Do you ever have the feeling that you are with one foot in your office and with one foot at home? How is that state? Not really here, not really there?
During my corporate life and even more so now that I do a lot of work from my home office, I realized that thanks to digital devices bringing us more flexibility, the areas of our lives tend to blend into each other. I work at home, I manage the family from the office. No clear boundaries any more that allow me to segment my time as a function of where I am.
For some time now, I have practiced establishing my own boundaries so that I can be off work at certain times or not think about the family organization eventually. My team back in my corporate job used to know the hours when I was only reachable for urgencies, because I’d have dinner and bring my kids to bed before getting back to my e-mails later in the evening.
Working from home, this was even more essential, because otherwise I would always be juggling between house and work and kids – which can be great at times, and really unproductive and unsatisfactory on the long run. It’s not always that easy to stick to my plans for the days and if I don’t, I try at least to stay conscious about why I change. For one, I’m really good at optimizing time, not planning for any unforeseen event that could disturb me and then, I sometimes overestimate my capacity to stay focussed.
But, even on days when I got done what I intended to do, I felt not really “there”, for example when I picked up the kids or sat down for dinner with my husband. I felt lost in transition, as if I had kept a backdoor to my work open in my mind that pulled me back.
The right hint came quite unexpectedly this summer in an exploration of where my energy gets lost. As Integral Coaches, we learn to make transition moves in a conversation as we go from one section to the next so our clients know where we are and what we do. It had never occurred to me how helpful those transition moves can be for me as I move through the day from one activity to another.
These moves can be really small and have a huge effect. Rather than rushing into Kindergarten with my phone checking e-mails a last time, before I pick up the kids, I now take a few breaths and think about how I’m going to spend the next few hours with my kids. Same, when the “get to school” rush is over and I am back home, rather than cleaning up mindlessly and wasting the precious morning focus, I turn on some music and set my intention for the day.
Since I started transition moving, I feel less “neither here nor there” and I think it also has an impact on how we all interact when we are together. It feels good to have found such an easy hack for moving through my days more elegantly.
Do you want to practice transition moves, too? As you go through your day, notice when you change from one activity or environment to another. The easiest move is to pause for a few breaths, consciously stop one thing and start another one. For tougher transitions, experiment what helps you: movement, music, a cup of coffee.