Working from Home with a Full House
The work from home routine is not a foreign concept to our SimplrFlex Experts; however, to millions of Americans, this is a new reality that requires some major acclimation. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic currently sweeping across the nation, the confines of our homes are the new offices, schools, and just about everything else for the foreseeable future.
Families across the country are now adjusting to the new normal: sharing workspaces with their spouses and children all day, every day.
While these unusual circumstances can create some cute moments, being stuck at home with the whole family during an anything-but-normal workweek can deal a severe blow to your efficiency and focus when working from home.
In this post, we will share some advice on how to handle the new dynamics at home. Topics covered include staying focused, creating a plan, staying sane, and controlling your spending.
Create a schedule for everyone and stick to it
Our routines ruled our daily lives before COVID-19, and they are a necessity for productivity, especially when working around spouses or children that aren’t usually there and have daily routines entirely different from your own.
Make a plan for your workweek that is flexible, but intentional. Just like working from home in a pandemic-free reality, it’s smart to schedule specific work and break periods. Schedules don’t need to be tedious or complicated; simply designating time for work and breaks will allow you to focus when needed. Spending your break-time on an activity or chore you enjoy will allow you to maximize your time and encourage productivity once you return to work.
Mimicking your pre-quarantine habits will bring you closer to your average level of focus and efficiency. Routines also bring a sense of security to our children’s lives, and a personalized daily checklist can make this transition period more natural and structured for them (and you).
Keep in mind that things will happen; kids will need attention, you will have internet issues, and everyone will get restless at some point. Figuring out how to balance these new responsibilities ahead of time will help you deal with distractions appropriately and keep you focused.
Take extra-special care of yourself
Working from home with a full house will be much more taxing than usual. If you are someone who needs alone-time to recharge, make sure you are meeting that need. If your kids are driving you crazy, it’s okay to give them a little more screen time. If you are home with a spouse and kids, communicate with your spouse when you’re burning out and needing a break. Think about what you do to recharge and revitalize yourself, and make sure you are doing those things often.
With COVID-19 closing fitness facilities, it will also be essential to take care of yourself physically by exercising (something as small as a walk around the block is good for you), eating right, and getting eight hours of sleep consistently.
Following this advice will help you avoid burning out and keeping your mental and physical energy up, all of which will boost your focus and productivity at home. Think about making one of your work-break periods and exercise or yoga session for some extra “me-time.”
Monitor your spending habits
Uncertainty and fear are running rampant across every aspect of our lives right now. COVID-19 is demolishing previous record-highs on the stock market, millions of Americans are now instantly jobless, and nobody truly knows how or when “normal” life will become the norm again.
Stress can make us spend more, so it is crucial to be mindful of your spending habits during this period of mass uncertainty. You can budget your spending the old fashioned way with pen and paper, or try a budgeting app. Here’s a list of the best-rated budget-tracker apps from NerdWallet.
Pay close attention to your spending at the grocery store, too. If you’ve visited your local grocer recently, you’ve likely noticed shortages of everyday products such as toilet paper. “Panic buying” is fueling these shortages, and it is mostly unnecessary, according to supply chain experts. While it may be smart to buy some extra rice and beans and frozen meals, it doesn’t make financial sense to ramp up your spending because everybody else is.
Exercise Gratitude and take a deep breath
Remember that everybody is doing their best to make do with the present situation. Take a moment to be grateful for your family, your friends, and your dog. Life will eventually go back to normal, and when it does, you may find yourself reflecting on this experience positively. It’s not often we live through moments as historic as this.