Remote Working – A New Normal

We now find ourselves working in new ways.  What is your new normal?  

I’ve been asked by one of my clients to write a blog about remote work.  I’ve worked from a home office for some time.  I have an office space downtown, but I really love to spend most of my time in my home office, under a blanket with my sweet doggie.  

Here are my “working remotely” tips.  While I have been doing this for awhile, I am now  working remotely with the addition of two college kids, a high school kid and a husband – all home with me, in my space.  Our oldest works in health care and is currently living at home.  That brings a whole new level of stress with it each and every day.

My Tips

Honesty, I’ve broken all of these in the past two weeks! It is okay, just like meditation – just begin again.

  • Go to bed at the same time every night.  
  • Wake up at the same time every morning.
  • Exercise.  Meditate.  Pray.  Journal.  Do something each day at the same time of the day to ground you.  
  • Eat breakfast at the same time.  Now, you can enjoy this with your family. 
  • Set regular office hours. Have your kids set regular school hours.  Each person should have their own “office”, even if just a small dedicated space in a room.  
  • Take regularly, scheduled office/school breaks, but be flexible if a pick up game of basketball starts outside your home office/school space.  Go play!  Then, get right back to work.
  • Take a lunch break.  This is important.  Read.  Walk outside or on a treadmill or up and down the stairs.  Dance around the house.  Clean a bathroom (this counts as exercise and cleaning).  Garden.  Power nap.  The important thing is that you take a dedicated break.  
  • Set a stop time.  Stop work, write your successes for the day.  Create your to-do list for the next day.  Shut down your computer and leave your dedicated work space!
  • Exercise again.  Meditate.  Pray.  Rest.  Watch a short TV show.  Do something that clearly separates work from home and allows you to make the transition. 
  • Cook, eat and cleanup dinner together as a family.
  • Relax, we are shut in for a while.  Do a fun evening activity.  Read, bake, watch a movie, snuggle.  
  • Go to bed on time!

Additional Thoughts!

Everyone in the family should have one chore/task to complete each day, regardless of age.  Just think how great and organized your house and yard will look and be.  

I just put a large sticky note on the door of the pantry with every day of the week listed.  Every family member hanging out here can put a small sticky note on each day of the week with the task they will complete.  Clean out bathroom closet.  Bath the dog.  Vacuum upstairs.  Spend 20 minutes cleaning out the garage.  Etc.  Give them some control over what they want to contribute, to some degree.

Every once in awhile – skip the shower and stay in your comfy clothes.  I do recommend changing out of your PJs and at least putting on yoga pants and/or workout cloths.  I recommend getting showered and dressed daily, but maybe once a week – its okay to declare a “nope, not going to get dressed today” day.  Just make sure it isn’t a day when you have a scheduled video call.  I’ve done that before and was rushing around 10 minutes prior to the meeting.  It wasn’t pretty, nor was I.  

By creating a laundry schedule, they know when everything gets washed, dried and folded and they can contribute, even if forceably.  No one will be asking if they can use the washing machine, for older kids.  Mom or Dad aren’t expected to do everyone’s laundry, for the younger kids. Someone throws in a load each day according to the schedule.  At night, everyone can fold while watching TV together.  

Create a Schedule

Creating a schedule keeps order in the house and when chaos does strike, it allows everyone to get back on track relatively quickly. It also allows everyone to schedule calls, homework time, reading time and family time appropriately.

Sample Schedule…

Monday – Friday

Morning Quiet Time (work) 9:00-11:30

Lunch Time 12:00-1:00

Downstairs Quiet Time (work) 2:00-5:00

Dinner Prep, Meal and Cleanup 5:30 to 7:00

House Evening Quiet Time 10:00

Sunday

Family Prayer Time 11:00

Family Clean 2:00-3:00

Sample Laundry Schedule…

Everyone brings their clothes, sheets and towels down on Sunday. They also take their clothes up on Sunday from the laundry room.

On Wednesday, everyone brings dirty clothes down again and takes all clean clothes up from the laundry room.

I wash all the sheets, towels, blankets, etc on the weekend and on Thursday during the week.

This allows me to use the shelves in the laundry room to store folded clothes, everyone has a spot on the shelf. I also have a rod hanging from wall to wall to hang clothes until kiddos can take them up.

I’ve included some pictures. Since I am allowing/requiring help, it is a mess. Please don’t judge. The clothes get folded and placed on shelves above my washer and dryer. You are seeing the towel rags too.

Laundry Room
Laundry Rod

Sunday

Wash towels and sheets

Monday

Wash whites/lights

Tuesday

Wash darks and workout clothes

ETC

We’ve Got This!

Hope this helps!  Send your tips and we will post them!

With purpose,

Kelly  

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