As the Covid-19 pandemic rages on in the United States, families are facing life-changing options when it comes to work and schooling. Should we start going back to work or continue to work from home? Should we send our kids back to school this fall or begin homeschooling for the foreseeable future? The choices and options are many, but if you are toying with the stay-home route, our guest blogger, Bianca Marie Roberson, a Maryland-based doula and business owner, has some amazing and insightful suggestions. Thank you Bianca!
Effectively Working from Home During COVID-19
By: Bianca Marie Roberson
Being a mother is not always easy. Certainly, being a mother who has a career outside of the home is a monumental endeavor. A working mom who has transitioned to maintaining her job remotely from home, while taking care of her family, is not an easy feat or for the faint at heart. Although challenging, it is possible, so do not fret! It is no wonder that being a mom is a superpower. The ability to effectively juggle work responsibilities, family life and squeezing in self-care routines requires dedication. It is necessary to find the balancing point of work and motherhood duties. Every situation looks different for every family, but there are commonalities of time management, planning and patience that can help every family.
Here are three tips for leading an effective and productive workday from home:
Create a schedule– One of the benefits of working from home is the flexibility. Figuring out the best schedule that includes schoolwork (if required) for the children, physical activities, relaxation and family time can be a tremendous help. Try talking it over as a family and coming up with a schedule that all agree to and document it on the kitchen refrigerator.
Once you have the family schedule in place, it will be easier to find the best hours that you can insert to be productive at work. If you need to have a large break in the middle of the day for lunch and to get the little ones down for a nap, communicate that with your employer so that you do not have the extra stress of trying to do this without assistance. Will every day go like clockwork? No. Will you feel like you get everything done during the day? Possibly. The key to remember is that Rome was not built in a day and to have patience with yourself and your family as you all figure out what works for you through trial and error. Do it as a team and it can be done successfully.
Be organized – Simply being organized can eliminate stress from forgotten virtual appointments, double-booking, lost homework, and many other stressful situations that busy moms battle daily. So, what exactly does be organized mean? It means, that a little planning can go a long way with helping you clearly identify tasks that must get done, the timing that they must get done with and a way to logically prioritize what needs to get done. Having organization within the home from a laundry system to a simplified bedtime routine can help with feeling empowered and productive throughout the day. Don’t overwhelm yourself with trying to do spring cleaning, organizing the basement and maintaining a full-time work schedule all within the same week. Pace yourself and focus on the most important activities each week. Before long, you will realize that you are able to check off things on that ever-growing to do list.
Have a dedicated workspace at home – The environment can help or hinder your productivity, so take a moment and observe your workspace. Is there enough lightening? Do you have a comfortable chair? Is everything within reach that is needed or do you have to constantly get up to retrieve items? Having a dedicated workspace can help reduce distractions, set your mood “office mode” and help you move from task to task quicker. Choosing where your workspace is located is one of the largest determining factor for productivity. Also, when you are working, let your family know the importance of your dedicated workspace as well as work hours. The combination of the two can help you remain focused and productive while working from your home.
Founder of Blooming Mamas Wellness, a non-profit dedicated to the wellness of women in mind, body, and soul around the world. As a Women’s Health Practitioner with over 18 years of managing million-dollar public health programs impacting women and their families, Bianca Marie is on a personal mission to eradicate health disparities, promote health education and touch the lives of women along their motherhood journey as a Full Spectrum Doula and Motherhood Coach. You can learn more about her free trainings, weekly doula community chat and the Blooming Birth Workers Community at www.bloomingmamaswellness.com.