complete focus. Listen to audio books while you are grocery shopping, cleaning, cooking, in the gym or walking a dog.

4. Focus

  • Focus 110% while working. That is the only time of the day that is strictly dedicated for your work and personal growth. It’s also the only time when you’ll have complete peace and no distractions. You’ll start to appreciate those hours more.

  • Start adjusting to working in non-ideal environments. There will be times when you have to work or read and kids are screaming and running around, and you have to get used to it (it gets better over time I promise).

5. Dedication

  • Prioritise. Not all things you stumble upon on your go-to reading materials are important for your line of work. Read only about stuff that is applicable to your work and future aspirations, skip the rest.
  • Delete your social media accounts (or leave them but use them responsibly). The same goes for TV and gaming consoles. Time spent on these platforms is valuable and cannot be returned.

P.S. Don't forget to spend quality time with your family, don't be a stranger. This article focuses on the parts of the day you are "free".

Did I forget anything? Does any of this sound familiar to you? Feel free to react and comment down below.

Discussion (3)

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bobylito profile image
Alexandre Valsamou-Stanislawski

Thanks for this article. I am in the middle of this and what helped me the most is understanding that this is now a different life and learning to let go. This is a work in progress...
I switched to freelancing and I'm doing less days of paid work so I can do things for me.

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tomislavnovacicbf profile image
TomislavNovacicBF Author • Edited on

Thanks for the comment Alexandre. I agree, we need to embrace the new normal and start prioritizing family. I have a one year old at home and things are slowly starting to get in it's place but there is still long way to go. I am working full time so I had to stop with my hobbies but I managed to squize in work related stuff with the tricks mentioned above. Freelancing is a great way to earn more money in less working hours but it is not so secure money wise as working for the firm. But if it works for you than it's definitely a way to go.

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bobylito profile image
Alexandre Valsamou-Stanislawski

You are right freelancing is hard and it requires to broaden your skills beyond the tech world... It's a risk. Also the extra money one can get is the retribution for the risk. The real benefit, IMHO, is the flexibility you can have. It's easier to negociate to work 4 days a week, when you are both parties 😅

Besides that, everything you said are great and can be helpful. Just be careful, it might hurt you or your family in the long run. Take care of yourself, you are more important than you think and your mental health should be #1.