There is a lot going on right now as we continue social distancing. It is a long list to think about with the virus, our work, our families, our community and our country. As we move through each week, we are all in this together both literally and figuratively. Despite knowing what we can’t control, there are times we can establish for tranquility. Tranquility times offer us ways to feel positive, reset our energy, renew our energy and be prepared for what is next.
Parenting tranquility time
Parents continue to be working double shifts with both their own work and their kids corona-schooling. Setting up an organized work space and organizing your home are important. Equally important is setting up a space for calm.
- Setting a bedtime for everyone helps. Toddlers and elementary age kids require a regular bedtime through the crisis. Your teens may not go to sleep at that set bedtime, however they can be ready to relax in their own rooms then. You can request placing their devices in a common charging spot with your device and head to be yourself.
- Organize everyone’s own bedroom. These spaces promote tranquility in that their primary function is sleeping. Remove excess clutter and paperwork to create a calm environment.
- Put on your and everyone’s headphones, ear buds or air pods. Everyone listens to their own music, meditation or podcast. It’s silence for everyone at the same time.
Personal space tranquility time
Each of us needs a time and place to reset and rejuvenate. That’s harder with everyone at home. The joy of outside exercise can be your personal space tranquility area. Set out for a walk, run or bike ride to regroup. Rainy day or too little time to get outside? Use YouTube for yoga, especially Yoga with Adriene.
Extrovert tranquility time
I see a lot of sillies suggesting our extrovert friends need to be connected. For extroverts, there is energy in being with someone. A reset includes connecting by facetime, join.me, or phone. Take the opportunity daily to get in touch and to reach out.
Spiritual tranquility time
Many spiritual groups are setting up time to worship virtually. Tap into this tranquil time through online worship. You can attend your ongoing worship or choose new spots to worship. Many churches and temples are offering daily times to connect too.
More ways to establish tranquility time
- Set boundaries with social media and news. We are bombarded with information all the time. Know that you can step away from all of this and come back refreshed. Set yourself up for success by taking breaks from your devices.
- Intentionally pay attention to positive energy. Check out SGN, Some Good News. New episodes are available each Sunday evening.
- Know what works for you to establish tranquility. Psychology Today article suggests prayer, reading, meditation, yoga, creative activities, positive self-talk, cooking, gardening, journaling, deep breathing, listening to music, household projects, spring cleaning, meditation, puzzles/games, playing with your pets and kids, and doing something nice for someone else. Expressing what you are worried and anxious about is a good thing.
Your tranquility times can be as needed or scheduled each day. Be sure you are generous in the amount of time you give yourself as self care. We all need a break to reset and regenerate energy.
Intentionally engaging in positive thoughts and self care help us combat the anxiety we are all feeling right now. Being your best self in this crazy, mixed up, upside down world is our best strategy for coping. Here is what sets me up for success right now.
- Intentionally focus and act on positive emotions. Know what brings you joy and be ready to focus on it when you feel anxious. For me it’s taking a walk or a bike ride. Being outdoors gives me a sense of well being.
- Connections matter to us. We have all been experiencing Zoom Happy Hour and family bike rides. Reach out to others to connect by Facetime or Facebook Messenger to see faces and chat. There is so much to connect about and share with family and friends.
- We have learned new technologies this week that bring us closer together. Seeing so many schools teach by technology have taught parents and kids new ways to connect and learn. Colleagues are working remotely and collaboratively. Learning new technology will always be a part of our lives.
- Learn about the ways we have conquered past health challenges. We have brilliant researchers at work right now, just like in the past.
- Create a daily schedule for you and your family. Start your day with exercise and lemon water. End your day with getting to bed on time. Predictable schedules and routines anchor us.
- Declutter, get organized and share your blessings with others. Go from space to space to edit what you have not been using or needing. You can use GiveBackBoxes.com to send items using your Amazon boxes. (Donate wisely.)
- Giving back makes a difference. I was moved to see this cell phone choir. Everyone sharing their gifts, talents and skills. Where can you make a difference today? I have created a new series of YouTube posts to help you declutter, tackle paper clutter and more.
- Resetting and rejuvenating is good. Take time for sitting, thinking, listening and relaxing. It’s an ideal opportunity for strategic thinking for personal and business goals
Gratitude fills my days. I am always practicing gratitude and affirming the good around and in us. I am grateful for the privilege of being able to work from home during this time and share tips for work at home. I see love, laughter and connection with you, family and friends on social media.
Do you face too many choices of what to do and when to do it? Do you get paralyzed without a plan? Are you distracted rather than productive? There is a way to move to a more structured day to gain control of your time and be proactive about your tasks and projects. Time blocking is documented strategy to be productive and effective. It gives you the opportunity to prioritize.
Time blocking fundamentals
What is time blocking? Time blocking is a time management strategy where you divide your days and weeks into units of time. Each time block has an assigned tasks or project. It is useful at both work and home to assign rather than choose an activity at a specific time. There are many uses for time blocking. It prioritizes completing specific work rather than chopping up your day with distractions. You can set aside time blocks at home to get your errands done. You can also use time blocks to establish transition time between meetings, activities and errands. Time blocking establishes the “when” of your “what To Do” list. You will be adding an assigned time to accomplish the tasks you have listed. By minimizing distractions, you are setting up productivity success. As Cal Newport writes, “my goal is to make sure progress is being made on the right things at the right pace for the relevant deadlines.” You can have this success too!
Establishing Time Blocks
Here is how to get started with the time block concept. During weekly planning time, choose your top 3 Most Important Tasks for the week. These are tasks that are required to be done, and may not be urgent and are important. Project forward to see if any responsibilities are elevated to this level. At home this might be personal taxes, upcoming travel, bill paying or administrative time. At work this might be upcoming reports, meetings, or any assigned project.
Set time blocks for the duration that works well for you. As you know about your best work, choose a block of 1 hour or 2 hours, or a specific day of the week. People with ADHD tend to like longer time blocks for 2-3 hours. For me, I like one hour blocks because my energy moves quickly in this time. I use several blocks over a week to complete my tasks. I am a morning person so my best work is in the morning.
Assign a task or project to your chosen block periods.
- I also refer to this as a “power period” which is a time of single, intense focus for working on or completing a project.
- Set aside a day to do a single focus (Money Monday, Marketing Monday, Training Tuesday)
- Assign highest priorities with the best time block depending on what time of day you work best.
- You may need to assign multiple blocks for completion of your task or project.
- Set up your team to work with you too on these projects. Communicate your new strategy and coordinate working together to benefit from collaboration.
Work and home successes leads this strategic use of time.
Routines and time blocks
At home and at work there are necessary routines that need attention every week. Here are my favorite time blocks that are common at home and work.
- Home: Paper management, Finances and Bills, and Family Meeting
- Work: Email, Administrative, Financial, and Client
Check to see what is not being accomplished in a week and schedule a time block for this. By time blocking these priorities, you will have a greater sense of control and foundation.
Scheduling time blocks is the answer to your distracted, unproductive day. It helps you accomplish your goals and keep on target. Filling in when to accomplish a task means you are not at the mercy of decision making and paralysis. It’s the best solution for assigning your time and attention to your priorities.