By Rose Heyward, Senior Learning & Organizational Development Specialist at Mary Washington Healthcare
Recently, I was in a virtual meeting with several leaders and a brave soul shared how they would appreciate tips on homeschooling while working from home. I could resonate with this request because I’ve personally been faced with this challenge. As someone that is highly relational and extroverted, it’s been tough having my husband and son be my primary interaction outside of a computer screen for the last several months. Don’t get me wrong, I love those guys (even when they leave the seat up), yet I find myself longing to talk to someone, anyone else outside my very small world called home. The social restrictions are tough, and the tension between maintaining work productivity, supporting your child’s education at home and running a healthy household has been even tougher. Dealing with high stakes competing priorities for an indefinite period of time is difficult and none of us has received any preparation for it. I’ve looked for advice, and let’s face it, no one really knows how to do life during a pandemic. So, I’ve come up with my own best practices. They haven’t been studied or validated, but they are tested regularly. I hope you find them helpful.
- Get over yourself– Life has changed. You need to change with it. Being methodical, structured, highly organized and driven may have served you well in the past…and could cause you to be neurotic and disordered now. Be flexible where you can and consider new approaches to work and life that allow you to balance multiple priorities in the same physical space, during the same time frame while also maintaining your sanity and quality relationships with your family or housemates.
- Adjust your expectations– You have 24 hours a day, like the rest of us mere mortals. Put away the cape and accept that your work projects may take longer to complete, your home may be messier than usual and you may be serving leftovers tonight for dinner. It’s okay to relax a bit and not let perfection be the enemy of pretty darn good.
- Celebrate the wins– Covid has shrunk our worlds to the few in our households and left us feeling socially isolated and restless, yet it’s not all bad. Most of us have had more time to connect with others, new opportunities to explore interests and the unique challenge of doing work differently. Stop for a minute and consider all that you’ve achieved over the last several months. You are awesome! Now look in the mirror and tell yourself. You’ll believe it more, coming from you.
Well, this is my list of tips on how to be a working homeschooling professional. If you have tips, please share them since we are all trying to figure this out, one day, better yet, one moment at a time.