Tips on Juggling Real Life While Working from Home
Updated: Apr 7
Between working from home, homeschooling kids, who may be back to school in person and maybe only for a few days a week, and getting work done around the house our days can seem to run together and stress us ALL the way out. Especially if you’re like many, who are used to the separation between work and home life. Pandemic life, is still our normal as of now and with so much change and folks trying to balance more than they ever have, it can get overwhelming. I know it has for me and I’ve had it easy compared to most.
I’ve put together a few tips and ideas that have helped calm my anxieties, enabled me to be more productive, and give myself a little grace in all the chaos. As we approach the year mark when everything changed due to the pandemic. I honestly believe even when things get back to normal, which hopefully happens sooner than later, these tips can be of use and make your day to day easier and more productive.
Start your mornings off with prayer/meditation - No matter what you call it, starting your day off in prayer or meditation, taking a few minutes to take in the quiet and reflect and give thanks for a new day is always beneficial. Write a few notes in your gratitude journal (a journal where you write all you’re grateful for) or doing a devotional from your bible app. It will surely help put you in a more positive mindset at the onset of your day. You may consider waking up 15/30 minutes early in order to put this to practice. But it is so worth it I’ve found.
Plan ahead - Plan what you can, when you can! It can be hard to do at times, yes because days can be unpredictable and things come up that we can’t foresee but it’s always a good idea to have somewhat of a game plan for your day/week. Appointments, errands, even your lunch time or any breaks in the day you allow for, schedule it. I myself for the past three years have using a planner to help me, put down all I need to do in a day, and keep a list for groceries and errands as well. You may not be into planning, but have a notebook where you can write or use a small (or large) whiteboard to make your list and have your day laid out so you can see it. You can mark off task as you go, and keep track of changes to your day or appointments where’ll it be easier for you to keep track of. If you’re in the market for a planner I recommend Simplified Weekly/Monthly planner by Emily Ley.
Find a quiet space conducive for work hours- Now those of us who are used to working from/ or operate their own business may have a dedicated workspace already. It may not be easy for some to find said quiet working space. But even sitting on your couch with a folding table, I propose going ahead and having your surrounding area tidy with good lighting, and the noise level down. No TV, loud music, or distracting pets nearby. Now if you have young children this may prove difficult, but keeping them engaged with a few quiet toys, school work, or educative game on their tablet for between breaks where you can check in may help. From what I’ve seen, heard from friends and family, and experienced myself, days can be chaotic and no matter how hard you try, distractions are there, but it helps to eliminate the ones you can.
Take breaks- Kids aren’t the only ones that need break time or “recess” to give their brains a break and move their muscles. Take time for lunch yes, but if your eyes begin to hurt, or you have a good window of time between zoom meetings, take a break! Step away and maybe step outside and get some fresh air in your yard or balcony. Reheat that lukewarm cup of coffee and take the time to actually enjoy it. We all need a minute to recharge in the middle of the day, and we may feel guilty or just even forget to do so if working from home but it actually can help productivity and quality of work. I mean who gives their best when your eyes are burning, brain is fried, and all the documents you’ve been reading suddenly don’t make sense anymore. An hour for lunch and two fifteen minute breaks seem reasonable for a 7/8 hour workday I find.
Some other things to keep in mind, that have helped me transition from going into an office for a set of hours each day (long before the lockdown) and working from home is don’t mix tasks if you can help it. What I mean more specifically by that is, keep home and personal errands outside of your work hours if/when you can. I find it helps keep my mind more focused and I can accomplish more in that dedicated period than hoping from a zoom meeting to running to the grocery store or trying to reorganize my linen closet. Now of course, as stated before when young school age kids are home, all bets are off, you have to go from tutor/teacher mode back into work mode inevitably. Though in cases where you’re able save yourself the stress! One thing at a time! I don’t have it down to a science, and I still get caught up in stressful days and weeks, especially since getting Caribbean Essence off the ground but these tips I’m sharing really have helped and I’m able to even find time to continue to brainstorm and get more done than I thought I’d be able to.
Now I’d love to hear from you, if you try to implement any of these ideas for yourself, or have any to share that have worked for you and or your family. Let us know in the comments what’s been helping you navigate this past year.
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