Time to Re-Frame
Posted on March 14 2020
Time to Re-Frame
“You may be given a cactus, but you don’t have to sit on it”
- Joyce Meyer
These are extraordinary times. In the last week, we’ve been bombarded with articles, broadcasts, images of stores with empty shelves, and social media posts expressing dismay over cancelled events, travel plans, and uncertainty around our jobs. No doubt, Coronavirus should be taken seriously; it has had an enormous impact on public health, our jobs, and our social lives. We must take precautionary guidelines set by the WHO and the CDC to protect each other and contain the spread of COVID-19.
But, with our movement limited, schools closed, events disrupted, vacations cancelled, and many of us working from home, how do we deal with disruptive changes to our daily routines? I have some tips on how to work from home effectively.
“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude” – Maya Angelou
Stick to a routine
If you’re working from home now, maintain your schedule as much as possible. Wake up and approach the day the same way you would as if you were going into the office. Shower in the morning and dress comfortably. Your clothing affects your mindset; dress comfortably but nicely. Don’t slip into lazy routines with poor or delayed hygiene. Both your work and your overall welfare will suffer. Give yourself some flexibility and a trial and error period to figure out what works for you (and your loved ones).
Create a dedicated workspace
If you’re not accustomed to telecommuting, create a space for your work. Some employers will allow you to expense the extra power cords, headsets, and other supplies that you need to work from home. If you live in a small space, a desk like this won’t take up much room and hides clutter when you are done.
Set boundaries for yourself
Telecommuting does not mean being confined to a chair. I deal with different time zones in my job and can work irregular hours when working with colleagues in the Middle East and Asia, but I try as much as possible to keep normal hours. Figure out what works for your job and your schedule. Your children’s schedules will also influence your hours. If you schedule breaks during normal work hours, keep your employer informed. Set your status on Skype and WhatsApp for colleagues and make sure your boss knows how to reach you in the event of a work emergency.
Set boundaries for others
Communicate with your kids and family about your dedicated work hours and your workspace. It’s not easy with the little ones, but it’s even harder without boundaries.
Reclaim the time not spent commuting
Congratulations, you now have some extra hours in your life! Don’t squander them. Do the things you haven’t had the time to do. Take your dog for a longer walk. Trust me, they REALLY appreciate it. If you don’t have a dog, go for a walk yourself. Invite a neighbor. Go for a bike ride. Do yoga. Don’t like to exercise? Watch an episode of your favorite TV show. Like to cook? Try a new recipe. The good news is you get to make dinner a little earlier and not right after a stressful commute. Do something for you.
Check items off your TO DO list
You finally have some extra time to organize your closet, declutter your garage and donate some items to charity.
We are very lucky. Technology allows us to get our work done and stay connected like never before. Get your colleagues and friends on Skype,WhatsApp, Slack, or Teams. Working from home or being quarantined doesn’t have to feel as isolating as it would without these tools. Just remember that the onus is on you to connect with your boss and managers. Keep them informed on what you’re doing and the progress you’re making even if they’re not actively reaching out to you.
Deal with school closures
If the kids are home for an extended period, here’s a useful article on how to cope.
“When life gives you lemons, add vodka and enjoy a refreshing lemon drop cocktail” – Anuja, Founder of Short Supply, The Petite Clothier