“If you don’t plan your day, someone else will plan it for you… Don’t let someone plan your day who is clueless about your goals and your God-given desires and priorities.”
- Elizabeth George
Our home is holding too much.
After 2 pm, we are all in this house: working, schooling, living, resting, and worshiping. There is this continual interweaving that was magical and essential in previous seasons, but in this season, in order to achieve balance & clarity - segmentation is a must.
Untangling the lovely and elaborate web of home, work, and school has kept me busy, y'all. Focusing on creating, designing, and envisioning clear boundaries between work, school & home has been its own assignment. But it must be done because integration in this season (of opening, blooming, new norma) is creating mental chaos.
Google research shows that those who rigidly separate their personal and work lives are significantly happier about their well-being than those who tend to blur the lines between the two. -Can you Unplug from Work?
A person asked me if I still binge-books.
"No, I don't do anything for longer than 30-60 minutes at a time."
At that EXACT moment, I decided to restructure my flow.
Here is the Deal:
"There's a reason service dogs mustn't be petted or played with when they're wearing their work vests: They need to be clear that they're on the job. But when the vests come off, service-dog owners must play with their animals in order to keep them from becoming exhausted and depressed. You're the same way: Having clear boundaries will help you work enthusiastically, then truly rest." - 6 Strategies for Achieving a Better Work-Life Balance
My first stab at work/home integration began in 2015. Previously, I worked outside the house from 6:45 am to 6:30 pm. I wanted more time with my baby. I became a teacher recruiter. It was then that I kept my pumpkin home with me (part-time). I loved it; and also had a hard time with the isolation & the work/life balance. So I went into the office & did a daycare drop-off weekly. By 2019 (right before the pandemic), after a promotion (more work), an additional sweet baby, and our fourth state move - I was drowning. Every task was interrupted, and my frustration/energy was often misdirected. I quit.
And then a few months later we began pandemic living. Quickly our learning style relied heavily on outdoor spaces, museums, library trips, play dates, car trips, community gardens, and merely time outside of the house.
But still, six years of being at home for work & school warped my image of home.
Home used to be a place to nuzzle in blankets, drink hot tea, bake, watch documentaries, cook, throw up my feet, get lost in a book, sit around and do nothing. My vision for our home is a refuge and a safe sanctuary; a place to retreat & recharge. School & work are spaces for creativity, the cultivation of relationships, and labor. The trouble is that all of the attributes can be achieved in both spaces, but, the worlds are colliding in a way that reduces the qualities.
The more time you spend doing only homey things in your homespace and only worky things in your workspace, the more you'll develop the state-dependent memory that will trigger the associations you want in either place. - 6 Strategies for Achieving a Better Work-Life Balance
So my new segmented weekday rhythm/flow:
✨Working & teaching* 7:00 am - 4:00 pm
✨Present at home 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm
✨Evening work 8 pm - 9 pm
✨Present at home: 9 pm - 7:00 am
✨Saturday flow is typically working from 9:00 - 3:00 pm & then off until 7:30 am on Monday.
*8-1:30 pm predominately outside of the home
During my home hours, my phone is off, so that I can give my attention to those (humans, pets, plants, materials) in my home - including Moi! And during work, personal matters will be paused. And so while I know that it's a privilege to have a choice to integrate, I'm opting for a simpler, slower, less multitasking & interruptable path.
"Work relationships are sometimes compared to personal relationships due to the investment in time required to make both successful. Just as managers and co-workers wouldn’t appreciate excessive personal calls during meetings, so too will personal relationships eventually deteriorate with constant work interruptions." - The Importance Of Separating Work And Personal Life In A Remote Environment
Here's to choosing our steps wisely.