Working Remotely while "Second Shifting
Updated: Mar 1, 2021
Evolve with us everyday! Gain tips from a like-minded community of women on how to stay centered, connected and strong during this unprecedented time. The EvolveMe platform offers multiple channels for you to recharge, continue to grow and have a positive distraction from the news of the day.
It’s the one year anniversary of our new work reality. For many of us, this means working remotely or job searching (often in close quarters with partners doing the same!), while kids are learning online (and pets are barking?)!
Women who work - remotely or on site, paid or volunteer - face a “second shift” later in the day. Whether it’s childcare, eldercare, or household responsibilities (shared or not), women often schedule their lives around these other roles. This is even more true during the current health crisis where women are trying to stay focused on their work while also attending to their care-related responsibilities.
Picture making lunch, slacking a co-worker (or updating your resume), all while teaching your nine year-old how to log onto zoom. Not an easy feat! We may have adjusted to the new normal, with work + life + school intertwined, but it's taking a toll -- fueling anxiety, exhaustion and general stir-craziness.
But there's a light at the end of the tunnel and we need to be patient just a little while longer. We need to find ways to stay strong and focused. EvolveMe's got your back! Here’s what's helping us to stay grounded, accept change and be practical about what it will take to get through each day in one piece:
Breathe: We hold our breath when we are anxious or stressed. Sometimes when we’re working Linda will realize she’s been so focused that she’s forgetting to breathe! The first thing we need to do when we wake up is to do a deep balloon breath -- breathe through our nose + expand our abdomen, then breathe out. If nothing else, breathing helps to release anxiety in the body that we hold without even realizing.
Set daily intentions: At EvolveMe, we believe creating intentions helps shape not only the outcomes of our work (those are goals) but how work and life actually happen. During this time of transition, create intentions for how you want to be, such as: patient, open, empathic, and generous with people with whom you work and live. Return to that intention when times get frustrating.
Make a daily schedule: When working remotely or from home, it’s easy to get lost in the kitchen with ALL the snacks! Or to fold laundry instead of emailing a new colleague for a phone or video chat. If you make a daily schedule with time blocks (exercise, cook, email, post to social media, spend time with partners, children, talk to friends and check in) there's more of a chance you’ll do it. We stick to things more often when we write them down.
Carve out your own work space: Even if you're in tight quarters right now, it’s important to have a space of your own. Maybe it’s the corner of the kitchen table. Plant your laptop there and try and keep things that inspire you nearby - a plant, a notebook, a picture, a personal mantra. Anything that makes you feel calm, centered and focused.
Stay active: Being active can energize your work life now and boost your immune system. It also helps to have exercise during your day to give you mental focus. Now is the time to try out those yoga, pilates and HIIT apps that you’ve wanted to but didn’t make time for.
Delegate to others in your household: You kids are home, and they've been seeing in real time how you're trying to manage it all -- running a restaurant, a workspace and in some cases a school! Enlist your children to be on board and take on more household responsibilities. It’s a way to role model that we all have to pitch in and take on some of the “second shift” work. It will also leave your kids and partner with new lifelong habits :)
Keep a Win book: Delight in what’s positive in the situation. How can you reframe where we are now to see to see the positives in the situation? Disruption can uncover new opportunities. Maybe you slow down. Maybe you take a course online. Maybe you say no to a role that no longer serves you. For example, over the past year EvolveMe has gone from serving the New York metro area with in-person programing to reaching women all over the country!
Jot down three things you feel positive about everyday. It will lift your spirits and give you a sense of how you strong you are and that you can Evolve -- and adapt to change
Reconnect: Over the past year, we've reconnected more than ever with women in our community - just to check in. We've gotten back in touch with our own support systems and networks. How about you?
Send your friends and colleagues an email or text asking them how they're doing. Focus especially on friends and colleagues you know that might have a hard time coping due to being in between jobs, fearing job loss, or living alone and working freelance. And reach out to women you consider professional mentors (or friends who have good career advice.) help Together, brainstorm ways to stay engaged in work and gain some ideas for yourself!
Breathe to end your day: Are you like us and finding your work day has gradually started creeping into your pre-pandemic home life? Come up with a way to end your “work day” and transition into your evening with a ritual. If it’s not breathing, what can you do to signal to yourself that your “work" for the day is over?
Here’s a tip: keep a list of what you consider to be your “work” vs your other “jobs” and what you do to unwind that's fun (neither work nor a job). Commit to doing one thing from your fun list at the end of the day.
Are you at a transition point in your career? Want a group of like-minded women to check in with 2x per month for support? How about two challenge worksheets each month to make you step back and think?
EvolveMe has your answer! Become an EvolveMe member today. The first month is free - what do you have to lose? Learn more here at evolveme.work/membership