If I told you that this whole Covid-19 social distancing thing was my jam, I would be lying. Big time!

While, in truth, as I have gotten older, I have become a bit of an introvert. Yet in my daily work, I am surrounded by people, serving people. So I still get people time.

We can’t really do that in the same capacity during this time. That said, we really are making the best of it. We have done Zoom Coffee’s and a Happy Hour. We are utilizing Facebook Live and all of our social media in new ways. We even hosted a “social distance” lunch with a our team.

We can do hard things. Together. Apart. Together.

In our morning coffee today, Kurt Wissenburg, shared some thoughts that really resonated with me regarding routine. He was saying routine was one of the ways we were would ensure we were ok during this time.

For example: if you get up every morning at 6 a.m., enjoy a cup of coffee while reading the news and then you get ready for work and leave for work at 7:30 a.m. Do that! Now, maybe, like many, you may not be leaving for work, then head to your work space and make your task list. Follow it.

This idea seems elementary. It seems practical. How have you been doing? 

Me? Terrible. 

Most days, I still get up at 4:40 a.m. Though the snooze button has been winning lately. Go unlock the necessary doors at work and then take my dog for a walk. Milo loves his walks. Then I feed and water the pets. This is where I get in trouble. Big TROUBLE.

On a “normal day,” I would do the following:

  • Make a cup of coffee and read.
  • After that, I either do yoga or workout.
  • Then I get ready for the day.
  • After that, we get Chaz ready.
  • Then John, Chaz and I head out the door for work & school.
  • I make my list and tackle the day.

In the Covid-19 times, it looks more like this:

  • Turn the coffee maker on.
  • Sit on the couch, scroll through Instagram &/or Facebook and talk to the cat.
  • Snuggle in under a blanket with the cat…and fall asleep.
  • Hit snooze on all proceeding alarms to remind me to work out, get ready, etc.
  • Keep sleeping until 7:50 a.m.
  • Proceed to scramble to get ready so I can be on the Zoom coffee at 8:15.
  • Brew a cup of coffee while on said Zoom Coffee.

My mornings after my Zoom Coffee have been a lot more scheduled and functional but not necessarily as productive as they could be.

Anyone in a similar boat?

It’s okay. I totally get it. And I know we aren’t alone on this socially distant struggle bus.

I have been mulling over Kurt’s words and his challenge to start next Monday. The challenge: Start Monday (and each proceeding day) the way I would start any Monday, pre-Covid-19. I am going to give it a try. I think routine will be my saving grace to get through this with some semblence of sanity.

Now I realize, that my schedule isn’t going to be exactly the same as it was prior to the pandemic. Like many, I have to work in time with my kiddo, his school needs, etc. There is other things to consider as well. While my spouse still gets to head to his office, many of you may find that your entire family is under one roof. That factor alone could feel like it may overwelm any idea of a “normal” schedule.

Maybe when you are making your schedule, you could list your needs and wants. Then ask everyone else what they need and want. You then can formulate schedules and tasks lists around that. Be forgiving and kind to them and yourself, while you embark on this adventure. Know your schedule might need to be tweeked as you go.

In our home, we have adjusted Chaz’s wake up time form 7:10 to 8:10. He get’s ready, has breakfast and plays a bit. After I wrap up my Zoom Coffee just before 9, we get ready and walk down to The Leadership Center. With the weather getting nicer, we decided fresh air was better than driving.

Once we get into the building, we open up the office and head to the board room. That is where we have set up Chaz’s work area and Zoom classroom. I tried my office first, but there were a lot of distractions.  Once we have listed out his assignments and had the umteenth argument about YouTube and internet time, he get’s started on his schooling.

I work across the board table from him. This way if he has questions or needs some gentle reminding to focus, I am there. I do step out to check messages, take & make calls, and to do my daily update for social media. At 10:30, I do my Facebook Live for The Leadership Center, in the board room. I have learned to let go of making it perfect and know full well, Chaz, is going to need something during that time, and THAT IS OK!

Chaz start’s Zoom School at 11. When I make sure all is up, ready and he is connected, that’s when I go about my tasks in the building like taking out trash, checking the pool, starting laundry, and cleaning. I do check in with Chaz too.

John, Chaz and I have lunch a little after noon. Chaz and I try to prepare it together. Honestly, that doesn’t always work and this is where I give into him watching a YouTube video. By then, we just need a break.

I am blessed that after lunch, Chaz, is able to go to work with John. I have been trying to use my afternoons to things like paperwork, bills, etc. It’s a bit of a struggle. Focus and drive become a bit difficult to find between 1 and 3 p.m. when I do my Ag Teacher Zoom Coffee.

Again, I think this is where making my task list at the beginning of the day will help. A to do list will help give me focus and keep me productive.

With all of this, it is trial and error, so be sure to give you and everyone involved a lot of grace and room to breath.

This might not be the solution for you, but looking ahead, I am excited for Monday to give it a try.

Here’s to next Monday!

Maile

PS: Don’t for one second, think those three hours in the board room with Chaz aren’t challenging, frustrating, or hard from time to time. THEY ARE! I am working on being grateful for this window of time where I get to see my little boy learning and growing. We are all learning and that is all we can do.

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