Millions of us have pivoted to remote working as we adapt to our government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and put our nation’s safety first. For many, the physical boundaries between work and home now fall away and as many schools close, families are home together.
The question we have received most in the past couple of weeks is, “How do I keep the momentum going with work and wellbeing while working at home with teenagers in the house?”
The first step is acknowledging that this is a challenging time that requires a fresh approach. These seven practices will help you thrive while you’re working at home with family:
- Start your day the same way: Foster a morning ritual and routine that includes waking at the same time, getting in some exercise and ensuring you have a healthy, nutritious breakfast. This will set you up to start your work day fresh and ready to go.
- Create a new household schedule: Do this together with your family and stick your household’s new schedule on the fridge until it sticks in your heads. Give each other the space you need to work, and agree on time frames and boundaries.
- Set your Top 3: Decide what your top three outcomes are for the day. Think what you want to have accomplished by the time you log off and focus on those three things first. Many people find the Eisenhower method incredibly useful when overwhelmed with the number of tasks to do. Sorted by Urgency and Importance, tasks then get sorted into Do (urgent and important), Decide (not urgent but important), Delegate (urgent but not important), Delete (not urgent and not important).
- Build frequent breaks in your day: Avoid sitting at your desk for long periods of time. Every 45 minutes, where possible, get up and have a quick water break, and move the body. This gets your blood flowing and gives much needed oxygen to the brain.
- Check your thinking: Staying positive is really important. Our mental wellbeing shifts throughout the day depending on a number of factors. The evidence is clear that Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a powerful tool for alleviating distress by modifying unhelpful cognitions and behaviours. eCouch have an online CBT program which is free, anonymous and helps you deal with anxious and depressed thinking.
- Set a ‘shut down’ time: This is when you absolutely switch off for the day. Studies show that people who work from home work longer hours than those who work in an office. Be disciplined about finishing work on time, change your clothes and then enjoy time with your family.
Maintain a healthy sleep schedule. At least seven hours per night is what you need. Absolutely no working in bed. Keep it for sleeping. Healthy sleep habits include a dark, cool room with no noise. Phones out of the room.