Now is a time of adjustment for most people in most places around the world. As we attempt to slow the spread of the Coronavirus (Covid-19), many of us are finding ourselves adjusting to a new “normal” for now that is home-based.
While working from home might sound alluring at first thought– work in your clothes of choice from your bed or wherever you choose–it does come with it’s own set of challenges.
Whether your toddler walks in and screams in the middle of a conference call, you work all day and realize you forgot to eat or exercise, or you’re constantly frustrated by distractions, we’ve got your back.
Here are six work-from-home best practices that may be able to help you adjust during this time.
A key to being productive is finding a block of time and space where you can devote your undivided attention to your work (aka “get in the zone.”) When working from home, that means looking at your schedule and seeing where and how you can discover this sacred time. Yes, once you discover it, you will see it is sacred! If you have a significant other and/or children it may be before they wake up or after they go to bed.
Or, if you have children who have a period during the day where they do activities without you (like online school), it may be a block of time there. It will be different for everyone but look for a time you can solely dedicate to your work and ensure it naturally works for everyone else in your household. For me, it’s waking up early in the morning around 5:30 am where I can get 2 to 3 hours before my family wakes up.
When you work from home, it can be hard to stop as you would in an office. Your computer is right there and you can keep going. Especially if you’re bored and don’t know what else to do. But I encourage you to mix your day up.
Yes, make time for work but take regular breaks, eat proper meals, check in with those in your household, stretch, drink water, or go for a walk. Set start and end times and stick to them. If you feel stuck or unproductive, walk away and come back later. Enjoy the beauty of working from home which is the freedom to take the breaks you need.
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A big part of reducing the stress and distractions of working at home is identifying your needs and communicating them to your household. Figure out when you need to work and when you’ll take breaks and let your family know.
For example, after breakfast say, “Okay I will need one to two hours to work on a project. Then, I will be free for some play and exercise time.”
By doing this, your family or significant other knows it’s just a short time you need to be left to focus, then you will be available for anything they need. When you are constantly working without a known end time, you’re more likely to get constant interruptions.
Make it a point each day to go outside and get some Vitamin D. It can be sitting on your porch or balcony or even sitting by a window. This helps your brain to be more alert and you to feel more energized. In these times, it’s easy to go a whole day inside but without realizing it, you can rob yourself of the feel-good chemicals that keep you feeling happy, healthy, and motivated. So try and get at least 30 minutes of sun each day.
You know how we mentioned taking breaks? Use some of those breaks to move your body. Exercise helps to release endorphins in the brain that make you feel good. This can help give you a boost throughout the day, making work much more enjoyable. Whether it’s a yoga session you follow along with on YouTube, dancing around with your kids, or doing a push-up challenge, get your heart rate up a bit each day.
Lastly, it can be helpful to balance your work time with an activity you enjoy. This will give you something to look forward to and can help motivate you to get your work done by a certain time. Maybe you’ll start a garden in your yard, practice flying your drone, start painting or drawing, build something, learn how to design websites, or even just read. Find something that excites you and work it into your schedule.
We are all going through adjustments and there will be times we all will likely feel sad, worried, frustrated, or a bit stir-crazy. However, we’re doing our parts to help slow the spread of Covid-19, preserving lives and reducing the impact on our healthcare system. And it’s the best thing we can do right now. While it means working from home, there are ways to make it more manageable and even enjoyable! Hopefully, one or more of these tips helps you as you navigate the work-from-home life.
We’d love to hear from you! What work from home challenges are you facing? And what solutions have you discovered along the way?