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Are you now in the situation so many others are dealing with? Two people working from home in addition to home schooling your children? Feeling a bit crowded? Or perhaps downright bloodthirsty? Don’t let the guilt consume you –just because you want to murder someone doesn’t mean you don’t love him/her.

However, murder is a messy, inefficient solution to the problems you are now facing. Let’s not go there. Instead, here are three strategies that will point you in the right direction. 

  1. Zone your house. Even if you have a laptop you are used to carting around with you throughout the house, establish a place for you to work from home. Why? Because suddenly, people are swarming all over the place and there are too many opportunities for conflict over territory. The best thing to do is to mark out the territory ahead of time so it’s clear to all of you. (Okay, maybe your three year old didn’t get the memo.) If you don’t have a dedicated home office, think about what you do have that will tide you over. Is there a desk somewhere you can set up in a corner of the living room? How about the end of a long dining table? Do you have a tray table and a basket with a handle for all your papers? Put your creative mind to work and look at the space in your house differently. Check out what others are doing online.
  • Establish a routine and stick to it. This will help your zoning efforts as well. Have a routine for getting dressed, eating, working, taking care of the house, and meeting together as a family for some fun. Work in movie night or game night into your routine. Schedule some time to go outside. If everybody knows what the schedule is, people can relax into the rhythm of life and enjoy what they are doing more. When you don’t know when anything is going to happen, it can be nerve-wracking, especially for children. A routine you consistently follow has the opposite effect. It calms anxiety, and helps traffic flow in the house function better.
  • Pretend you are home alone. It’s nice to have the house to yourself sometimes. Since that may not be possible right now, pretend you are home alone. No chatter. Everybody just ignore everybody else for a couple of hours. It can be refreshing not to have to talk to others. 

Problems can also be opportunities. Now is our chance to rethink how we are living.