10 Top Tips to Mitigate Ubiquitous Work/Life Mix
This week, Teachers returned to work, albeit in a way no one ever imagined - from home. Do you feel now that your entire day is just working? Is there no boundary between work... and home?
Having worked from home as a remote consultant in Health in Fitness for many years, I can say there are a few ways to help manage.
Here are my 10 Top Tried and Tested Tips:
1. Acceptance. Accept this will take some adjustment. Accept it'll be a wonky week or two while you wrap yourself around this new way of working. You'll need to ask your family to work around you, and you will need to take every little shred of 'me' time around these demands. Accept this is NOT a good week for 'me' time. A 5 min walk will suffice for today.
2. Envision. This weekend, take a long walk and start to envision what 'work from home' COULD look like to you. Do you need to move your 'work' space to another room/spot away from your area of leisure? How long is your day? And which hours of the day do you feel you need for yourself. If you can envision it, you can work toward it.
3. Routine. Set up a new one It's time to adjust. By now you will know the times of days you will need to be available for students, colleagues and parents. Set those times up. IF you have any flexibility in those, set those times up AROUND what your needs are...
4. Identify your Needs. Do you need to meditate in the mornings, eat at regular intervals, take a jog outside and meet with your family each day? If so, set your needs INTO the schedule (like an appointment) and commit to those. For example, if you know you need to be available to students M-F, 9 am - 4 pm, make sure you schedule your breakfast, lunch and dinner, your meditation time and your exercise.
5. Parameters. Set them up, the way you need (e.g. family time is 5-7 pm at our place). If you let others know when you are 'unavailable', the other people you are accountable to will get used to that and approach you during the times you are 'available'. You can gently remind people, until they work themselves around your timetable. For example, if Yoga Time and Lunch is 12 noon, you can let others know that you are 'unavailable' M-F 12 - 12:30. A lunch break is not a bad word. Everyone needs time to tend to themselves, especially if you are tending to others. a.k.a. Teachers.Also, I have parameters around Sundays. I am simply NOT AVAILABLE to work on Sundays. This is a day for me and my family. That's a healthy parameter, would you not say?
6. Plan. Fail to Plan and Plan to Fail. Plan meals, workout wear, yoga schedules, playlists. I use Sundays for this. The whole family is involved - we agree menus, chores, and times for dinner so we can time together. Batch cooking happens too, so we don't eat junk when the rubber hits the road on Monday.
7. Prioritize. If not everything can be done, make a 'parking lot' for the things that will just have to wait (I use a post-it note on the side of my laptop). Stay focussed on the most important task you have prioritized and put other tasks into the 'parking lot' so they are not forgotten, but also no distracting you. If priorities change, that's ok. You decide the priority of what needs to done now, later and what can be looked at further down the road.
8. Acceptance. Again. Accept that you can't do everything.Nothing's going to be perfect, and neither are you. You are not Super Person. (nice idea, but no). Who can you ask for help? Who can do some of the tasks? Is there a way to work smarter, not harder?
9. Re-evaluate. Is this working? If not, what exactly needs to change for next week? Make some adjustments and envision what those might look like going forward.
10. Enjoy. You've now set parameters around your needs, your time away from work, so make sure you ACTUALLY enjoy it! Get away from the laptop and strap on you hiking boots, take the dog and a family member and enjoy.
I hope this is useful and at least gives you food for thought. Any comments or suggestions please let us all know. What is working for you right now? Please do share!
Love and Light