Life really is a balancing act…when you are working/schooling at home

Can you work and school at home...and maintain balance?

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Mother working from home with baby toddler. Crying child and stressed woman. Home office
Mother working from home with baby toddler. Crying child and stressed woman. Home office

Tips from B is for Balance, 2nd edition offer this advice: 

The coronavirus has given us a new appreciation for our “spaces.” While many of us are fortunate to have a designated home office, others are not. While some have a designated play space for kids that can be converted into a mini-schoolroom, others do not. I heard recently that the trend toward “open-concept living spaces” was quickly changing. How much time can you possibly spend in an open-concept space when you are working from home and perhaps home-schooling as well? What can you do to keep the balance while confined during this pandemic?

  • Create a Designated Work Area at Home

When you are in your home “office,” that’s the time to work, to respond to calls, complete electronic banking, update social media, and reply to electronic mail. When you are finished, walk away from the office and computer. Set aside specific times for checking messages.  Then, reward yourself with personal time.

  • Master Efficiency

Many of us are teleworking; keep in mind that many professionals find it difficult to adjust to working from home, even those who have done it forever. The freedom of working in casual clothing (or not getting out of your pajamas), of not reporting for work at a specific time, and of not being directly supervised by others creates an environment that may become lax. You must be responsible for your own efficiency, effectiveness, and efforts. Is your work environment efficient and ergonomically correct? Does it lend itself to a high level of productivity in a short time span? Are you a morning person—someone who works best in the early hours of the day? Set a schedule to plan your work at home, and then work according to your plan.

  • Manage your Time Wisely

You schedule appointments with other people in your personal planner, so why not schedule time with yourself? Make appointments for regular exercise or meditation (even more now than ever before).  Regardless of whom we are and what we do, we still have the same 24 hours in each day.  Do you delegate, or you the one who must do it all to get it right? 

  • Know What Is Important and Why

In his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey showed that for many of us, the day is filled with tasks that attract our attention and seem urgent, but they may never need to be done. Weed those out and make time for the important tasks. The important duties that are also urgent require our immediate attention.  Learn to prioritize.  Know which of the things you must complete today, or this week, are most important and engage in systems that can help you to stick to your schedule. This is a great time to master prioritization; you may be “in” for quite some time.

  • Identify homeschool space

Perhaps your peers have homeschooled for years; suddenly, you find yourselves in the same situation, and by chance, rather than choice. Identify a dedicated space where your child or children can work on class assignments with good lighting, connectivity, and a sense of ownership. Encourage downtime, and recess; for yourselves and your kids.

And, for those of you out of work, again not by choice, and struggling with what to do to maintain a sense of calm, I offer these tips:

•        No one knows you better than you; work that to your advantage

•        Become a master of efficiency

•        Identify those areas of life most important for your well-being and balance and integrate them within your lifestyle

•        Know your limits

•        Treat yourself with kindness

What matters most is, do your best! There is no playlist…hundreds of thousands of moms, dads, and grandparents will be forced to balance homeschooling with their day-to-day work responsibilities. Life is a balancing act─ now more than ever before. All of us need downtime…be sure that you take the time in your day to appreciate life, be grateful, and be kind.

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