How are you holding up with the Coronavirus? I love my home and I thought during this time it would give me the opportunity to clean out every closet, cabinet, and drawer, as well as read the stack of books by my bed. But before I get to that, I wanted to start with my advice on how to navigate working from home. It’s something that I’ve been doing for a while because I have a home office and its the one thing of self-isolating that I’m less stressed about but I know that’s not the case for everyone. I think for most it must be hard not to connect with their work co-workers face to face. I suspect that working from home is going to be hardest for extroverts and social butterflies so I’ve put together 10 tips to help make the transition smoother. I know some of these suggestions might be hard with small children in the house so you can modify them as necessary or come up with your own plan.
- Create a strict wake-up time. You must try to wake up around the same time every day. For me, it’s usually 6:00 am. You won’t have a commute now so you can probably push your wake up time. If you have kids, maybe it means waking up at 5:00 am to give yourself some quiet time. You don’t want to get too far away from your usual schedule so it’s not so hard to get up when you go back to work.
- Make your bed. As soon as you wake up, make your bed.
- Create a schedule. You need to figure out if you want to get up and get straight to work or take some time to eat breakfast first or workout and then shower and eat. Having a plan helps you structure your day. Plan out the hours when you will work without distraction. For those with children, maybe this is while they are doing their remote learning,
- Take a shower and get dressed. You might be tempted to work in your pajamas but trust me when I say how much better you will feel if you shower and get dressed. Self-care is very important and not taking care of yourself could lead to depression. If your boss schedules a last-minute video call, you don’t want to be caught in your pajamas with bedhead. I do think it’s ok to wear comfy pants but maybe put on a nice sweater.
- Create a designated place to work. If you don’t have a desk, sit at your dining table. If you don’t have a dining table, consider buying a card table or laptop desk. As a last resort, you can work from your sofa but never work from your bed.
- Make time to move during the day. Think about taking a walk outside after lunch for some fresh air and sunshine while practicing social distancing. You won’t be commuting so outside time is important. Exercise also helps boost your immune system and helps your mental health.
- Limit distractions. Maybe try to only check the news at the beginning and end of the workday and limit social media unless it’s part of your job. I find Twitter to be full of negativity so I try to avoid it. Instagram can be a nice escape but also an addictive black hole.
- Take time for lunch. Since you won’t be able to go out, try to make yourself a nice lunch and sit with your family.
- Set a quitting time. Most of us who work for ourselves can and usually do work well into the evening. It’s healthier to have a cut off time for work so you can make dinner, watch movies, read, play games with your children, or just plain relax.
- Clean up and organize before you go to bed. Don’t leave dishes in the sink and make sure you straighten up before you go to bed. Many people feel anxious if their work environment is cluttered so try to keep it neat.
Remember that this is not forever. Our grandparents did a lot more for our country in World War II than we are being asked to do now. We will get through this together– but at a social distance.