Back when Sarah and I created our editorial calendar, one of the episodes we’d considered for early April was on kids and mornings. Back when we recorded the episode, she’d recently changed her childcare hours to have more help in the evenings. This meant evenings went smoothly but mornings…less so. She’d posted on her blog about the challenges of getting her kids to school on time. People wrote in with so many helpful suggestions that we had to make an episode about the tips (“road waffles” came up frequently).
It is still a great episode. But it has absolutely nothing to do with life right now, when a great many of us aren’t going anywhere in the mornings and even people who are don’t have schools to send their kids to. So we recorded a new episode last week talking about our current routines and some tips for working from home (especially with kids around).
Sarah is actually working from home a significant proportion of the time these days too. I think telemedicine will be one of the lasting changes from all this. As Sarah points out, many of her diabetes patients are doing around half a dozen visits per year. Converting four of those to virtual visits would save a ton of time for the kids and their caregivers. Of course, adapting to telemedicine means changing a lot of the rhythms of life. She noted that she’d not appreciated how her commute set a clear boundary between work and home. In the absence of that, everything can get mixed up. For people who find that disorienting, creating some sort of boundary might be smart.
Please give the episode a listen, and here’s hoping we’ll be back to non-COVID content soon!
4 thoughts on “Best of Both Worlds podcast: New routines, plus working from home”
I really like the idea that once this is over, going virtual does not have to be all or nothing. We have short (13 week) semesters at our university, and I live in terror that one semester I’ll get sick or my kid will get sick and I’ll have to cancel too many lectures. Holding a virtual seminar or posting a mini lecture on my class website would be a great alternative. (And possibly prevent me from feeling like I need to go and lecture in person when I’m sick, which now seems like an increasingly bad idea!) Similarly, I’ve just cancelled classes when I’ve been traveling for a conference during term time in the past. Now that the university has gotten a Zoom license, I guess I wouldn’t have to cancel!
To your conversation about how to start/end the workday — I occasionally worked from home before this mandate, so I already established personal boundaries. Starting my day is easy. Same morning routine, but a longer walk since I don’t have the commuting time. Once I’m back from my walk, I change clothes, etc., and then sit down at my home office. At the end of my workday, I turn off the computer, leave the work phone in my home office, and typically step outside for fresh air or to get the mail. The mental shift helps.
I am finally catching up on podcasts. I have had a hard time listening while working from home and spent a lot of time watching musical performances on YouTube instead.
I have found that my secret weapon for audio-only conference calls is crafts – usually cross stitch. It keeps my hands busy and keeps me from reading internet articles which is what I used to do. It needs to be a craft you can set down and one that is forgiving is also helpful, but it is so much easier to pay attention when my hands are busy.
@Dominique – one of the reasons I vastly prefer video calls is that they cut down on the multi-tasking. I sort of assume that anyone on a call is checking email. Trying to do a craft at the same time would definitely fill that extra part of the brain!