Six months into working from home, I am comfortable to admit that I’m STILL trying to adjust. In this post, I wanted to share the mistakes that I’ve made while working from home. Maybe you have made them too?
Some of us have been fortunate enough to be working from home more, over the last couple of months. I have moved from being an occasional work-from-home employee, to working virtually daily and it will be the case for the next couple of months.
We have been thrusted into world with many unknowns and rapid, constant change. It’s really not easy and many people are battling with heightened anxiety. Everything from our work, to our movements around town and the children’s schooling has been disrupted. The minute I find my rhythm, something changes and I’m thrown off again. You?
Mistake 1: Not waking up before the kids
I’ve always been a night-owl, but working from home has made it even worse. I have found myself going to bed in the early hours of the morning, as I tell myself I have a little bit more extra time in the morning. This isn’t actually healthy, as our bodies always need proper rest and this also means that my morning workouts are out.
I end up being over-tired and sleeping-in til 7am. By that time, the kids are already up and it’s not ideal. Having a cup of coffee, reading a devotional or just sitting in silence is my preferred way to start the day.
Mistake 2: Keeping the kids in the loop
I feel like I didn’t adequately prepare the children around what would happen when I work from home. For them – when mommy is home, it means family-time and undivided attention. They expect me to be fully present and available to them when I am at home.
They suddenly had to adjust to me locking myself up in a room for a couple of hours a day to work. And so, I do feel like I could have handled that better by explaining why I had to make the change and what it would mean for them (less attention and requests for silence while I’m on calls).
If I’m honest, on many days, I have wanted to run away to the office, to be with other adults at the office.
Mistake 3: Not having an end-of-day ritual
I love having my life compartmentalized – so work is work and home is home. Prior to the lockdown, there was a very clear line between my work and home life, usually separated by a ritual at the end of the day – anything from the drive home, a stop at the grocery store after work, blasting feel-good music in the car or listening to a podcast.
These were like signals to my brain that my work day was ending. When you work from home, you have to work even harder to intentionally set those boundaries and find a way to mentally switch from work to home. Otherwise, it feels like you never leave the office.
I have recently started making more effort to take an afternoon walk with Kgosi.
Mistake 4: Over-working myself and skipping meals
I have definitely caught myself overcompensating for the priviledge of being able to work from home. At a time when people are losing their jobs, I am extremely grateful to have mine and I want to add value and make a difference in my work.
However, I often find myself only eating once a day (dinner) and not taking any breaks throughout the day, which isn’t great for my body, mental focus, creativity or emotional wellbeing. In order to be productive, I also need to fuel my body with rest and good nutrition.
Things I HAVE managed to do well while working from home:
- I connect with colleagues often via phone or text
- I have a daily morning coffee with hubby
- I don’t work from my bed
- I unplug from work on weekends
What have been your struggles while working from home? I would love to hear that I’m not alone.
Modern Zulu Mom