If you've been fortunate to be able to work from home during this pandemic, it might require some adjustment. There's nothing wrong with working in your pajamas, or starting your day at 8:59AM, but working from home isn't as easy as people might think - especially with the TV only a few feet away, and your favorite TV characters are beckoning you to join them on their latest adventure…
So without further ado, here are some tips to make working from home as productive as possible:
Maintain your routine as much as possible. You don't have to get up as early as you usually do, but make it a point to start your work day at the same time every morning. It would also be a good idea to take your lunch, and other breaks, at your regular time as well. Having a routine gives you a purpose to focus on, keeps your day structured and organized, and offers a sense of control in a chaotic time.
Reduce distractions as much as possible. This is a lot easier said than done if you have kids, but it's important to make it clear to them that even if you are home, you still need to work. Find the quietest room in your house, postpone personal calls, create to-do lists to keep you focused, and keep track of everything you complete.
If you have children at home, create a "work schedule" for them too. For example:
- 7AM to 8AM: Eat breakfast, brush teeth, and get dressed.
- 8AM to 9AM: Watch one hour of cartoons.
- 9AM to 10AM: Kid Project 1 - Create a play to present at the end of the day
- 10AM to 10:10AM: Bathroom break. Do 10 jumping jacks and then stretch.
- 10:10AM to 11AM: Kid Project 2 - Create a list of activities to do on the weekend.
- 11AM to 12PM: Kid Project 3: Create a list of project ideas to discuss during lunch.
- 12PM to 1PM: Lunch
And so on. Every Sunday, work as a family to put a schedule together for the week to come. Don't forget to include time for educational activities like reading, math, and geography. Although too much mindless screen time should be discouraged, downloading apps to supplement your child's learning would be a good idea.
Don't fall into the temptation of TV or social media. While it's important to stay informed, it's really easy to get carried away with non-work related activities - especially when you don't have a manager looking over your shoulder! However, you need to be able to show your boss that you can be productive without supervision. During a time when a lot of people are getting laid off, it is a blessing to be employed. Make every minute count.
Do short bursts of exercise throughout the day. If you were at work, you'd probably be getting up throughout the day to get coffee, a snack, or to join a meeting. Make it a point to stay physically active at home too. Stretch, walk around, and open the window for some fresh air. It will get the blood flowing, and give your brain a chance to recharge.
Don't forget to check out the free Pandemic Resilience Test.