As you return to work, whichever phase you’re in, you’re going to want to refresh your memory on your morning and after work routines. They have undoubtedly been different since you have worked at home the past few months+. Here is a checklist I have started; to make it your own, add your items to a printed version or take a photo with your phone. Start a few days prior to returning to work, because things will pop into your head if you give yourself more time.
If you have children/young adults, you go through this type of transition typically towards the end of each summer as they return to school. But anyone who has been through a life transition will recognize these steps. For example, if a parent moves in, or you get married, or you change jobs, any of these requires a look at your routine and how you will need to adapt it and remember its steps.
- If you’re getting up later than when you used to commute, try getting up earlier by 15 minutes each day until you’re at the time you used to.
- Add extra time because when you arrive at your business, you may need to check in, have your temperature read, and sign a COVID related exposure form.
- The first day back leave yourself extra time, about a 1/2 hour, longer with a longer commute. Or do a practice run through of the routine.
- Write out your routine to get it in mind and help you recall everything you do in the mornings. You may need to change responsibilities in the household as you adapt to a new schedule.
- You may want to have a family meeting if several schedules are changing on the same day. Figure out how not to bump into each other in the bathroom!
- Start organizing yourself the night before. What will you wear; lay it out, all of it, including accessories. Leave nothing to choice in the morning. Depending on how you dressed working from home, this may take some reminding yourself of what corporate/business office wear is.
- Make your lunch the night before. Or make it easy on yourself if you can and buy lunch your first few days back to ease the change.
- What is a good bedtime for you, now that you will have a commute (which uses up more of your energy)? Work backwards for your wind-down routine.
- Gather together the night before those things you normally bring to the office.
- Is there anything you have found useful while working at home which you would like to bring to the office? Add this to your bag/briefcase the night before so it is 100% ready.
- What are ALL the steps to your morning routine; write them out on a post it note because you may have forgotten the order, if you changed your routine a lot while working from home.
- How did you ground or center yourself for the day? Can you make that happen still? That’s not a yes/no, but hopefully it’s a “Yes, but not as much time as I used to.” And then build up from there.
- Who or what used to disrupt your morning and make you late (social media, a child, lost keys). Add extra time or use a timer to stay on track. Find your keys the night before.
- What’s for breakfast and how long did you used to give yourself for breakfast? Anything you can get ready the previous night?
- How long is your commute, parking, walking to your office?
- What do you like to have in your car for the commute? Get the podcast list or music playlist ready. Turn on the “I’m driving” on your text messages. Take 5 to get settled in your car before you leave (and add that to what time you’ll need to leave, working backwards from office arrival time).
- Add in your mask, sanitizer, and a paper bag to hold your mask when you’re done for the day. You may want a second mask.
Your Commute Home
- What did it used to be like? Did you stop and do errands on the way; list them on a small notebook or in your phone.
- Did you stop at the gym or take a walk (whatever is available where you are), or will you decompress when you get home?
- How is it when you open the door to home? What happens (dogs, kids, etc.). Can you get some quiet time before or is it after you greet everyone?
- Dinner: whose to make …. and start the meal planning again.
- Take it easy on yourself the first week; don’t try to do a lot in the evenings. You will be more emotionally tired.
What have you enjoyed or found useful about working from home ? How could you bring some of that with you?
Interested in one call, one month of coaching or more? An introductory call? Contact Sue@CoachSueWest.com or text 603.765.9267. Zoom or Phone sessions. 1/2 hour, no charge introductory call to see if you and I both think there’s a good fit of relationship, skills, experience and what you’re looking for.