Like many others, I’ve spent the last few weeks working from home which includes splitting up homeschooling and childcare responsibilities with my husband. We have a 2-year-old and a 4-year-old, and I’ve been reminded once again of the critical importance of routine for young kids.
At first, the prospect of not going to school is fun for them—we can play all day! Then, a few days in, they crave the normalcy of their routines. After a few stressful days and some epic tantrums (I’d be lying if I said all the tears came from them), I worked with my 4-year-old on a schedule that keeps all the important parts of her school days intact, even though she’s home. We have a large poster hanging prominently in our living room that keeps us on track for breakfast, morning prayers, “table toys,” outside time, snack, arts and crafts, workbook time, centers, snacks, lunch, and rest time…all the milestones in her day that give structure and satisfaction.
Since we implemented the schedule and settled into more of a routine, everyone feels better. I think the same applies to adults and our schedules, as well. Now is not the time to abandon your regular Rhythm of Work—in fact, in times of uncertainty and change, your team needs the predictable rhythm of Weekly Meetings, Monthly Meetings and Daily Huddles more than ever.
These rhythms not only provide invaluable touch points for team members who are working remotely; they are also platforms for you to communicate and collaborate as a team. As a leader, these are your opportunities to check-in, provide information, work together on solutions, and maintain connections. If you aren’t in the habit of Daily Huddles and Weekly Meetings, consider instituting them. They can help you all stay aligned and give you the opportunity to re-create some of the time you used to spend working together in the office.
Now is also not the time to neglect planning. You need time as a team to reevaluate your business, focus on what’s most important to keep healthy customers and employees, and ensure you have enough cash flow to survive and thrive in this economic uncertainty. Business as usual doesn’t cut it—you’ll need to adjust your strategy and establish the right, focused priorities for the next quarter.
In addition to the value of the Rhythm of Work™ for daily leadership, weekly team collaboration and quarterly strategy adjustments, you may also want to institute some individual rhythms to help maximize your productivity and shape your days. If you are used to going to the office, you likely had rituals that helped you start and end your days. Replicate those at home if you can, or consider starting new ones. A morning ritual could be as simple as pouring a cup of coffee and making a list of your top items to do today. An end-of-workday ritual might be closing out emails and planning your calendar for tomorrow. These simple rhythms can help you both stay focused on work and be able to turn it off so you don’t find yourself working all the time at home.
If it helps, make yourself a schedule as I did with my toddler (markers optional)… after all, we are all creatures of habit, and having some predictability in our lives helps us feel more confident and more productive.
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