The Importance of Structure in a Time of Chaos

The Importance of Structure in a Time of Chaos

by Dr. Jennifer Capler, The DM Woman, LLC


I don’t need to tell you how chaotic the entire world seems right now.  You see it as I don’t need to tell you how chaotic the entire world seems right now.  You see it as much as I do.  I worry about it just as much as you do.  My mom is considered an essential employee at Walmart and it scares the hell out of me because I’m no spring chicken myself.

But I will not let fear and worry control me.  Because that is absolutely something I can control: my response. I am a social warrior.

So, I will keep doing what I do best.  Write, support, motivate, encourage, and share knowledge.

This week, I am bringing tips on how to create structure for your new remote work life.

A person standing in a room

Description automatically generated

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio

As The DM Woman, LLC, I am ahead of the curve on this game.  I’ve been working from home while raising children for many years (2 down, 2 to go! WOOHOO!).  However, having to do school at home has forced me to make some changes to my own schedule. Even so, I still know how to work it to my advantage.  Of course, the kids I have left are older now, so it’s easier.


1! Get up, take a shower, GET DRESSED, drink that coffee, and mentally go to work.

A person sitting at a table

Description automatically generated

Photo by bongkarn thanyakij

Seriously, put your bra on, do your hair and makeup, and put some damn pants on! (We’ve all seen those webinar failures…).

This makes your subconscious realize you’re getting ready to work. It will also set the tone for the day.


2! Set a schedule!

A close up of a computer

Description automatically generated

Photo by webandi–1460261

If you are new to the game, this is super important.  Working from home comes with ALL sorts of distractions.  Laundry, the fridge, the sun, the tv, the books… You name it.

To top it off, you may also be a substitute teacher now (face it, for the rest of this school year).

Setting a schedule helps to keep you on task, as well as those students.  Schedule breaks and lunch at specific times every day of the week.  Personally, I have found time blocking on my google calendar to be most effective.

Not only will the structure help you, it’ll help the kiddo’s transition and get school work done too (my children are not meant to be distant learners).


3! Clock out!

A close up of a clock

Description automatically generated

Photo by Monoar Rahman

While this should also be a thing if you work in a corporate office, it is important when working at home.  Since your work is in your home, it is super easy to respond to those emails, phone calls, text, etc. whenever you get them. 

EVERYONE needs to clock out.  Especially now.


Make your personal time sacred.

Spend it soaking up some rays from your backyard.  Play a game with the kids.  Stream a movie (there are some awesome new releases right now!). Finally get around to reading that book series (I have a few myself).

Social distancing doesn’t have to mean isolation either.  Try some of these VIRTUAL options!

1 – Have a virtual cup of coffee with your pals.  You can use Skype, Zoom, FaceTime, or whatever video conferencing to get together and chat.

2 – Have a virtual glass of wine or beer.  Same concept, but if you record it the further along everyone is in drinking, I’m sure there will be some funny replay moments!

There is a new thing going around where people park their vehicles in a circle and sit on their own tailgates and chat.  I’ve also seen where neighbors create a giant circle with lawn chairs and chat.

Like I said, social distancing doesn’t mean isolation.  There are still ways to connect with people.  For business networking events, they are using virtual platforms for everyone to connect.

Honestly, I say finally (on the virtual networking emphasis).  I actually live about an hour from the city and am not fond of the drive for networking events.  That and I’m pretty much a homebody anyways.  I have social moments, but I enjoy working from home and setting my own schedule.  I also realize that not everyone is instantly made for it (like my children).


Always reach out if you are struggling.

There is always someone for everyone. You are not alone; we are all experiencing this together. Some of us just happen to have more experience working from home than others.

About the Author

Jennifer Capler
Jennifer Capler
More posts by author:

Visit Our Blog

Visit the Research Process Blog for insights and guidance from University researchers Go >>


Recent News