I wrote this on 23rd March 2020, just as lockdown began, today I re-visited to remind myself of a few elements of my own advice that I should be following:
𝗚𝗲𝘁 in 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘇𝗼𝗻𝗲, 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝘀𝘁𝗮𝘆𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗮𝘁 𝗵𝗼𝗺𝗲…………..
This one has nothing to do with finance and everything to do with life:
‘You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone’ seems rather appropriate for these unpredictable times. Who would have thought we would all be craving normality at the start of the week……The hectic household preparing for the day, the rush hour madness to get the children to school and ourselves to work etc all of a sudden sounds like a dream rather than just another manic Monday.
For some of us, working from home will be an unknown scenario, for others (including me), it is something we are a bit more used to but no matter what your situation was before any of this, it is different now, we are loosing an element of freedom which most of us (again, including me) are so used to taking for granted.
𝐌𝐲 𝐚𝐝𝐯𝐢𝐜𝐞 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐚𝐧𝐲𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐧𝐞𝐰 𝐭𝐨 𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐤𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐟𝐫𝐨𝐦 𝐡𝐨𝐦𝐞:
- Set routines — of course you can be a bit more flexible (no directors tracking time spent making brews — wahay), but routine from day one will help keep productivity flowing and also help with the ability to switch off at the end of the shift despite being in the same building when the working day ends. We are, after all, creatures of habit — set the right habits.
2. If possible, set up a designated working area, again it will help with the end of day ‘switch off’ and with organisation. I don’t have a home office but I do have a working area and I never sit in that chair or at that desk, unless I am working. If you have no option but the dining room table then consider a rule of set up / pack up every day so that work is out of sight when it’s family time.
3. Get dressed, seriously, get dressed, at least on the majority of days (even if it’s joggers and a hoody). Working in PJ’s somehow seems like a treat, but don’t set it as a standard, we may be in isolation but again, there needs to be a difference between home life and work life even when work is at home. If you don’t follow a morning routine the mind takes longer to switch off from last nights dreams and focus on toady’s goals.
4. Take breaks! Before I’d experienced working from home I used to think I bet it’s great to take breaks whenever you want but when I first started I used to get lost in the work due to having no distractions and not move at all for 8+ hours at a time which is never a good thing. I now have a dog who solved that, if I don’t take a break every 4 hours to go outside with her then I have to take a break to clean the carpet when she gets her revenge (sake!) When planning the days schedule, set yourself breaks and stick to them.
𝐂𝐡𝐢𝐥𝐝𝐫𝐞𝐧 𝐚𝐭 𝐡𝐨𝐦𝐞? 𝐄𝐄𝐊!
Well at least that’s the break bit sorted, ‘Mum’, ‘Mum’, Muuuuuuuummmmm!’ this is not going to be easy but, again, routine is key. Schedule the days as much as possible so that the children feel the same kind of security they get from their structured days at school.
Also, whilst we are talking children, let them talk too — about this — because each and every one of us needs someone to express our true worries to right now, children more so, their lives have just changed in a huge way with school closing and they will probably have been hearing as much about the virus as we have, whether via trusted sources i.e teachers and the news or utter bull**** from the playground & made up social media ‘info’. They need to be able to ask questions, the greatest fear in life is the fear of the unknown!
𝐍𝐨𝐰 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐬𝐨𝐦𝐞 𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐚𝐥 𝐡𝐞𝐚𝐥𝐭𝐡 𝐭𝐢𝐩𝐬:
I am in no way an expert, but a few things that may help some of you during these crazy times:
1. Write down three things during each day that you have been thankful for, it could be as simple as ‘my cup of tea in the morning’ or ‘the sunshine when I opened the curtains’ but try it every day, just three things you have appreciated — however basic, after a week or so of this the mind will start to recognise more often, how much you enjoy something that is usually overlooked.
2. Try not to ‘compare’ your worries with those of others, you may not know the full story, those rich neighbors who don’t have to worry about paying the mortgage might have a poorly relative that they are not allowed to visit. The colleagues who have no family disturbing them whilst working from home could end up suffering from intense loneliness if we go into total lock down. Be kind. Do not compare your world to another which you know little about.
3. Communicate! We have so many ways to do so, do it for your own good as well as the good of others. A simple ‘how are you?’ could stop someone else’s day from being a whirlwind of worry, the elderly and vulnerable that are alone — text them. The friend who is surrounded by family in a busy household — text them too — because you don’t have to be alone to feel lonely!
𝐅𝐢𝐧𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐲, 𝐦𝐲 𝐛𝐞𝐬𝐭 𝐟𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐧𝐝, 𝐦𝐲 𝐫𝐨𝐜𝐤 𝐢𝐧 𝐥𝐢𝐟𝐞, 𝐢𝐬 𝐚 𝐍𝐮𝐫𝐬𝐞 — 𝐈 𝐰𝐢𝐥𝐥 𝐧𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐫 𝐤𝐧𝐨𝐰 𝐰𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐢𝐭 𝐢𝐬 𝐭𝐫𝐮𝐥𝐲 𝐥𝐢𝐤𝐞 𝐭𝐨 𝐟𝐚𝐜𝐞 𝐰𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐬𝐡𝐞 𝐢𝐬 𝐞𝐱𝐩𝐞𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐝𝐚𝐲 𝐭𝐨 𝐝𝐚𝐲 𝐛𝐮𝐭 𝐈 𝐰𝐚𝐧𝐭 𝐭𝐨 𝐟𝐢𝐧𝐢𝐬𝐡 𝐛𝐲 𝐬𝐚𝐲𝐢𝐧𝐠 — 𝐭𝐨 𝐚𝐥𝐥 𝐭𝐡𝐨𝐬𝐞 𝐨𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐟𝐫𝐨𝐧𝐭 𝐥𝐢𝐧𝐞 — 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐬𝐭𝐫𝐨𝐧𝐠, 𝐛𝐫𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐚𝐦𝐚𝐳𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐩𝐞𝐨𝐩𝐥𝐞! 𝐅𝐫𝐨𝐦 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐛𝐨𝐭𝐭𝐨𝐦 𝐨𝐟 𝐦𝐲 𝐡𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐭, 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐧𝐤 𝐲𝐨𝐮!
Samantha Mitcham — 23.03.20