I thought I'd jump on the "post about COVID-19" bandwagon today because that's the only thing people are reading about, right? Anyway, because I'm in my home a lot (when I'm not organizing or speaking, I write and create at home), this self-quarantine thing is relatively old hat to me.
So, how do I keep from going stir crazy? I think these 3 things go a long way to keeping me happy and on track.
1. I do go out. I get outside to do something pretty much every day unless the temperature or windchill is below 10 degrees (sorry, other Wisconsinites are probably laughing at me, but I'm from Texas, so that's my cut-off), or it's pouring rain. It isn't healthy to stay indoors all the time. Self-quarantine does not mean you can't go for a walk down the road or take a ride on a bike path (check your local government/health website to be sure of guidance in your area). In general, though, you can find something to do outside to get fresh air and actually feel like you're going somewhere. By the way, you probably need to get dressed to do this and getting out of your pjs is vital to productivity and motivation.
2. I structure my day. For those newly working from home, you may need to get used to a whole new routine. It's important that you do create one, though. Often, we have a routine when we go in to work, like check email first, grab a coffee, work on a project, etc. Stick to that routine as much as possible. You may need to get up a little earlier to get children situated with activities. You also may need to take more breaks to help them transition from different activities - that's ok. Try to create some structure and routine for them, too.
3. I allow myself free time. When you're working from home, it's very easy to fall into the trap of not shutting down for the day - especially if you've been interrupted multiple times. Before I jumped into the fully self-employed arena, I worked remotely often. I was terrible about shutting down the laptop and leaving it in my home office. My family life suffered, and I was extremely burned out. I learned that I had to have a strict cut-off to allow my mind to explore other things and focus on my family. I began closing my laptop no later than 6pm so that the last few hours of my day were spent doing other things.
I get that this transition is difficult right now, but we will come out with new experiences and lessons from this that will only make us stronger in the long run. If you need help planning or ideas for how to manage your time, please reach out! I’m still scheduling virtual consultations to help clients remotely.
Jennifer Raschig loves to share thoughts on creating restful spaces and presenting your best self every day.