I’m sure there are a few of you that are, and have been for quite a while, adhering to the COVID-19 social distancing suggestions and have been working from home. It seemed temporary so you made temporary adjustments to “make it work”. However, after more than 18 months at home, women have been deciding to make their career shifts permanent. Depending on your lifestyle, this may not be a bad thing. It can definitely make some of your wife and mom duties a little easier. Remember being half way to the office just to realize you forgot to take out the meat to thaw for dinner? Or realizing you forgot to move the laundry from the washer to the dryer? Well those aren’t issues when working from home. But….the kitchen counter work station needs an upgrade, and so may a few other things that worked for a short time. Here are a few tips to help you make working from home work for the long haul.
- ~Create a dedicated place to work. The best way to maximize productivity and avoid the distractions that come with being at home is to have a dedicated workspace. Working from the kitchen island isn’t it. Every trip to the fridge becomes breeding ground for unsolicited interaction and frequent interruptions. Imagine being in the middle of drafting a brief and in comes your kid on the phone looking for a snack. Find a place, that isn’t a household common space, where you can concentrate and focus with boundaries on who can enter and when.
- ~Keep your routine as similar as possible to how it was before. Veering from your previous routine leaves too much room for unwanted changes. If you left the house at 8:00am for work, then make that the same time you head to your dedicated work space. There is nothing wrong with allowing the hubby and kids to start their day as they normally would without you, even if you’re in the house. It’s great that you will be there in the event of emergency, but veering away from what has worked will lead to over dependency from your fam and unnecessary stress for you.
- ~Schedule break times with beginning and end times. DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT forgo your work breaks because you’re working from home. Don’t spend your lunch break cleaning the kids room or mopping the kitchen floor. Take the moments you normally would to refocus and refuel yourself. They will empower you throughout the day and help you avoid burnout. It also helps you to work without distraction knowing you have that break to look forward to.
- ~Set realistic goals. Let’s face it, no one who is used to working from an outside office is as productive when working from home. Notwithstanding the tips above, your kids will interrupt you, you will get distracted by in-home issues and you will have days that feel like you’ve spent more time dealing with those issues than working. Make your to-do list and your expectations for yourself knowing that and therefore setting goals you can actually achieve. You will definitely need to rely on the “two P’s”, pace and patience.
Are you a “work-from-home” seasoned vet? Add some tips for the newbies in the comments.