If you feel like everything is taking longer to complete these days, you’re not alone.

Sending a quick email or unloading the dishwasher can be a multi-step process as many of us struggle to meet our new demands as a remote worker, caregiver, educator and partner all at the same time.

In the process of writing this, I made a snack for my toddler, confirmed an interview time with a source, changed my baby girl’s diaper, Slacked with my editors, found a missing sock, checked on dinner and stepped on a Lego.

And, if I’m being really honest, at one point I got totally overwhelmed and fought back tears.

This is hard.

Actually, no. It’s impossible.

You aren’t going to be able to play all the roles and fulfill the needs of all the things that are demanding your attention the way you would like to.

And that’s okay.

I repeat: That’s okay.

These are extraordinary circumstances we are facing, and right now we all deserve a little grace — starting with ourselves.

Multitasking often gets a bad rap, but in a time like this it can be necessary — we just have to be smart about it. So I spoke with productivity and time management experts to get some tips on how to multitask like a pro.

Prioritize your to-do list. That means figuring out what needs to be completed by the end of the day and when is the best time to get those items checked off the list.

Pair activities wisely. You can fold laundry while participating on a conference call. But you can’t be on a call while helping your kid learn fractions.

Give into your kids. Spending a good chunk of undivided time playing with your kids will likely assuage them for a while so you can get some work done later on.

And remember that grace thing we talked about earlier? Don’t forget about doing that with yourself.

When your partner is now your office mate

On Day Two of working from home with my husband just 10 feet away from me in our bedroom (I have since learned we were breaking so many WFH rules), I turned to him and said, “Sometimes, I can be chatty while working.”

His response? “Oh, well I work alone…”

Noted.

Working with your spouse can be a lot of fun, but it can also add a lot of pressure and stress.

Here are the rules: Don’t treat your partner like a colleague, avoid giving out unsolicited work advice, host a morning meeting to determine who is doing what when and set designated “do not disturb” signals to avoid interrupting work flow. You can read more advice here.

What self-employed workers need to know about unemployment benefits

Self-employed workers have taken a major hit due to the coronavirus pandemic and they could be facing an uphill battle when it comes to jobless benefits.

Congress expanded unemployment benefits to include independent contractors and the self-employed. But this change means states would have to update their antiquated systems, which could take some time. Also, not everyone qualifies.

Check out CNN senior writer Tami Luhby’s report on what this change means for states and workers.

Relief is on the way

Here’s some good news: Stimulus payments are rolling out.

The IRS began sending money this week starting with those who filed their 2018 or 2019 tax returns and authorized direct deposit.
Not sure how much money you will get? Use this tool to determine how much you can expect.

Worried about your student loans? Read this

Student loan debts were already crushing many people’s budgets in a good economy. Now, with millions of people suddenly without a paycheck, making payments is even more of a struggle.

In a big move, the government stepped in and hit the pause button on repayments. CNN’s Katie Lobosco reports that federal student loan payments are automatically suspended for six months and interest on federal student loans is being waived during the period.

Read this guide to learn about who qualifies and how the plan works.

Coffee break

It seems a lot of us are baking our way through this pandemic.
Social media is filled with baking successes and failures and there are reports that flour, eggs and yeast are in short supply.
Even hotel chain DoubleTree got in on the action and released its deliciously famous cookie recipe. Get it here.

Happy comfort eating!

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