When Life Changed as We Knew It
As restrictions ease somewhat, and life begins to return to the beginnings of normalcy, I find myself reflecting on what has been one of the biggest challenges for me: Working from Home.
To be fair, I’ve actually been working from home for a while, but once the pandemic hit, things changed and became more challenging. If you aren’t already aware, I have children and my older ones are in middle school. When the pandemic hit, things changed for us when they began remote learning.
As a freelancer and entrepreneur, my schedule does allow me flexibility, but I’m the type of person who still needs at the minimum, a tentative schedule. When the kids switched to school at home, it affected my schedule, and the time I needed to get things done.
For the children, going to school from home seemed like it would be easy. So in the beginning, there wasn’t too many hiccups. However, as time passed on, they found themselves struggling to understand their assignments and keep up with their work. I found myself spending my “office hours” trying to keep the kids on task, and making sure the logged into their zooms.
Eventually, I found myself stepping away from work altogether. I needed to regroup, and I needed to create order in my work/home/mom/life as soon as possible.
3 Things I found that helped with achieving Balance
The reason things became overwhelming for me, is because I la kid organization. Although the situation as a whole was unplanned, the lack of structure had turned my home/work balance into utter chaos.
Eventually, things did get back on track, and home became normal once more. Here are some of the things that helped me achieve that:
- Establishing Boundaries
The most important thing that I had to do was set boundaries for myself. This meant learning the kids’ school schedules and creating my own around theirs. Once I was able to carve out the small gaps of time for my “office hours”, I would only work on projects during that set time. This helped keep work from spilling over into the rest of my day, and family time with the kids. I learned how important having those boundaries in place for my house, and it also helped to eliminate a lot of the chaos too.
- Following a Daily Routine
Prior to the pandemic, I had a daily routine in place that I would follow to jumpstart my day. This included time to get the kids off to school for the day. Once the pandemic hit, I lost sight of what the importance of having a daily routine meant on having a productive day. I had to get myself back to the basics and create a schedule factoring in our new reality.
- Keeping my “Workspace” Clutter Free
My workspace is usually fairly cluttered. I find that in order to accomplish my tasks quickly and effectively, I need most of my desk to be unused. This means that much of my desk is unused right now. It means that I haven’t gotten to work on important projects and can’t tell you how much I appreciate having uncluttered space to work in. Then there’s the matter of organization — whether you consider it physical or logical. When things are messy, it’s hard to find things you aren’t going to screw up. But the organization also helps keep your brain productive by helping you find the things you need before you start working on them. That doesn’t mean you should try to get everything done right away — or even at all. Just start small and see what sticks.
The Short of things…
When the pandemic hit, people worried about their ability to work at home safely. They were worried about finding work that would pay the bills. They were worried about making payroll. A lot of people lost their jobs.To manage my situation efficiently, I decided to find ways to help myself stay motivated while working from home. Working from home during the pandemic gave me a lot of responsibility but also gave me the freedom to do things I enjoyed, which helped keep me motivated.