Day 2 Work From Home COVID-19 Recap

Career, Family, Productivity

Same routine as yesterday only that I stayed logged on 1 hour longer, 6:30am-5pm. Girls started eating breakfast at 8am, they did some activities, watched YouTube, and then we went over to the school to pick up lunch at 11am.

The school breakfast and lunch is federally funded during periods of national emergency and available to all schoolchildren for free. One of my biggest worries as a working parent needing to stay home during COVID-19 was how to make sure my kids get a good lunch without taking more time away from work during the lunch hour. School lunch solves that. Huge time saver for mom, healthy for kids, and everyone’s happy for the rest of the afternoon. When kids are fed, they don’t get in bad moods and disrupt you while working. Go to your school district’s website to find out more about this program during school dismissal.

5:30pm I had personal trainer come over. Generally on Tuesday’s he comes at 6:30pm but being home this week, I asked him to come one hour earlier. I’ve been working with my trainer for over a year, I only exercise 2x week for 30 minutes on Tuesday nights and Saturday mornings. The workouts are intense so sometimes I’m done in 15 minutes. I honestly don’t have time to exercise more than that per week as a working parent. My trainer over the time we’ve been working together, has shown how we can get effective workouts in the comfort of our own homes without needing to go to the gym. It’s also a huge time saver, not needing to get dressed, haul kids in car and then go to the gym. More info on personal training here https://www.thumbtack.com/ut/salt-lake-city/personal-trainers/lionstrong-fitness-llc-salt-lake-city-trainer/service/272584301285934328

I stayed online a bit longer going over some written procedures to train a colleague in the next few days and it has to be done online instead of at the office.

I am a huge advocate of detailed, step by step written procedures. Procedures are very important for audit and business continuity purposes. Most workplaces, you sit and watch someone prepare a process but often that is not effective, especially during times like this where people have to stay home, or worse quarantined and can’t make it to work at all for 2 weeks. 2 weeks is half of the work month!

Having step by step procedures may seem redundant and I would say a lot of people hate writing them. I cannot emphasize enough about having good written procedures, especially in a pandemic where things must be completed regardless. Please have procedures for crucial tasks because you don’t know if you will have half of your team show up or not. Good writing with good screen shots please. Your procedures need to ensure no steps are missed and that a person can successfully complete the task on their own even without having done the procedure before. Procedures should be reviewed annually and when someone new is working on the procedure.

Anyhow, that’s all what I have on my mind today. Think about business continuity during COVID-19 at your jobs.

Planning Your Life During a Pandemic

Career, Family, Organization, Productivity

Pandemic or not, many interruptions and demands will arise and you have to be able to reset priorities when change happens.

Plans are still good to have because it allows you to remain focused on the most important things and know where to reset a few things around. If you’re not able to revise as interruptions come about then your planning will not be effective. Planning allows you to prevent things from slipping even when big changes happen.

Many interruptions will arise anyway, you have to review and reset plans as changes occur.

The biggest change in my plans as well as for everyone else affected by COVID-19 is staying home during times I did not anticipate to be home. My weekend is starting to look different because ballet is cancelled as well as church meetings. Starting next Monday, my schedule and routine will be different too.

My Pandemic Planning

(1) Daycare. Daycare will remain open. My kids do not have a set routine at home between 8-6pm M-F so my plan is to bring them to daycare where they do have a routine. I won’t bring kids to daycare if they’re sick though.

(2) Kids’ school. So much conflicting information on the news about school closures. I went and reviewed school district website about their plan. Preschool is cancelled but kindergarten and above is not closed, only dismissed. School will move to online distance learning format. I will find out next week about checking out a Chromebook from the school and then decide whether my oldest should be in daycare during the school hour. My main priority is ensuring my kindergartener can get her schoolwork done with minimal interruption.

(3) Work. After figuring the plans with school and daycare, I was able to relax about work. Work updates related to COVID-19 changed by the hour this week. By end of day Thursday, they asked us to work from home at least through end of March. I was really glad I tackled some big items before switching to work from home (thanks to planning ahead!!!). Sometimes it is quicker to have two monitors at the office instead of one little laptop at home to work on spreadsheets. Remember to get the big rocks outta the way first whether the routine is eventful or not.

Most important area of focus is morning routine* during weekdays. I am planning to get up at the normal time and get girls to daycare like I would pre-pandemic. There will be discretionary time because the commute will be much shorter and not need to dress as if I’m going to the office.

Looking forward to temporary evening routine*. I should be able to get the kids earlier back home than I would normally, between 4:30-5pm instead of 5:30-6pm. Hoping I can get them to bed early! Also want to plan at least one weeknight meal early next week.

That’s what I have so far! What plans you got now with everything closing and cancelling?

*Note on morning & evening routines: they are 2 hour crucial time blocks between the hours of 6am-8am and 6pm-8pm Mondays through Fridays. More on that in another post.