How to keep it together while working from home
Updated: Jun 1, 2020
As we settle into summer with our "new norms" well in place, working from home is still a bit of a learning curve for all of us.
Some days I feel like I have no idea what I accomplished, but somehow all the work is done. Then there are other days when work might not be as hectic and you get these tiny morsels where you can live in the moment. Mind you with toddlers in the house, I'm sure they're far and few between. But, rest assured - they exist!
For me a big help has been keeping a daily routine. As all of our days meld into one another, keeping a regular schedule can balance that immensely! As a working mom, there is truly no other way to handle this if you want to keep your sanity. We often make our own chaos by not organizing ourselves. Here are my tips for creating an organized and fun work environment at home:
Schedule.Schedule.Schedule This one seems pretty obvious, but it still must be mentioned. Organization starts with a plan. I recommend Sunday evening sitting down with your significant other and/or kids to look at the week together. Take 20 minutes and iron out all the details so as to avoid unnecessary surprises. Which brings me to...
Plan for Some Surprises Look, in an ideal world we'd all keep exactly to our schedules and you wouldn't need to run to the ER because your kid decided to stick a marble up his nose. Don't create a schedule that doesn't have some breathing room. Stuff happens, plan for it.
Google Calendar Should Be Your BFF If you aren't using Google Calendar already, I would just stop reading here and go ahead and set that puppy up. I'll wait...
This calendar has definitively changed my life, this is not an exaggeration. It's all the things my Type-A personality loves - color coded appointments, to-do lists, reminders on top of reminders - in short, it's a life saver. Don't believe me? Check out this article.
Be In the Moment Despite the word "mom" being in the word "moment", moms don't know how to do this. We are internally wired to continue planning for the next everything! If my 4-year-old asks me about lunch at 9:30 a.m. one more time, I'm going to lose it!! In those moments of chaos - S.T.O.P. Stop, take a breath, observe and proceed. This small exercise can do so much to anchor you in the present moment.
Schedule Time With Kiddos Nope, not a typo. I know they're with you all day, why in the world would you schedule time with them when you have so much to do? You need to do this BECAUSE you have so much to do. All too often an entire day would go by and I would realize I didn't really have one-on-one time with my little girl. She would sit and "work" with me, but I am so engrossed in what I'm doing it's not engaging for either of us. That's when I decided to block an hour out of each day and give her my full undivided attention. No phone, no email, no social media, no TV and absolutely no Frozen 2.
My heart is so full with gratitude for having done this now. These little morsels only come along so often. In 10 years, I'll be begging her to spend time with me. The pandemic has given us a silver lining in all of the sadness - value the time you have at home with your family, it's not going to be there forever.