Learn about the importance of taking clear breaks when you aren't working and focusing on them.
- Earlier in this course, I talked about the importance of scheduling meaningful breaks for yourself. I called them oases as in an oasis in your daily desert of work. These little meaningful breaks help you be more productive and more successful. Well, the people who love you and care about you and live in the same house also need these oases. These meaningful breaks give them something to look forward to so they feel that you're not always going to keep your head down and work.
It also helps them have greater motivation to support you and your focus when you work from home. You established a personal oasis and a work oasis. If you work in a home with loved ones, you also need to establish a family oasis. This is time set aside for people who you love and care about, a moment where they know they can count on where you're giving them undivided attention then they are more likely to respect your time for the rest of the day.
What I'm referring to should happen far more frequently than a vacation. A vacation is typically once or twice per year at most and that is too far in between for those you care about to have time with the person they care about most in the world, you. Well, even if you drive them a little crazy from time to time, they need the time and the power that comes from moments spent with their greatest champion. So how do we set that up? As a starting point, let's look at one relationship that's most important to you, the one person you spend the most time with, the one person who helps you the most in all the work that you're doing at home.
This can be a spouse, a boyfriend, a girlfriend, a child, even your favorite pet. Get that one individual in mind. Now, what you want to do is sit down with them and have a conversation starting with the question, what would you like us to do together each day? What's one thing that we can do together for a few minutes that you would enjoy? For example, one executive that I worked with had a conversation with her fiance and they said that they wanted to sit out on the porch each night and just enjoy a pleasant conversation with each other.
It doesn't have to be complex. It doesn't have to take long and it doesn't have to be expensive. In fact, some of the best family oases cost absolutely nothing at all. When you go into the conversation with your loved one about this, defer to their wishes. Remember, you have your personal oasis. So yes, you can have a say in what you do together but your mindset should be that the other person's desires come first.
I'm not a big fan of having tea parties with My Little Pony characters but when my seven year old daughter said that's what she wanted, I did it because it's meaningful to her. After all, friendship is magic. Now, once you've figured out what activity you'll do together, schedule time for it in your calendar, both of your calendars. Making sure this happens consistently is important. Studies have shown that when you build up these reserves with loved ones, you not only help them perform better at work and at school but it helps you perform better as well.
This family oasis doesn't just build up the relationship which is certainly important but it also builds up your career. Once you've established that schedule, try it out. Treat this as an experiment for maybe two or three weeks then sit down and ask how has this worked for us? Is this oasis meaningful? Do we need to make any changes to it? Then make any adjustments that you both agree upon. After you get into the rhythm of doing this with one person that you care about, you can expand this to others.
Perhaps you don't do it every single day with every single person. Perhaps you have something once a week or even once a month. Having this time that you can count on and they can count on is a major step toward maintaining rhythm and being successful at working from home.
- Creating a productive environment
- Creating a balanced schedule
- Using virtual meetings
- Staying responsive
- Balancing roles as a parent, caregiver, and professional
- Managing interruptions and emergencies at home