We are living in unique times that most of us have not seen before, people are being asked to work from home and caregivers are being asked to home-school their children. Not that easy when people are not ready for these initiatives.
Here are 6 steps to help you navigate the world of working from home, parenting and teaching.
- Acknowledge how you feel, acknowledge the confusion you are in and acknowledge that you are ill-equipped for this new venture. You feel confused, upset, fearful, unsure and unable to focus… It’s OK… Schools and workplaces are designed to help us focus and get things done. Sure you may have thought of the convenience of working from home or the benefits of home-schooling your kids; you’re just not ready for it or for the real distractions of being at home. The internet is flooded with posts of make shift offices made of toilet paper and so many other strange materials right now… Part of me believes that I will die from laughter before COVID-19 gets a hold of me. My biggest pet peeve was not having a printer and the unfamiliar sounds of the house while I worked (I know right)
- Set a schedule, yup, include your work and study goals and objectives in your schedule. Look, we have designed our homes for relaxation and play, we have not designed them to get work and studying done (no the additional work you take home and time you help the kids with homework does not really count – here you are getting a full day’s work and curriculum sorted). Get the kids involved in setting the schedule, hey you want their buy-in from the beginning, the added stress of cajoling, bribing and threatening them into motion is not fun! Include chores, meals, family projects and crafty initiatives (it will keep them entertained and curb some of their screen time – hopefully). Use the kids down time (for toddlers its their alone time and nap times and school goers it’s the time they are working on assignments) in your schedule to get things done.
- Get dressed for work and school, I spent the first 2 days working from home in my home clothes and I got nothing useful done. Once I decided to get dressed, my mind got into gear, I also got my daughter to get ready and start her lessons at the same time as she does for school and the results were amazing! This tip also includes switching off those screens and social media distractions. I get my news twice a day from valid sources and leave the social media rumor mill to its on devices.
- Set boundaries, with the kids and for yourself. Let the kids know when they can come to you for help and support and when they cannot. Keep a sign for when you are working on a time consuming project that needs your concentration so they know to keep away at that time. For babies and toddlers it’s not that easy, it’s best to use their natural down times to get things done. Set boundaries for yourself as well so that you don’t suddenly get distracted to get some housework done and vise versa. Remember the routine of going to and coming back from work also helps us maintain boundaries between work and home life; that option is not readily available, so create it.
- Build in breaks, it seems obvious doesn’t it after all we take breaks at work and kids get recess in school; the natural rhythm of getting a break is not there at home with the constant demands of work, household chores and kids, so build in your breaks. Keep active during your breaks to help you get reinvigorated and energized to get through the rest of your day!
- Celebrate accomplishments, whatever the accomplishments, whether large or small, even if they seem irrelevant. Celebrate daily, weekly and at the end of each project (work, study or family) this will help keep up the morale of all those at home with the limited social contact.
Send me a message letting me know what you think of my tips and what you are going to incorporate going forward. Contact me as well if you would like to book a session to work on balancing your work-family life to become the authentic change maker that you are.
This is the link to the English Language You Tube Video on this subject: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9hqwGDftDHg
This is the link to the Arabic Language You Tube Video on the subject: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54BCrsYK9iw
I work with Corporate and Business Leaders struggling with work-family balance to achieve their authentic life balance so that they can integrate all that they are and excel in all aspects of their lives!
I enjoy working with you because once you are true to yourself, you will be the amazing change maker that you know you are and make an impact in your corporation or business, on your team, your family and the community at large.