Joint Custody Time Management

I just joined and am tackling time management first, as this is the area of my life that I struggle with the most. I’m a writer/communications professional, and I have a full-time job and manage a freelance client on the side. I’m also the mother of two daughters, 9 and 6, of whom I share custody with my ex husband. We do week on/week off, and on the weeks I have my girls, it’s just me there to manage them. I drive them to school and pick them up each day, and they get done at 3.

I’ve struggled to find a really good system for time management since I’ve had the shared custody agreement. One of the biggest reasons that it’s hard is because I do my best work early, say between 6 or 7a and 9ish, but on the days I have the girls, I’m completely booked during that time. I struggle to concentrate when they’re around, so I basically have fewer working hours when they’re here. I try to surrender and be present with them, but it’s also really stressful sometimes.

Is there a good tactic I can use to manage the changing rhythms of my schedule?