WFH Thoughts from the Dining Room Table

I shared the below thoughts in a post I wrote for Leading Women that published earlier today. I consult for this women's leadership organization, while also leading The Bird & Bear Collective and raising up my three kids. While the WFH environment is not new to me or my family, we are definitely in a new world...like so many of you! Have a read to get a peek at where we are at as we wrap up the first week. Happy Friday Birds & Bears!

Originally posted on Leading Women's Blog.


I’ve had the benefit of working from home in some capacity for over 10 years, so this environment is not completely foreign to me. What is foreign, is doing it side-by-side with my husband, without outside care and schooling for my children, while living in fear of a virus that is sweeping the planet. We are about one week in, and most certainly still adjusting. But my biggest piece of advice, so far, is the age old advice...one thing at a time.


It’s not lost on anyone in our home, and with my colleagues, that where and how we are getting our work done is different these days. In our home we are nowhere close to instituting a mandated new schedule. It’s simply not going to work for us in these early days that are filled with so much uncertainty and change.


Also, we wake up at different times. My husband and I have conference calls and deadlines at all kinds of different times. We work with clients and colleagues in different time zones. We only have one home office, so sometimes work is at the dining room table, bedroom, or from the outdoor patio while the kids play. My kids aged 13, 11 and 7, have various levels of independence, access, ability and motivation for self-directed learning. Their personal interests range from basketball in the driveway, to getting lost in a book, to playing with dolls, to staying connected via social media with their friends and classmates who they dearly miss. Oh, and we are bombarded with reminders and encouragement to limit technology while making the most of our time at home with family games, hikes, projects and activities that enrich our days and keep us distracted from the fears and uncertainty that surrounds us.


But guess what? There is absolutely no way, we can do all of this at one time, or during a prescribed and scheduled time. Not yet, anyway, especially when the timelines and expectations for normalcy keep shifting. We therefore must let go of expectations to do as we have done in the past, and the pressure to have this all figured out in the first week. Let’s embrace and appreciate an opportunity to do – and do well – one thing at a time.


So make the lists of assignments, activities, goals and must do’s for the days and weeks to come. Share them with your family and colleagues. Listen and have an ear for the priorities of others. Carve out a desired time where you can make them happen. Pay attention to the new daily rhythms in your days. Adjust and adapt as required. Give yourself and those around you (in your home and virtually) a break when things get off course. Reflect and appreciate what you have accomplished. Take a deep breath, and start again.


One thing at a time – do that well – and then move on to the next thing.


And that includes removing last night's wine glass and this morning's coffee cup too...


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