Being a working parent was already a juggling game before the pandemic hit. Most successful working parents rely on some sort of routine to help them navigate their dual roles at work and at home. And when those routines get jostled, or, in this case, completely wiped out, they are thrown for a loop.
Insert one or more children running around your home (now office), who would typically be in school, and BAM, it can become straight-up chaos. Even as things begin to open back up, it’s still very likely that young children do not have summer camps to go to, leaving them at home or having to find them childcare.
As an employer, your mind is continuously running over all of the things that need to get done. So how do you keep yourself and your employees on track, even in times of unprecedented disruption? Here’s the simple answer: stop trying to control everything, and start focusing on top priorities and quality results.
You may try to create some sort of routine for your day and yet, end up in an entirely different place than you planned. While controlling everything isn’t going to help you, there are things that will.
As an employer
- Set one routine you can stick to each day. Whether that’s getting up early to get a workout in, meditating, planning your day, or taking some time at the end of the day to re-organize your thoughts for the next day, pick one thing you can stick to each day.
- There is no better time than now to prioritize what needs to get done for your business vs. all the little things that seem necessary but might not be. How can you prioritize? Write down all of your activities and categorize them top, middle, and bottom.
- If you create no other habits, consistently looking at your priorities will change your way of thinking and keep you on track. Do that every day, and you’ll be amazed at the changes in the way you look at things. Ask yourself daily, “Is what I’m doing right now getting me to where I want to be?”
- Give yourself grace. This doesn’t mean getting rid of discipline or letting yourself get comfortable. It does mean recognizing that everyone right now is dealing with a new routine and processing it differently. Allowing yourself the grace to move through this will make a huge difference.
For your employees
- Have them answer some simple questions each week to gauge where they are with their priorities. This way, you both feel good about what they are doing. It’s also a huge opportunity to evaluate their challenges and see if there is anything you could help with.
- What is the ONE thing they want to accomplish in the coming week?
- Did they accomplish their ONE thing from last week?
- What was their greatest success over the past week?
- What was their most significant challenge over the past week?
- What priority were they able to accomplish?
Having your employees focus on one thing they want to accomplish allows them to feel successful when they’ve achieved it. Encourage them to make it something that adds a little challenge to their week and makes them feel good about their achievement.
Give them grace. As an employer, it’s easy to want every one of your employees to have the same feeling toward your company as you do and work the same number of hours you regularly put in. Although some do, everyone is in a different season of life and might not have the same time or capacity. Giving yourself and your employees grace has never been more important.
Check-in with your employees more than you typically would. Not to see what they are doing, but to see how they are doing. Support is something so many of us need right now; knowing that you’re there for them makes all the difference.
Creating habits in our previous normal was a challenge, so creating them now makes it all the more difficult – but it can be done. For some, there might not be a better time than now to create those habits for success.
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