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Working from home during lockdown is immensely challenging. Suddenly no corner of the home is safe from the stresses of work, and the lines between home and work life are so blurred, they’re virtually non-existent. Through setting boundaries we can start to reinstate those lines, here’s a 3 point framework to apply to your next working week, give it a go and let me know how you get on!


At the start of your week you need to plan your week’s goals, if this sounds fancy the real question here is: what do you need to achieve by the end of the week?

  • Write this list out, it’s no different to your average to-do list but instead of focussing on the day ahead, you’re writing the things you need to do in the next 5 days.
  • Next to each activity, think about how much time you need to complete it – don’t be exact, this process is designed to be quick, so if you’re not sure, use half day approximates so you know you have plenty of time to dig into it.
  • Now you’ve done this, consciously ask if you need to work longer hours to complete that goal?
  • If there is something that will make you work longer hours, what is it? Can it wait? Or better yet, can someone help you with that task?

You’ve now got a fairly locked in list of things that you need to know, with estimates of how long each task will take and some idea of when you’ll get round to doing it.

If something crops up unexpectedly, you now need to re-review your list for the week and take something out. One thing comes in, something else must go. It’s very important that you don’t stretch to compensate for the additional work. The stretches create tension that leads to breakages, and this is precisely what you want to avoid. Why else would you be reading this article?


Once you’ve done your planning, you need to communicate this effectively to your team or your manager in the relevant meetings. I personally like to give everyone a heads up at the start of the week if I’ll be working in a slightly different way.

You may find the best time is during a 1:1 line management meeting or a daily stand up, but either way, make sure the people who need to know what you’re doing, do know about it.

The benefit of communicating these plans is that you create accountability around your actions. You’ve told people that you’re going to do something, so now you have to do it!


You’ve done all the hard work but now it’s about respecting these rules and exercising self-discipline.

If ever you feel distracted or unfocussed, then ask yourself this question:

How will it feel if you don’t follow your plans?

There are tools out there to help you focus, Pomodoro is an excellent way to break down a huge amount of time into manageable chunks of time. 25 minutes on, 5 minutes off. 25 minutes feels realistic, it feels easier.

At the end of the week before you close down your laptop and get started on a G&T, spend 5 minutes reflecting on how the week went.

This doesn’t have to be complicated, ask yourself these questions:

  • Did the week go as planned?
  • If yes, how does it feel?
  • Did anything de-rail you?
  • If you did get de-railed, was that a one-off disruption or do you need to take further action to prevent it from sidelining your plans next week?

Olivia is a career and confidence coach who helps individuals to feel empowered both inside and outside of the workplace. Find out more about Olivia’s coaching services or book a free 30 minute call.

About the author : Olivia

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