We have now chalked up a substantial period of time home-bound. Not in my recent memory have I spent such an extended amount of time in one country, and never have I been physically at home so much! So in HK we got a headstart in being (and still somewhat) home-bound compared to the rest of the world. Here are the 3 things that I have learnt the hard way.
#1 Start the day right. Yes that means not checking emails or news while lounging in bed, and getting out of your PJs! Stick to a going to work routine which includes putting on proper clothes and makeup (for those video calls, I mean, these are your colleagues/or your kids’ classmates, not family…), fixed time for meals, and of course, a time to knock off.
#2 Create structure and schedule for yourself and your kids. To be honest, do not expect to get to the productivity levels you are used to, because everything just different. Accept it, and work with it. Be selfish with your time (kill off #timevampires), break your daily calendar into small chunks with clear objectives for #quickwins, and prioritize ruthlessly (I like the #Eisenhowermatrix #urgentandimportant).
#calendarblock religiously to include time for home responsibilities like cooking and cleaning, home tutoring the kids, exercise, relaxation time such as gardening, baking projects, read, playing with your kids (or furkids, by annoying your cats and dogs and denying their usual daytime sleep!)
You will find that because you need to work in all these extra activities, that over time you will get much more productive because you need to get things done quickly! Recognize that productivity looks different when working from home.
#3 Be kind to yourself. If you find yourself becoming off-balanced, stop and do 2 things: 1. Stop (huh, already done! Success!) 2. Acknowledge: with all your vulnerability, call out this emotion and name what is triggering your pain. We need clarity to deal with the layers of emotions that overwhelms us during this stressful period. Only when you can recognise what is triggering you, can you effectively manage it. Do not judge yourself.