Nutrition, Fitness, and Wellness articles for busy women who want to lead a healthy, fulfilled life they love.
How should I even start, friends? My how things have changed over the last couple of weeks. While I normally like to show up for you here every Tuesday with tips on eating, moving, and recharging your way to good health, our new state of indefinite isolation inspired me to throw out the script and talk to you today about something that’s at once super basic and super unique . . .
Embracing our new normal.
What does this mean? Well, if your family is like ours, this likely means staying home as much as possible—including working from home and, if you have a kiddo, schooling from home too. You’re probably seeing way more of your immediate family than what you’re used to. You’ve likely dropped a lot of your typical routines (farewell for now morning Starbucks, office chit-chat, and commute podcast-listening). And unless you’re Wonder Woman, you’re probably still feeling things out and trying to settle a routine that’s going to allow you to play the roles of mom, partner, educator, and entrepreneur all at once, all the time. No biggie. Because let me add this - it’s not really going to stay as our ‘new normal’ - this is a momentary blip. A very difficult blip, where we’re are being asked to do all.the.things. for a little while. And then we’ll return to life. So hang on, this isn’t forever!
For folks who are new to the work-from-home life, this is a BIG shift. Fortunately for all of us, though, I’ve been working from home for over 20 years . . . which means I’ve had a little more time than most people to get our routine down pat.
So today, I wanted to share with you a few tips on working from home—and, as a bonus, my 15-year-old son Spencer (who attends a really incredible school that allows students to complete school online on snow days even when there’s no pandemic happening - huge shout out to The Clark School in Rowley, MA) also agreed to share a few tips from his perspective on successfully completing school from home. :)
Figure Out What Your Foundation Looks Like.
Are you required to work a certain schedule or a certain number of hours each day? Or is your position more results driven? If you’ve got another adult in the house who is also now working from home, what are their requirements? The amount of flexibility you have in your schedules will inform a lot of your other work-from-home habits.
Create an Environment Where You Can Focus.
This may be easier for some than for others. Maybe you’re one of the lucky few who has an office already set up; if so, that’s awesome. If you don’t have a home office (or if your partner already called dibs), claim a spot and set your boundaries. Determine whether you need a space with a closed door to take calls, or even a space with a solid wall and a lack of clutter behind you for video calls.
Determine Your Dress Code.
Speaking of video calls, do you still need to take time to get dressed “for work” in the mornings? That all depends on your work and your preferences. If you’re going to be hopping on and off of video calls, then yes, it’s obviously still important to get up and get dressed. If you don’t have video chats on your calendar, then the choice is yours. Personally, I find that it’s easier to get my mind into that mentally “at work” space when I get myself up and get ready as if I were heading to the office. But if you’re just as focused in yoga pants and a tee, that’s cool too. :)
Have a Family Meeting.
Hopefully your older kids and/or partner understand that just because mom’s home, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re available 24/7. If this is an issue though, don’t be afraid to explain to them that when you’re in your work space, you’re “at work” and that they should only interrupt if they truly need something. Let everyone in your family explain what they need and agree to keep communication open as you all figure out this new normal together.
Remember: We’re All in the Same Boat.
Ultimately, we are all going to experience some inconveniences. If you do happen to get interrupted during a work task/call/etc., just apologize and move forward. Chances are, whoever you’re talking to has experienced something similar in the last few days. Choose to practice as much as grace—for yourself and for others—as possible.
Make Sure You Have a Variety of Things to Work On.
Don’t spend the whole day staring at the screen. Try to mix things up and incorporate necessary screentime, a Google hangout with some classmates, and time working on worksheets/assignments.
Block Out Time For Your Schoolwork—and Other Stuff.
It’s important to schedule time to work on your assignments, but you should also plan to go outside, take walks, experiment with cooking, and eat a good lunch.
Establish Your Own Space For School.
Just like adults need work space, students need a school space. Clear off a desk, table, or other workspace and get used to that being where you spend your school time. This will help you separate your school-time from your downtime.
Do you have follow up questions about working (or schooling) from home? Leave them in the comments! Like I said—we’re all in this together. I’m happy to share as many helpful tips and tricks as your family needs to start feeling comfortable in your new routines. :)
Until next week, stay well and stay safe, and don’t forget that I’m always just an email away if you need support during these difficult times!