Let’s face it, working from home, schooling from home, and living in your home feels like a little too much to be doing all from the same spot. Your home may be starting to feel a little too “close for comfort” right now. How is one to separate work or school from your usual home life and sanctuary? How do you have conference calls amid heated Fortnite battles.
To be honest, we have been trying to find the perfect mix ourselves here at my own home. We find the key is to keep them as separate as possible, while being as functional as possible. The other important thing to remember is that this is the new reality for the time being. It’s not the time to beat yourself up if you don’t feel as productive as usual or you lose your cool with those around you.
Center yourself and your family by finding forgiveness and acceptance of everything you ALL have going on. With a little willingness to go with the flow and making concessions for everyone’s needs, you will get through this.
No stranger to making beautiful, yet functional spaces, I’ve had to rearrange my home to create zones, multiple offices, and art rooms.
Find a spot that your brain recognizes as your work space. Whether you have a study, a dining room, or even a nook in the living room, own it and use it as your home base. This is where you can also return when you begin to feel more scattered and unable to focus during the day. Keep it neat and uncluttered. Straighten it throughout the day and at night before you wind down. Clutter is super distracting and can be more than overwhelming, especially when you are fielding 50 extra things a minute, more than what you are normally used to fielding.
Everyone works differently. Some of us have sporadic bursts of energy where we tackle a lot in a short amount of time and then need a few moments of down time to pick back up again. Others prefer to work straight through only finishing when they have accomplished everything on their to-do list. Know how you work best. Realize you are going to have to keep your center when things throughout the day aren’t working like you envisioned them in your head when you started.
Some of us simply need a change of scenery to make our days at home feel less monotonous. Going back to that “home-base” is key though and may help you center and be more productive. Make sure everything is organized to help you be the most effective YOU can be. This isn’t the time to beat yourself up and force yourself into productivity at times where you won’t be your most effective, i.e. when you are doing a school assignment with your kiddo. Most aren’t use to working at home, and certainly not used to schooling our children while we do it. It’s an entirely new environment and with all of these anxieties, give yourself a break.
Speaking of home schooling… If you find yourself as your child’s new homeroom (and everything) teacher, it’s really important to find a place where kids feel comfortable, yet open and attentive to learning. If possible, carve out their own “office” (as I call Harrison’s new classroom), and give them a separate place to work on assignments. Same as adults, children accomplish goals and work differently. The key is finding how they like to achieve their to-do list and helping them through these achievements, while keeping yourself sane and focused as well.
This isn’t going to be easy for anyone. Communicating, knowing in advance there will be challenges and looking for strategies to work through them is key. Expect to disagree, push back on school work, and begging for IPad time during math class is going to happen. The best thing for your sanity is being prepared for that with tactics to work through them effectively.
We are use to our homes being our sanctuary. We return here after work, school, an evening out to unwind and spend time with our family and friends. Try not to take your home for granted. Even though you might be tired of seeing it, remember it can still be your happy place with a tweak of mindset and maybe some decor as well. Reorganize your closet, clean out your linen closet, and things like that will not only make you feel better and more centered, you can donate things that you aren’t using to the multitude of people who aren’t as fortunate during this time and give back to your community.