How are you doing? Do you feel stressed? Do you feel like the walls are closing in? Are your loved ones driving you crazy? These last few weeks have been really difficult for our country and our planet. Everyone is being asked to stay home from work, or to work from home for the foreseeable future, which can cause a real financial strain. Right now everyone (including GTS) is posting and blogging about how to keep productive in your office and what can be done remotely. Right now, I want to talk about what you can do to help keep your own sanity during this crisis.
Whether you are now working from home or are home and out of work, this is a whole new challenge especially if you have kids that are also home because schools have closed. Not only do you have to make sure that you get your work done with your deadlines, you also have to help teach your children and make sure they are staying on course with the curriculum that their teachers are sending to you. For some households this means that there could be two parents working from home. Try to remember to be patient with each other and have grace for everyone as we figure out this new (hopefully temporary) normal.
The first thing I would do is create a schedule. As humans we need some kind of a routine and structure to our day. Without this structure it will start to feel as though Martial Law has taken over, creating hostility in the home. Part of this routine is going to be determining when everyone wakes up and what time everyone will go to bed. You may also decide to set parameters on the weekends.
Have breakfast, lunch and dinner set to the same time so everyone knows when it is time to eat.
In between meals is when you will schedule what hours the kids will do school work and when parents will do their work.
Take the time to explain to your kids that when you and your spouse are working they need to not disturb you unless there is an emergency.
I can hear my mother explaining it by saying “If no one is bleeding and nothing is broken, handle it yourselves.”
Next, determine what everyone’s work schedule will be throughout the day. Ideally the kids will be working on schoolwork while you are working, however as adults we typically have more work to complete. This would be the best time for the kids to work on their chores. It is springtime and spring-cleaning is due.
Create an extended chore list:
Dust baseboards and ceiling fans
Wash windows (inside and out), clean window seals
Clean the refrigerator, their closets
Weed the yard, etc.
I saw one post that a mother created a chore list, and each chore completed earned you certain number of points. The kids asked what they would get with their points and the mother said each point gets you one square of toilet paper. I busted up so hard, though I think that is a little ruthless.
Be sure to schedule out when everyone will have their free time to be able to watch tv, read gossip magazines, play video games, or whatever it is that you and your family likes to do in order to unwind from the day. This free time can be little bits throughout the day or all lumped together at the end. Personally, I like to wake up eat some breakfast, workout, complete the work I need to do and save all my free time for the end of the day. I know some people get their best work done late in the day to the evening. Figure out when you are your most productive for work and save it for that time, allow yourself to have free time that doesn’t need to be productive.
Don’t forget to find some way to release all this energy we are keeping pent up. This is the toughest part of staying home because if you’re like me you like to get out of the house to workout. I like to go to the gym to lift weights and to my studio to practice yoga. Right now virtually all over the United States gyms and workout studios are closed. Now we have to learn how to workout from home. Thankfully we live in the 21st century and there are so many online options. YogaWorks is the studio I practice yoga and they have an online platform, which is phenomenal! I’ve been taking advantage of it and it helps me to stay calm through all this insanity. If you go to YouTube there are tons of videos you and the whole family could do together. My dear friend Laci Phillips introduced me the Fitness Marshall on YouTube, he creates dance routines that are full of energy and the best part is each video is only 3-4 min long because they are set to one song.
Finally, make sure you schedule enough time for you and your family to get enough sleep. Lack of sleep is the biggest stress factor in many people’s lives. This is hands down the most stressed I have ever felt, I imagine it is for you as well. This makes it extremely important that you get enough sleep so you can be there and be strong for your family. We are going to get though this terrible time, and hopefully one day reminisce wishing we could have this close intimate time with our families once the hustle and bustle comes back.
This crisis will come to an end. Unfortunately, we don’t know when the end of this crisis will come. Have faith that it will come sooner than later, and that as many of us come out on the other end without being exposed to this terrible virus as possible. Know that I love and care about you and your family, if there is anything that I can do to help you get through this and maintain your sanity please reach out to me because I would love to help you.
Chris Ciardello, Consultant
Chris Ciardello joined Global Team Solutions as a consultant in 2013. As a practice management consultant, Chris is passionate about sharing his expertise in the areas of technology and marketing as it pertains to the dental office. Chris has a distinctive knack for understanding the needs of an office and he communicates those needs to the team, which creates a cohesive, productive atmosphere. He is a member of the Academy of Dental Management Consultants and Toastmasters International.
He can be reached at: Chris@GTSgurus.com.