Many people are suddenly finding themselves working from home, including teachers, lawyers, financial advisors, art directors, realtors, producers and more. While this is absolutely necessary right now, it also presents its own set of challenges.
As I’ve collected stories over the last few days about people’s various work-from-home-with-kids situations, it seems that working parents are overwhelmed with work responsibilities as well as overseeing their children’s schedule and online education activities.
- Start your day with a routine: whether that is exercise, meditation, reading or journaling, find what works for you to maintain a sense of feeling grounded. Then, extend that to the kids. Have a routine for them in the morning to include breakfast, chores and reading or free time.
- Redefine productivity: You may need to lower your expectations because you will not be as productive as you are used to because of the added stress and having the kids at home. That said, there are some things that will help: set up a schedule, turn off distractions, schedule breaks and take them, use a time blocking method. Also, relax your expectations about how much the kids will engage in academics versus screen time. Also, if you are the only adult at home all day with the kids, you may need to work early in the morning and later in the evening. Again, flexibility is key.
- Nourish yourself and your kids: eat what make your body feel good, move your body or even work up a sweat by walking in nature, and carve out some time everyday to do something you love, like curl up with a book and a cup of tea or take a hot bath and get enough sleep. For the kids, this is their free time to choose what they love.
- Delegate: if you’re a pro at this, then by all means pull out your best delegation strategies. If you’re newer and have trouble setting boundaries or delegating, then now is the time to start. You can no longer do your full time job, the full time invisible workload at home, as well as the new activities and stresses related to the health crisis we’re in. Set boundaries and delegate to your team, to your kids and to your partner.
- Connect with community (online, text) and family: set up a time to call grandparents and other family. Set up group chats with friends.
- Be of service: whether in your work or in your community, how can you serve others? Journal about this and then do one thing. Ask the kids how they can help their neighbors or family members.
This blog post is excerpted from a full article that appeared in the Santa Fe New Mexican.
For more on how to live in a state of awareness and thrive, even when things are in crisis, tune in to the Well Woman Show on National Public Radio at npr.org/podcasts.
About the author:
Giovanna is a leadership consultant and results coach with 20+ years working with entrepreneurs, government and non-profits to improve the lives of women and families. She holds a Master of Science degree in Public Policy from the London School of Economics and is the founder of the Family Friendly Business Award® and host of The Well Woman Show on KUNM and NPR.