April 6, 2020

Working from Home – Making it Work for you!

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With 30 states ordering their citizens to shelter in place, we’re all working from home now.

For more than a decade, I didn’t have an office at church and my wife was a freelance editor who homeschooled our son. We were all home most of the time. Here are a few tips that helped me stay sane working from home.

  1. Invest in a good pair of headphones and listen to instrumental music while working. This will help with the distracting noises of the people around you.
  2. Maintain clearly defined work hours and have a ritual to start and end your workday. Usually you will drive home from work each day and that will give you some space to mentally disengage from work. Find something similar, drive around the block or go for a walk.
  3. Have a dedicated workspace that you only use for work. Otherwise, work will always become mixed with family life and you will never be able to stop working.
  4. Make your weekends special and different from your weekdays. You still need to rest from work, find some things that bring you joy and help you to relax with family. Save these special things for the weekends. This would be a good time to develop Sabbath practices.
  5. Get used to interruptions. This is the new normal for a while. There are going to be times when the kids or your spouse ask for your attention in the middle of your work. That’s okay. Look at these interruptions as gifts from God – welcome breaks in your day. Use them to connect with your family for a few minutes.
  6. If you have kids, take play breaks with them. This will give you time to refresh and will help you become more productive when you are working. It will also help the kids keep play time and work time separate.

Whatever you do, don’t let the stress of this new work situation dominate your life. Be gracious with yourself and those around you.  What helps you maintain clear work/family boundaries at this time? Your comments may help others.

Sean Nemecek