Bethenny Frankel, the celebrity entrepreneur, author, and mother, is using quarantine to get centered and stay on-task.
How do you stay productive and focused while working from home?
I am always at home, even not during quarantine life. I am in my pajamas 90 percent of my life, and I create my own structure.
I am in a constant state of organization, restructuring, and shifting. I focus on sleep, being healthier than normal, and creating a comfortable environment. I cherish this quality time with my daughter while doing artwork, reading, cooking, and snuggling with our dogs @biggysmallz. I am a very organized person, and I create tasks for myself. That said, I do yoga and breathing exercises and try to stay centered. I am spending a lot of time doing relief work.
It requires determination, focus, and organization, so now is an excellent time for this. Time, if used wisely, is a gift.
What advice can you give to parents who are working from home while their children are also doing schoolwork and taking classes from home?
I think a structure is critical. We don’t always stick to it, but mapping out a plan for the day sets goal posts. I also don’t think this is the time to try to hit a home run. Besides school, there are many other ways to broaden your child’s horizon: reading, artwork, cooking, dancing, etc. Come from a place of “yes” and use this time to create new skills and new memories. Do yoga or breathing exercises with your child. Talk to them. Connect. Use this tragedy to work on their emotional intelligence and your own.
How do you stay organized? How do you schedule your day?
I have a grand plan. Mealtimes structure the day time-wise. School after breakfast then break. Reading while I’m making lunch. Watch some TV after lunch, then do some artwork and so on. I discuss a game plan with my daughter, but it is my job to be firm and execute the plan. Even bath time, changing clothes, and brushing hair and teeth transition into something new. Washing the dogs are a project. Think of the hours of the day as units.
People are forcing themselves to be productive during this time. What is the benefit of being still for a moment and not pressuring oneself to create output?
I think being still, breathing, and meditating is more important now than ever. Solutions and creativity come during times of stillness. Stepping away from the problem is when we usually figure out how to approach or solve it.
We will never have this unusual connected family time together again, so we have to try to embrace the positive aspects of it now. It can be positive or a disaster. Take the pressure notch down. My main goals are: quality time with my daughter, a good night’s sleep, eating healthy, attempting to drink water, and being productive about my business.
Finding ways to organize all areas of my home are also a great use of this time.
How can people take care of each other during this time? Are there any practices you recommend?
I call my close friends and ask how they’re doing. I check in with my core unit of 5 to 10 people and ask the same questions and talk about the same things every day — how we are feeling, sleeping, eating, cooking, connecting, exercising, working… then repeat. It’s Groundhog Day every day.
Don’t set your goals too high. Just use the time wisely. One to two meaningful things done every day could add up to a big difference in your life.