In our first blog, Gina talked about jointly working from home and how we have managed to be effective. I am going to address how we live (and work) in close quarters and the structures we use to support our sanity and our relationship.
Most of what we have learned about having life sing while working at home in close quarters has come as a result of doing it wrong. For instance, one of the things we discovered fairly quickly is that our working hours had no boundaries. We found that one of us was doing or planning on doing work things during a time that the other was expecting to be social or have down time. As a result, we agreed to “working hours” and “non-working hours” so that we knew what to expect from each other.
We also agreed to find ways to interact with each other during our work time. As Gina noted in our initial blog, we had to find a way to interrupt each other appropriately. So, we ask permission. And from time to time in the middle of an interruption we have to say “enough” in a way that doesn’t diminish the other’s sharing. This is a work in process. We are discovering how to be good at this.
Our partnership also extends to mindset. It is very easy to go to a dark place during these times. It takes something intentional to not let the impact of what is happening leave us upset or even angry. We have a text thread with another couple, close friends of ours, where we create every day what we say this day is for. We want our days to be spent inside of our design rather than living them as victims of these trying circumstances.
So, we recommend:
- Agreed upon working and no-working hours
- Ways to interact with each other during working hours
- Determining what you are up to with each day so that you have the days be yours
Let us know what you think about these recommendations and what you are dealing with. We are rooting for you. Stay safe, be well and know that you are not alone.
John Barron, Apollo Coaching & Consulting