Today, most of us are working from home - and that comes with a unique set of challenges! If you're working from home with little people around, are now sharing a workspace with your spouse, or are sharing a home with other people, you might be wondering, "How do I balance everything and use this time well?"
Here are 3 tips that I hope will help you in this transition!
If you feel stretched too thin, if you feel like your people are all up in your business because now you have to work from home and you don't have any T I M E for yourself, here's where you find it.
I normally set my alarm for 4 a.m., but I've been setting it for 5 a.m. recently. But when my alarm went off at five, I did not want to get up - so I reset it for 5:30 a.m. However, I was wide awake at 5:12 because my body knew it was time for my Holy Hour. This hour is for my reading and journaling time before I work from home all day with the kids being around since they're not in school.
Be selfish at 5 a.m. Wake up an hour before your people so you can have that time to yourself. You've got to create that time. You don't find the time, you make the time, and you make it in the morning.
You need to have clear expectations for yourself and each other as you transition to working from home. There has to be some sort of designated line between when you do work, and when you are off. Otherwise, you will be tripping over and confusing your people.
I know I run into this problem when my morning routine bleeds into work - when my laptop is out on the couch and I start to work on it in front of the kids and my wife. They start to wonder, "Is he in dad mode or is he in work mode?"
When you blur the lines, you are not serving your people well. Instead, create a clear line of separation. Often that might look like a door that you close to your office or establishing that you will not bring your laptop into the living room or bedroom.
Whatever your line is, you need to make it clear. If your people are all together, you have to learn to communicate with them clearly so they know when you are "on the clock" or "at work" and when you are fully "at home."
I know that this is particularly hard if you are the full-time caregiver of your kids and you're trying to squeeze work in. That's where you might put on a show for the kids and, while they watch, you go to another room and dedicate that full hour to work. Whatever you do, the key to it being successful is that you set clear routines and communicate them well to your people.
Otherwise, everything is blurry and everybody's going to get frustrated because there are no clear expectations.
Especially right now, while our country faces this pandemic and we're all adjusting to such an unprecedented time. This isn't normal for anyone, so acknowledge that you're new at this - we all are! The truth is, giving yourself some grace today might mean putting a movie on with your family (even if it's a Monday night) and just relaxing a little. Maybe it means some extra gummy bears.
For example, last night I wanted the kids to start getting ready for bed at seven o'clock. But we had a movie on, so we decided to give them an extra fifteen minutes. This may seem silly, or so small, but we need to start asking "What are the small concessions I can make in order to increase the current relational currency here?"
As an Enneagram 3, a hard-driving personality, this is really hard advice for me to give and receive. But we need to slow down a little bit and be kind and gracious to those around us. We need to slow down enough to just be fully present with the people in our lives.
That might mean not getting as much work done as you thought you would so that you can be there for your people. I think in times of crisis, it's crucial that we put people over our projects, and that we fight to remember how much people matter.
Remember to apply these three tips:
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