Day one at home:
Up at 7am
Workout at 8
Break for lunch at noon
Walk outside at 3pm with the dog–ahhhh!
Finish early (4pm)
Dinner with the kids
“Maybe this shelter-in-place stuff isn’t so bad!”
Day 8 at home:
“I don’t have to get up…no one’s keeping tabs.”
Scroll through Instagram
Late breakfast, extra coffee
Angry / panicked text
Work until 2pm, feel tired
Work until 7pm – constant snacking, extra coffee
Feel exhausted, but watch TV until 11pm
The first few days without a structured workday feel like a vacation. But it doesn’t take long until we start to feel tired; lethargic; and even depressed.
The reality is that we need structure in our lives. We really can’t be healthy OR happy without it.
Pull out tomorrow’s planner page, or a blank sheet of paper.
1. Write in the inflexible parts of your day: the schedule you’re required to keep.
If your staff needs to see you at 8am, write that down. What are the other mandatory scheduled checkpoints?
If you find yourself without appointments or fixed availability, skip to step #2.
2. Write in your priorities: family time, physical fitness, and your “mindset” time or spiritual practice.
3. Write in your meal times.
4. Write in your sleep times: bedtime and nap time.
5. Write in your mental and nutritional “snacks”. Plan them in advance. Will you play video games? Read a book? Eat some fruit? Plan these in advance to avoid bingeing.
6. Now backfill with work tasks.
Reorganize your list based on non-negotiables.
For me, that means writing my appointments in first. Then writing in my workout time and my writing time.
Then add the things that are important but not time-sensitive: taking the kids outside, or calling your mom.
Finally, add in the “someday” list: this is a great time to learn how to meditate or start yoga.
You probably can’t do everything on this list. You might have to move things around a little. But work always expands to fill the time you give it. If you’re always on, and always available, you’ll always be busy.
Many of us are now considering what the future of “work” looks like. Under duress, we’re all proving that we don’t really need to “go to work” anymore, maintain an office, or wear pants on our Zoom calls. But we DO need a plan.