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Day in the Life: Work from Home Edition

May 16

Hi there, I’m Sara, co-owner of a real estate consulting business called SKLD, a wife, and mom. The act of balancing self care, relationships, motherhood, and career — while also having hobbies, doing volunteer work, eating healthy, and working out is MORE than challenging. Quite frankly, it’s impossible. I once heard Brene Brown speak on this topic and felt so relieved and validated when she said (and I’m paraphrasing) “you can’t.” Anytime you’re focused on certain things in your life, other areas will be neglected. There are only 24 hours in a day and 7 days in a week. While we can manage our time, we can’t manufacture more of it. “But Sara, all of these things have to get done!” I get it. The pressure to perform is obscene, especially for women. Societal expectations plus the standards we set for ourselves cause anxiety, worry, and fear. I’m sure my words won’t put that to rest for everyone, but after 34 years I’m starting to find a good rhythm and I wanted to breakdown that down for you in case any of it resonates. So this is what a typical day may look like for me —

5:00 am YES I KNOW IT’S EARLY— but it is absolutely my only secret weapon… I got in the habit of waking up early years ago when my husband had to be at work by 6:00 am. This habit kind of stuck with us and although it’s incredibly difficult to wake up this early, it does get better with time (and being sure to have a reasonable bedtime— for us, that’s 9pm) and I’ve even learned to love it. I use this time to make my coffee, feed our little domestic farm (4 cats and 4 dogs!), turn on the news, and relax a bit before the kids are up. If I’m feeling especially energetic, I’ll do some light housework.

6:30 am — The kids alarms go off and they are up! They have about an hour between waking and getting to the bus stop and are pretty independent in the morning. In fact, I’m pretty sure my 9 year old is ready to get her own place and move out (kidding); so I utilize this time to either get dressed if I have early meetings that day or do some light daily cleaning up around the house — dishes, laundry, etc.

8:00 am — Walk the kids to the bus stop and return home to do whichever option I didn’t do before they left (cleaning or getting dressed)! I LOVE utilizing my timer for these tasks. I linked it below, but I’ve been singing the praises of these little things forever! I’ll choose a time duration — 10, 15, 20 minutes — and focus on one task during that time. So if I feel like my house is a mess but I’ve got a lot of work to do, I’ll set it for 15 minutes and just clean up whatever I can in that time. It’s a huge help if you have trouble staying focused on one thing like I do!

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9:00 am — It’s time for my workday to begin. I work from home, so I try to set clear boundaries on when/how/where I work. When I’m with clients, I make sure to sit at my desk in my office where there are less distractions. Throughout the day, I hop between projects, phone calls, emails, and in-person meetings with clients. I may do these things in the living room, on the back porch if it’s sunny, or even at the island in the kitchen. Any time I have a call that doesn’t requre zoom, I love to go for a walk and pop in my airpods while I listen in. Lauren and I both utilize an “under desk” treadmill and honestly, it’s been worth every penny! Here is the one Lauren uses…

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10:30 am — I try to schedule some sort of professional development fairly routinely to ensure that I stay up to date on the real estate and operations industry to best serve our clients. Taking about an hour to an hour and a half for this so that I can attend the training and also put together some notes and key takeaways.

12:00 pm — I’m known for snacking. The Queen of Snacking, in fact. But since I’ve been working remotely, I’ve had to become more conscious of what I’m eating throughout the day to sustain my energy level. 2:00pm is my absolute Kryptonite. So I try to remember to grab a balanced lunch around this time — sometimes it is a sandwich with chips and fruit, sometimes leftovers, and if I’m lucky — I prepped some burrito bowls for the week! After lunch, if the day’s schedule isn’t too demanding, I like to make sure my puppies get some quality time outside. We play fetch and get some vitamin D.

3:00–5:00 pm — The kids arrive home from school. I work more transiently in this time period (again, unless I have a client meeting), often bringing my computer to the kitchen area so I can multi-task. We take this time to make sure they have homework done, unload backpacks, and discuss all the juicy elementary gossip.

5:30 pm — We typically have dinner around this time. When I was a kid, my family usually ate a lot later, so this is different for us, but we have found that it works best for the kids’ schedules. We have a fun tradition of going around the table and sharing our most challenging and favorite parts of the day.

6:00–7:00 pm — The kids get some time to play or read while my husband and I tackle household chores — sometimes its the laundry and dishes, maybe vacuuming, or my favorite — yard work! One of our favorite games to play in the evening is “Beat the Parents!” It’s a hilarious combination of trivia and challenges that never fail to make us laugh.

8:00 pm — My kids head to bed around this time and my husband and I usually squeeze in an episode or two of Ted Lasso, Suits, or a comedy special. It’s a great way for us to unwind and just enjoy some time together

9:00 pm — Finally time to sleep.

So that’s my schedule. It’s not always that to a “T” and it’s certainly not perfect. It ebbs and flows based on what life is tossing at me on any given day or week. For example, I have family visiting this week for a special occasion — so we will likely find some extra time for not only tidying up, but also deep cleaning some toilets and washing sheets. Because I can’t manufacture more time, something will have to be sacrificed.

Ultimately, I don’t have any game-changing hacks for you to beat the system and do it all — but I will give you permission to let your foot off the gas in one area, if necessary to grow in others. You are not the same as everyone else. Cliche, but true. We are all different and require different things to fuel and sustain us. Listen to your body, your mind, and those in your circle who trust and support you. You CAN do anything — but you don’t have to do it all at once.

SKLD Consulting is a one-stop shop for back end operations and systems for your business.

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