It’s been a few months now and most of us are continuing to work from home. I see quite a bit of commentary on the frustration of it all not to mention that it looks like most schools will start in the Fall in a virtual environment. So now you get to add quasi-teacher as a feather in your cap of accomplishments. I feel your PAIN!
I’ve worked from home since the days of my Human Resources Consulting practice back in the early 2000’s. In doing so, I developed systems that made my work at home days flow and produce. They weren’t always perfect and we didn’t always keep to the plan but we not only survived — we thrived.
Here are a few tips to help you along the way:
1. Set a schedule! No like really – go buy a whiteboard and set a schedule for work (theirs and yours). Make it a family activity, be creative but establish the times that everyone will be in their perspective “offices” working. Your schedule should include time to come together and just flop. Also, include time outside whether its walking, cycling, gardening, jumping on the trampoline (yup we had one of those). Whatever it is include time for a break to do life YOUR WAY. Plan field trips in the middle of the day, the middle of the week, whenever you want. Remember it’s YOUR schedule so give you and your family the space and freedom you need to be successful in this new norm. Take the pressure off.
2. Be flexible! Meltdown moments will occur. You will have times when it feels overwhelming and you aren’t in control of your life and its’ circumstances. That’s ok. Breathe, decompress, do some yoga, have meditation exercises handy, know your rhythm and know what it takes to get you back to your place of peace and calm.
3. Eat Healthy! Do not buy a bunch of snacks that don’t fuel the body. We tend to sit more when we are working from home and it’s easy to have that bag of chips, or something sweet nearby. Listen I’m guilty. In the long run though you and your children will develop lethargy, loss of energy, and atrophy of your muscles. Healthy eating (vegetables, hummus, avocado, sugar-free jello, etc) will provide increased energy, mind/thought clarification and essential vitamins and nutrients. Research what you put in your body and limit the unnecessary carbs.
4. Beat the RUSH! This will be hard if you are not conditioned to wake up early. I learned in my early years that my brain is its most active and productive in the early morning hours. Once I got past the fog of being awake and moving around at o’dark thirty the rest was nothing short of genius. My mind fired on all cylinders and I produced my BEST WORK between 5am and 10am with at least 3 hours of mad productivity prior to anyone in the house getting up. After 10am, I could work or I could chill – or my normal was either a run around Stone Mountain (yes I used to run half-marathons), or a noon tee time. I didn’t have to do much from a work perspective after 10’ish because my day was DONE!
5. Find YOUR Rhythm! Not mine, or anyone else around you but YOURS. Do epic crap in your rhythm, with your family, and make it magnificent. Figure out what works best for you and flow in that. Don’t allow anyone to dictate how your freedom should look. Manage the tools around you effectively and in finding your rhythm, create memories upon memories.
6. Hire a Nanny and a Housekeeper! Sorry not sorry. I had both and it was the best hires I ever had. College students are absolutely looking for ways to earn extra income with the traditional places now closed. My nanny also served as our in-house tutor and was able to help with homework assignments and projects. Even if it’s just a few days a week, you will THANK me later. Do it.
I have so much more that I can add – but this is a start! Stop and breathe. You will conquor this moment in the way that you do all moments – with grace and efficiency. Just don’t panic, rely on your tribe, and the results will be nothing short of success.