So here we are.
Navigating these times of uncertainty together. For our household, like many, this means staying home close together, virtual school, new routines, creative cooking, hard questions and much that is still unknown.
I want to share some ideas from myself and others on new ways to create flexible productivity during this time. However, this post isn’t meant to tell you how you should be doing things or put more pressure on you. This is just a resource.
As a student of focused work, habits, and rituals, I use tools such as the Beautiful Life Lab, Push Journals, and the Productivity Planner and draw inspiration from books such as Atomic Habits, Deep Work and When. I’d love to share some of these things that I use in my own life and business in case it helps you thrive in these challenging times.
Keep on Keepin’ On
Now, I’m not suggesting you get up and put on jeans every day (gasp), but keeping as close to your normal routines as possible will help boost your mental health and productivity.
Every weekday after I complete my Push Journal and gratitude practice, I wash my face, get dressed and get ready for the day. Sometimes for fun I even do a funky eyeshadow look. This tells me and the kids that I’m ready for the day.
Sequence Over Schedule
This tip comes from my homeschooling days and is how I’ve created a routine for the kids during this extended break from school.
Instead of time based schedules( i.e. 8:15 breakfast, 9:00 Math), we write down what happens in what order but there are no times attached. So the kids know that after breakfast they get ready and do chores, or after lunch we walk the dog. They are happier knowing what to expect throughout the day, and no one gets stressed if we get “behind” because school time or playtime took a little longer than planned.
Sequencing helps me as well, because I know what tasks I’m going to accomplish that day, but if I get interrupted or get some extra free time because the kids are playing happily outside, I can go down the list and check things off.
End of Day Ritual
One routine I love from Cal Newport’s book Deep Focus is the end of day ritual. Telling my brain that work for the day was complete and setting myself up for work the next day has become an important part of my weekday routine. An end of day ritual is up to you to create, but it can include:
- Reviewing your workday and noticing what you accomplished as well as where you might be blocked or having trouble
- Considering what you need to add to tomorrow’s list to move your most important tasks forward
- Making a list for the next workday
- Powering down and perhaps saying a phrase out loud that signals to your brain that work for the day is done
Whether you’re already a work from home pro or you’re facing new challenges with people in your space 24 hours a day, just remember that this isn’t forever. And while these suggestions are meant to help, if it feels better to stay in pjs all day or start work when it’s quiet and everyone else has gone to bed, only you know what is right for you. Give yourself (and others) grace. And if I can help in any way please don’t hesitate to reach out.