Opinion

commutes and context-switching

My commute is now a flight of stairs rather than an almost 30-minute drive. I find myself rushing to transition from being Mama to being a good employee. I’ve been late to work when work is in my own home more than once in the last month. Sometimes, I’m playing both roles simultaneously, like when my son showed up in the background of a conference call will his new light sabers. Adorable, yes? But I didn’t expect to need to parent in front of my coworkers.

I started to chide myself for not being able to get it together when I don’t even have to wear real “work pants”. Then a friend shared this tweet from @neilmwebb:

Amen. What a critical distinction for all of us to acknowledge, for ourselves and for others. Working from home isn’t new for me. Working from home for days on end while my family is also in the house is absolutely a new thing for all of us.

I’m finding it hard to concentrate. Focusing takes a lot more mental energy than it used to, and let’s be honest… I don’t have a deep reserve right now of patience and calm.

I realized the constant context-switching is what’s pushing me towards burnout. Humans just aren’t wired to multi-task and juggle our roles in different settings continuously.

I lost my “transition time” when my commute dropped to a 30 second walk. So, I’m playing around with giving myself prompted “buffers” between work and home responsibilities. Deep breaths before signing in to email first thing in the morning and a walk before dinner have been helpful.

Who else is in the same boat?
How are you easing your transitions without a commute?

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