I have heard from a number of different people, from all walks of life, that they are working harder and longer now that they are working from home. What is happening is that we have lost those natural triggers and boundaries that used to prompt us to stop what we were doing (working) and go home or move on to personal time or activities. Working from home feels like we never leave work- there is no separation. It is exacerbated by the fact that it is daylight long past “quitting” time. So it is easy to stay engrossed in whatever project we are working on and completely lose track of time. During the winter, we have the early setting of the sun to help signal that it is time to stop working, time to eat and eventually go to sleep, but our natural rhythms may be off balance by this new Home/Work/Lifestyle causing blurred lines. Some people even say “Everyday is Saturday!” since the days of the week blend together; the rhythm of “going to work” and then having the weekends off may not exist as usual weekend activities have changed. There is nowhere to “go out” on Friday and Saturday night. We still need to eat, sleep and have fun!
It may be time to break out the old day planner and block out time and schedule in “me” time. There are so many webinars, Zoom calls, online courses, content and resources that we want to take advantage of and consume as much content as possible, but we can’t lose sight of the need for personal downtime and time with family. Be bold and set some boundaries. Use the calendar function on your phone as it has an audible alarm to remind you that it is time to go for a walk! Mix up your routine so each night is not the same. Be creative. We all need to be more conscious and mindful of how we spend our time and create a better Work/Life balance. We are officially one month into social distancing and shelter in place restrictions began. This disruption to our daily routines can be a source of anxiety. Let’s be good to ourselves and one another. Communities have been coming together to support each other in so many ways that it is inspiring. Even our virtual community has been a creative source of fun activities. If you know someone that is not managing well, practice civility. By extending that courtesy of self-love to yourself, you will be better able to assist others in compassion.
Schedules can create ease and can help alleviate the feeling of overwhelm as we adapt to our new Work/Home Schedules. Here are some suggestions that my business coach shared with me when our "Shelter In Place" time began. I have edited them for you and it might just inspire you to create some boundaries or schedules that work for you and your family.
Emphasize that everyone's work and time is important
Create a set schedule to follow every day
Allow all family members to have some input on the schedule so it does not seem like rules
Discuss with them how to create a balance between 1) learning (home school), 2) having fun, 3) being offline
Build in times for Being and not just Doing (family game/activity time)
Find ways to be present with your home school students so they feel supported (do reading while they do reading, do work while they do homework)
Please let me know how I can best support you at this time. We will celebrate together again soon. We have a full network of entertainment and hospitality professionals that have been adapting their businesses and schedules and are open and willing to offer online or virtual entertainment or education. Feel free to reach out and tap into this vital resource that is available to you.
Enjoy this beautiful time of the year! Stay strong, be well, and we will stay in touch!