As someone that works from home daily, running my own business, I understand how hard it can sometimes be to get motivated. Add to that children ( although one is an adult and works ) a dog and a husband and chaos can and does sometimes ensue. Now, with the outbreak of Covid-19 and people being told to work from home, trying not to loose your mind , be productive and organised can cause anxiety.
However, there are things you can do to ease into this new normal, this new transition into something different and find a balance that works for you and your family.
Having worked from home for 8 years, including when my children were little and at home, and now with my youngest at school with school holidays, it’s most definitely been about finding balance. I can only share some of the helpful tips I have put into motion, but please, if you have found a brilliant solution that works for you and might help others, list it in the comment section below.
Have a Schedule Monday-Friday
I find that having proper work hours really helps me focus my time on my job, for me that is usually 9am until 3pm as this is when my son is at school. I get very productive during that time and really get my head down. If I am on a deadline, my husband entertains him of an evening whilst I finish my work.
When my youngest son is here everything changes, and I guess this will be the situation moving forward for lots of us parents, due to Coronavirus. I get up early to work before he wakes up, work when he is in bed at night and at periods of the day when I know he is settled into playing/reading/having gadget time (yes, he plays with gadgets – you cant fight it). This can be hard and by no means do I leave my son for hours on end whilst I work, so it is a real juggle… I make sure we spend quality playtime together and eat breakfast lunch and dinner together and chat. I also work from the sofa on my laptop at 30 minute intervals during this time, instead of hiding away in my office. I try and do 2 hours before he gets up and 2/3 hours when he goes to bed or when his dad can take over, then a couple of 30 minute intervals through the day. If there are two of you in the household that need to work, communication is key, become a tag team, write a schedule and get through it together.
Have regular breaks
This is so important, and I am usually the worst at this as I like to focus on work but…. I make sure I walk around the garden, when i can I have a walk along the beach as i live so close and have coffee breaks, a proper lunch break and wee breaks. This all helps me stay motivated, pre Covid-19 little coffee dates with hubby or friends would also be scheduled in at regular days during the week or trips out to get my nails done.
Have a designated work space
I am lucky in that I do have my own office work space, but if you are now working from home due to Coronavirus, I would suggest making yourself a little space. This might be moving away your make up and using your dressing table as a desk or setting up a little fold up table in the conservatory/spare room/ with a garden chair! Whatever you do, you want a space that is yours, where no one will dump toys, washing, rubbish and you can sit and focus as need be.
Have a cosy desk space
For me I like to have music, a face mist, hand lotion and sanitiser and a reed diffuser or candle. I love having bits around me that lift my spirits and create a calming work space. I also have a lavender plant, some photos and make up brushes. Sounds silly in light of what we are facing right now, but anything that lifts our spirits is well worth doing eh?
I am the worst at remembering to drink at my desk, unless, of course, its wine, so if you have a refillable water bottle make sure its full before you begin your workday. I was kindly gifted the Corkcicle mug recently and these keep hot drinks super hot for 3 hours so my coffee now doesn’t get cold and forgotten about!!
Keep Organised & Tidy
Make a list and or keep a diary. If you have a clear idea of what you need to do and when your deadlines are you can make a strategy. Ticking off a to-do list gives you a great sense of achievement and right now I will take a win anyway I can get one. Try and keep your desk tidy, a cluttered space can create a cluttered mind so try and just have the essentials on your desk, and no Susan, that doesn’t mean your full make up collection hahahaha
Be kind to yourself & Others
At the end of the day we are all trying to stay healthy and navigate our way through something we have never been through before so be kind to yourself. Stay healthy, eat well, sleep well and stay in contact with friends and family, love each other, communicate and remember, you can only do what you can do. Don’t feel you need to neglect your kids to work or neglect your work to entertain your kids, there are always little pockets of time when children are distracted, napping or playing, so make the best use of any opportunity you can get.
Communication is key when working from home, whether its staying in communication virtualy with your boss, or chatting with your friends and family via WhatsApp, facebook and phone, or talking to your spouse. Don’t shut yourself away, chat, joke and stay in touch, working from home does give you that little bit more freedom to check on your friends and family more often. My phone is always by my side on a little stand and if someone rings I can put it on loud-speak and carry on working.
I hope this helps you just a little bit, these are not new tips by any means but I just wanted you to remember you are not alone. As with anything planning is key so try to keep your head together and spend some time sitting down and working out a schedule and plan of events that can help the whole family.
Love Sharon xx