The Arena Newsletter
Issue 36 | February 18, 2021
“'No' is a complete sentence.” — Annie Lamott
Groundhog's Day
As many of us approach our one-year quarantine-iversary, our routines have become somewhat settled. We shuffle from one room in the house to another, work for a set period of time, and then shuffle off to another room. Sounds like it's a pretty set routine, right? Yes and no. Even as we now have our work-from-home pattern in place, many of us still have problems drawing the line between when we work and when we "live." For the better part of a year now, there has been an [incorrect] assumption that, because we are at home, we are somehow more available to our co-workers; our time for work is overshadowing our time for everything else.

Today, we interrupt your routine with three important reminders....
Reminder #1: Set Boundaries
The first step in drawing lines between your home life and your work-from-home life is to set boundaries with yourself. If you were not available 24/7 when you worked from an office, there should be no expectation that you are available 24/7 simply because you are at home. Block off the time that you do not intend to work, and ask your colleagues to respect your time, as you respect theirs. Just because one person is choosing to work at 10:30 p.m. does not mean that you are also expected to do that. Of course, if it works for you to work at that time, go for it! Just make sure that you are respecting the boundaries of others and try to schedule any emails to go out at another time (say, 8:30 a.m.).
Reminder #2: Communicate
Once you have your boundaries in place, it is crucial to communicate with those around you. Set the expectation that you will respond to emails within 24 hours, but it will not be immediately. If someone needs something from you after your "stop time," make sure they know the best way to get in touch with you. Otherwise, you'll see it in the morning. If you - like so many of us - are also juggling virtual learning alongside working from home, let your colleagues know. Be as open as possible about the times you are available for calls as well as the times you will likely be working.

Communicate, too, about expectations around projects and deadlines. Most humans really, really like to know what is expected, when it is expected, and that they are set up to exceed. Pay attention for the feelings of overwhelm and uncertainty as reminders to be in communication.
Reminder #3: You've Got This!
You know all of these things, so we'll end with your gentle reminder that you've got this! You know what to do. You know which items need your focus. You know which emails need a response. You've got this!
#InTheArena #SeizeTheDay #Productivity