It feels hard to plan much of anything in the middle of a pandemic.
If your kids are in school, you never know when you’re going to have them home for the next 2 weeks due to possible exposure to COVID-19.
It’s hard to plan for much of anything beyond the next few weeks because we just don’t know what life will look like this summer or fall.
This feels more complicated and disruptive than a snow day or a sick day. Maybe it feels heavier. Maybe the endless, monotonous days are getting to you! (They’re definitely getting to my family).
So how do you plan anything or pay attention to how you’re spending your time?
One way we can have more control over our time is to identify our daily and weekly priorities. When you know what you need to do each day, it’s a little easier to focus. If you’ve planned out your week (with room for things to shift) then you can handle last-minute surprises.
These last-minute surprises could include a snow day or a sick kid or your kids moving from in-person learning to remote learning due to COVID-19 exposure. They could also be a last-minute project your boss throws at you.
It’s easier to focus when you know your top priorities for each day. It’s easier to shift things around when you know your priorities for the week.
This does not mean planning every minute with tasks. This means planning your top 3-5 priorities and leaving room for things we didn’t plan for.
Take some time each day and start planning your top 3-5 priorities for the next day!
Feeling like you’re just slogging through each day? I get it, I have started giving myself pep talks to get out of bed! If my phone didn’t tell me the date, I likely would have no idea. Every day is starting to blend into the next! Weekends don’t feel any different (we really should do something fun to change that, huh?)
I don’t want to add one more story about how we should be productive right now since we have all this time. Working from home, helping your kids remote learn, and keeping everyone fed is enough! You might feel even busier! I do want to help you feel like you’re moving forward in your life, even while stuck at home. Read on for a few ideas!
Define what your work hours look like. Tag team with your partner. Someone is with the kids while the other one works. Trade every few hours as necessary. It’s also ok to put the kids in front of a movie and get some work done. Or send them out to the backyard to play.
Identify 3-5 priorities for each day. Yes, you might do more. You feel more accomplished if you know what needs to be done to move yourself or a project forward. Think about how it would feel to cross 5 tasks off your list of 5 tasks versus 5 tasks off a list of 15 (that you were never going to have time to do all anyway. Listen to what Laura Vanderkam has to say about limiting your to-do list.
Create a ritual between work and home life (even if work life is at your kitchen table). Find an activity to do before you switch between work and home. This helps your brain realize it’s now doing something different. Try a quick 5-minute meditation, a dance party, or a quick walk around the block.
Create visual boundaries if you’re working from the kitchen table. Put on headphones, signaling that you’re working and are not to be disturbed. Or you can put up some form of barrier, like a 3-sided poster display board. This could also be a place to put tasks and reminders! It’s like your own cubicle space in an open-concept office.
Break your projects into small, clear steps. If my to-do list says ‘Create workshop,’ it’s not easy for me to do what’s next. If it says create an outline for workshop, create marketing for workshop, or some other next step, then I know what to do next. Otherwise, I stare at it for a week and nothing gets done.
Still feeling stuck on how to get through the day? Schedule a 15-minute call with me to talk about your situation. Or take this quick 10-minute video on productivity.
We’re not sure what the next few weeks or even months are going to look like. You may be staring down 3 weeks at home with your kids, wondering how you’re going to get any work done. Or you may be alone or with a partner, wondering how you’re going to keep yourselves entertained.
There are so many articles out there on what to do while stuck at home. And maybe this one is just adding to it. I wanted to share what we’re doing here and give you a few more ideas.
I’m looking at 2-3 weeks at home with my husband and kids. Our goal is to not leave the house unless we have to. We’re rationing milk and cheddar bunnies. There will be tears (mine and the kids), there will be too much screen time, but there will also be laughter, lots of family time, and hopefully plenty of time outside. We’ll watch Frozen 2 way too many times. We just bought the DVD and our girls are obsessed. My youngest keeps walking around the house in her Frozen dress singing all the songs. Thankfully, I like the 2nd movie!
Anyway, we’re not going to be one of the households that keeps a strict schedule every day. My goal for each day is (in order of priority): Family time, physical movement/outside time, work/household list of tasks, relaxing/reading/tv. Our days will be flexible and fluid. We’ll take it day by day.
What does this make possible?
One of the best things I’ve read lately is from Jason Kotecki of Escape Adulthood. He asks the question: Now that this has happened, what does this make possible? (you can read his post here.) I don’t want to look back at these next few weeks and feel like I wasted all of our time being shut up in the house. I’ve made a list of all the things I can do for my business and around the house. It ranges from updating my website and planning my marketing for the year to working on my photo books and cleaning out paperwork. I also plan on learning a few new games to play with my kids. Family time is the most important of all of this to me.
I know other articles out there have talked about all the organizing tasks you can tackle while you’re stuck at home. And they’re right! Now is a great time to tackle that closet, basement, or garage. If you want any guidance on a project, send me a message https://homemostsimple.com/contact-me/ or schedule a call.
I’ll be posting on my Facebook ideas on how to make this time productive. And if you need to chat, even just to connect with someone, I’m here!