EXCLUSIVE: Tiffiny Hall shares how she juggles family, #WFH and iso life
It's the new norm
By Tiffiny Hall
Founder TIFFXO / October 12 2020
What is “normal” anyway? This time last year, it meant weekly WIPS at TIFFXO HQ, Friday night after-work outings, racing Arnie around from swimming lessons to nan and pops, scouting local shops for a headpiece to wear to the Spring Races, and hitting up the gym every other day.
Nowadays, it’s swerving on the sidewalk to respect a 1.5 meters distance from passers by, talking to a cashier through a perspex screen, and for the majority of the population, working from home – I have a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore!
We adapted to this new ‘norm’ overnight, which for many of us has been a hurricane of homeschooling, home workouts, zoom meetings, bottomless mess, 24/7 parenting, and a lack of ‘me’ time. Let’s just say ISO burnout is more real than ever, and if there was ever a ‘right’ way to go about all of this, you certainly didn’t have time to figure it out.
Unfortunately, 2020 didn’t come with an official instruction manual, so here’s the next best thing… 2020 #101: My Tips and Tricks For Juggling Family, #WFH and Iso Life, by Tiffiny Hall ...
- Clock off: When working from home, try not to fall into the habit of blurring the lines between work and leisure. To declutter your head, experience a more productive work day, and enjoy more relaxing downtime, you need to have boundaries. So clock off, stay clocked off, and set some rules around when you are contactable or not – just because your office is now also your living room, that doesn’t make emailing during The Bachie okay.
- Zones: To help create these boundaries, make sure you define certain areas in your home. Eat all meals at the dining table (Netflix can wait), read a book in your bedroom, make your back porch your yoga studio, and above all, keep work at work. Whether your office is a small study nook, a desk in the corner of your bedroom or a sectioned off area at one end of the breakfast bar, set up a productive and purposeful space. And as a symbolic end to every day, turn off your computer, step outside for a breath of fresh air and don’t reenter this work zone until the next morning.
- Make a list, check it twice: I have a very clear cut schedule in my day that includes all of my ‘to do’ items around the house, work commitments, as well as ample play time with Arnie and catch ups with Ed. Stick to your schedule as though each item is an appointment. This keeps your day (and your head) from becoming an unproductive blur of multitasking and unfinished business. Pin your schedule to the fridge or whiteboard it so others can respect it, and reassess at intervals throughout the day to reprioritise and stay on top of things – being flexible is the key to not letting iso break you!
- Home-place culture: Spending more time under the same roof with your family or housemates can be really trying, so it’s important to nurture these relationships and alleviate any tension built up from say, arguing over what to watch on the TV, or who didn’t help with the dishes this week, or the dirty socks left all over the lounge room floor. So set aside time each week for some quality hangouts. Get creative and organize something the whole gang can enjoy: a family bbq, a popcorn and movie night, a trivia session, poker night, board games, a zoom dinner with friends – live life to the full and boost morale in what ways you can.
- Space: ‘Me time’ is essential to living a balanced life, especially in iso, so make sure you’re putting aside 20 minutes a day in your schedule for this. But as much as you need ‘me time’, so do others. Respecting the space of your family is allowing them to have their own ‘me time’ so they can recharge and clear their heads also.
- Control the controllables: There are a lot of things that are out of your hands right now, so regaining control over the things that are up to you is the key to your sanity – your nutrition, mindset, reactions, exercise, and mood all come under this umbrella, and mindfulness is how you can go about it. Being more aware of your actions and reactions, being conscious of other people’s feelings, being understanding toward yourself, eating (snacking in particular) more mindfully, actively doing things that are good for your health and wellbeing like working out regularly, and taking your mindset by the reins – these are all either acts of mindfulness or the result of practising mindfulness, and will make living a balanced iso life and juggling the many obstacles that 2020 throws at you more manageable.