Are you finding it hard to pivot your work life and home life at the moment? Does your home feel more chaotic than usual? Are you desperately trying to find a spare moment at home to breathe?
I was never a fan of the term ‘work-life balance’ as I don’t see life as being able to be placed neatly into 2 boxes and balanced on a see-saw. Life is far to complicated for that. I prefer the term ‘work-life blend’ however currently this is being taken to a whole new level.
With societal restrictions from the COVID-19 pandemic we are being called to pivot and change the way we do business, work, connect with others, access services and generally how we live our everyday lives. So what do we do when our home lives become our work lives and our work lives become our home lives and our children go to school in the middle of all this?
WHAT’S GOING ON?
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic our life roles most likely and most commonly consisted of parent, spouse, home maintainer, worker, friend and whilst roles sometimes clashed with each other it was generally less frequent and ok to manage.
Whilst our life roles haven’t changed, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the flurry of work and school from home, it has meant that all of our life roles have been squashed together. Where we would normally call upon our role as parent in the mornings and afternoons & evenings on weekdays we are now being called upon to enact our roles as parents as the same time as our role of worker and spouse and because we are at home, our role as home maintainer.
However, it’s also not just our own life roles that have been squashed together. Our spouse and our children and anyone else who lives in our household has had their life roles squashed together also. Add in the restrictions of needing to stay home where possible, it can be a pressure cooker recipe for disaster!
HOW TO ESTABLISH A MORE HARMONIOUS HOUSEHOLD
- Identify Life Roles – What life roles is each person in your household trying to currently manage? (parent, spouse, home maintainer, worker, friend, student etc)
- Vision & Values – Like we do when we evaluate our own individual lives, what vision do we have for this time and what values do we have as a household? How do we want this time all together at home to look and feel. Do this together, get specific and talk about what’s important to each person at this time.
- Communicate and plan – At the beginning of each week or each morning discuss what is coming up that day for each individual person. Devise a plan as to who will do what and when. Use a diary or a planner to record everyone’s commitments and tasks or use this daily sheet that I’ve created and keep it somewhere where it can be seen by everyone. Don’t forget to plan in individual needs such as exercise, etc or fun family activities.
- Communication is key – When things change or if things aren’t working, speak up and tweak your plan. Keep tweaking until your plan feels workable. Remember to listen to every individual regardless of their age and be prepared to negotiate and to do things differently for the overall harmony of the household.
If you would like to use my Daily Synergy Sheet to plan out your more harmonious household you can download it here.
I would love to hear how you and your family are managing the isolation times together and what’s helping you all to get through these challenging times.