1. Utilize a room in your residence that isn't dedicated to children. If you don't have one, create a space. This will be your time-out spot. Explain to your children why this area is off-limits. Reward them when they are not in that area and are keeping quiet.
2. Busy your children with some toys/activities that they haven't done for awhile. Electronics with headphones are a plus. Also, most wanted new toys (without sound and have parts that stay intact) will keep their interest for awhile. If you don't have money to buy new toys, take old ones out and rotate toys. It will feel like Christmas all over again for them. Take building blocks and dump them in the middle of their floor and let them create while you do what you need to do.
3. When you can get away from your children (because someone is at home to watch them or you dropped them off elsewhere), visit with loved ones, go to a park, eat at a restaurant alone, or just sit in your car somewhere peaceful. The needed break will rejuvenate you!
4. Purchase popular movies (Thrift store, yard sale, online auction, bookstore) or borrow them from the local library, they will keep the children entertained for at least a couple of hours.
5. Send children to bed early or encourage a nap or "Do Nothing" time. This is so helpful when you need to get things done in the middle of the afternoon or late during the evening through the night. Of course, they will put up a fuss but at least you gain your needed free time!
6. Make plans to go to bed early then awake early (hopefully before the children get up). This way you will be in the frame of mind to at least start what you need to do, rather than tending to their needs.
7. Take them to events where you are able to drop them off ie.) birthday parties, extracurricular activities, etc.)
When all else fails, always look for opportunities for help ie.) school counselors, community centers, welfare office, non-profit agencies, etc.