7 Essential Tips For Couples To Maintain Productivity While Working From Home Together

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7 Essential Tips For Couples To Maintain Productivity While Working From Home Together
Love

As restrictions increase due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, it's become the norm to self-quarantine and keep our distance.

Life as we know it is changing and there's a lot to adjust to, including in our relationships.

There has been a lot of talk about parents adjusting to having the kids home and how to keep them busy during isolation.

But what about couples who find themselves working from home and spending way more time together than usual?

RELATED: 5 Actionable Steps To Calm Anxiety & Stress During The Coronavirus Pandemic

Spending more time with our partners can be a wonderful thing, but it can also be challenging, especially if we’re not interacting as much with others or participating in activities outside the home.

One of the main tasks a couple faces at the start of their relationship is figuring out how much alone time versus how much couple time each person needs. It usually takes time, trial, and error before a couple gets it right.

So, when this carefully constructed balance gets disrupted, it can throw couples for a loop.

While we're adjusting to spending a lot more time together, many of us are also trying to work from home. So naturally, things can get even more complicated.

One reason for this is that you and your partner probably have very different work habits and will need to figure out how to accommodate each other's needs and styles.

So, how do you maintain job productivity and keep from getting on each other's nerves when you're hunkered down in the house together 24/7 for the next couple of weeks?

Here are 7 essential tips for couples to try to preserve their relationship and still have the best productivity while working remotely at home.

1. Make a schedule every day.

Making a schedule helps each of you create personal structure and goals. This makes it easier to respect your partner's personal space and needs.

Take some time to discuss whether you will have breaks or lunch together, for example, and make sure you're aware of important meetings or calls you each have that can't be interrupted.

Also, identify where each of you will work and respect each other's workspace.

Being under quarantine doesn't mean you have to lose your daily structure.

2. Communicate clearly your individual work needs and expectations.

You'll want to make sure you communicate your personal needs and rhythm. Be willing to do the same for your partner.

It's also helpful to understand and respect your partner's work style.

For example, you might like to have music in the background when you work, but your partner may need complete silence.

Or you may like to take frequent breaks while you're working, whereas your partner may prefer to work for long stretches of time without interruptions.

3. Be careful with interruptions.

It can be tempting to share exciting or significant news as it happens. But during the workday, sensitivity and timing are crucial.

Even when something interesting comes up, it doesn't mean you can interrupt your partner without checking in with them first to see if it's a good time for them.

For this reason, it helps to preface any interruptions, no matter how small, with statements like, "Do you have a minute? Is this a good time to talk?"

4. Make the distinction between work time and free time very clear.

We behave differently when we're working and when we're not.

When the lines between working and free time get murky, misunderstandings and disappointments invariably surface. This can create extra stress on the relationship.

This is another reason creating schedules can be helpful. It helps to remember that our partner doesn't want to talk to us right now because they are still working, and not because they don't value us.

RELATED: 6-Step Guide To Working From Home During Coronavirus Quarantine — Without Losing Your Sanity & Staying Productive

5. Make time for friendship, fun, and laughter.

When the workday is over, make sure to schedule in relaxation and fun, and to respect your partner's needs for alone time. Again, be clear and careful with each other.

"I'd like to spend some time talking with my friends, or working out in the bedroom, or chilling on my phone, but then I'd like to curl up on the couch with you and binge-watch our favorite show."

6. Be careful how you speak to each other.

Self-quarantine means that we are going without our regular options for de-stressing, like socializing and outings. This can make us a little uncomfortable or downright anxious.

Add to that a constant diet of scary information about the coronavirus, and both partners may find themselves to be a little more sensitive than usual.

In other words, we may not be our best selves.

Also, when we spend a lot of time with people, we tend to get sloppy with our interactions. But this is precisely the time when we need to exercise the most care in the way we treat each other.

Try not to blame each other, complain, or allow small things to escalate into big ones.

7. Be present.

This is the time when we need to shower our partners with encouragement and support. Try taking a few minutes every day to be completely present to the person you share your life with.

A genuine connection can counteract much of the stress and anxiety that stems from being quarantined, not to mention that it makes life worthwhile!

When you make an authentic connection an essential ingredient in your day, it reinforces the strength of your couple.

It also helps you to feel like you’re on the same side against the challenges that will certainly arise during this unique time period of extreme togetherness.

Isolation because of this virus can be difficult and anxiety-inducing. But maintaining the experts' advice of social distance doesn't mean you need to be distant from your partner.

Now is the time where strengthening and deepening the intimacy and connection in your relationship is more crucial than ever.

RELATED: How To Disinfect Your Home, Kill Germs & Avoid Contracting Coronavirus

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Debby Gullery is a relationship coach with over 25 years of experience coaching and teaching relationship and marriage seminars.

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