Working at Home… Crowded House edition
No, this isn’t a post about the 80’s rock band from Australia.
Although, while we’re on the subject, some of their lyrics are especially poignant and relevant almost 35 years later.
But let’s get back to our topic because there’s more bodies in your home on a daily basis right now.
It was challenging at times to get your day in order when it was just you and the dog at home running your business.
Now, even the thought of getting yourself back on track feels like an impossible feat.
That’s why I’m sharing 5 guideposts to keep you centered, calm and moving things along each day.
1. Stick to a routine
Now that there are more people in your house and in addition to writing your weekly newsletter and delivering a webinar and launching your new program and working with incredible clients, you also have a child that needs to do e-learning and a partner that’s home all the time and a lovingly confused dog.
Make a new routine for your house and stick to it as closely as you can to have a semblance of repetition and habit.
When will you get up each day?
What happens next?
When will e-learning happen?
What time will you do your writing?
When are your client sessions? Do any need to be moved?
What time will you end your work day?
Your new routine will stay generally the same from day to day.
2. Have a clear plan each day
Continuing on the thought of a routine, also have a daily plan for what you’re going to work on and accomplish each day. You can consider this your daily task list.
What needs to happen today that cannot be put off until tomorrow?
What task, if completed today, would feel like a win?
What small step can you take this very day towards your larger goal?
Your daily plan will change from day to day.
3. Lower the bar
It’s easy to get tripped up when it comes to your routine and daily plan because we want to do all that we did prior to the pandemic, plus be able to accomplish all the new items on your plate.
But for what?
I was talking with a friend recently, who mentioned how she learned that high-level executives at many massive tech companies are only working 20 hours per week.
And, their employers know this, have acknowledged it and are okay with it.
These are people who usually work 60-80 hours per week.
Now, they’re only spending 25-33% of their usual time on work responsibilities on a weekly basis. In high-ranking and paying positions. At Fortune 500 companies.
So why do you feel you have to keep all the balls in the air right now?
It’s okay to lower your expectations.
Practice awareness around noticing when you should be doing more and telling yourself that it’s okay to not go full steam ahead all the time right now.
This practice will be an hour to hour occurrence, and that’s okay.
4. Make time for more breaks
And that’s why, you need to make sure you’re taking the best care of yourself that you ever have.
Because right now, our fundamental need for security feels threatened. Which, whether we’re conscious of it or not, it’s having an effect on our bodies.
So be sure to carve out more breaks into your day.
If you were used to taking two breaks throughout the day to walk your dogs or stretch through a yoga set, add at least one more to your routine.
If hanging with your family at night and re-watching a beloved tv program is your speed (ahem, Jane the Virgin), make sure you call it a day at a specific time and disconnect for your business.
More break time in your routine should be something that happens each and every day.
5. Keep those Boundaries… and maybe close the door
Now that more people are under the roof all the livelong day, it’s easy to get distracted and many times, it’s not an intentional distraction on your part.
Your kid would like to color under your desk today while you work, only to ask where a specific color crayon is every 3 minutes.
Your husband comes into your office to tell you about the awesome tuna sandwich he made for lunch.
Your sister wants to FaceTime every hour because she’s bored.
You were so good at holding tight to your boundaries pre-pandemic.
Re-draw your boundaries. What’s okay? What’s not okay?
Then politely and directly let your family and loved ones know.
And if that still seems to not be working as hoped, close the door.
Nothing says, “Please don’t interrupt because I’m in the middle of an important project” like a closed office door.
Reaffirming your boundaries will likely need to happen on a daily basis.
Now, I want to hear from you. What are you doing to keep your business moving and yourself centered during these uncertain times?
Photo by Progressive Insurance on Unsplash