I’ve been deciding what to blog about for days. I haven’t been able to think about anything but Covid-19 and all anyone wants to talk about is this virus. I’m anxious, confused and finding it hard to do anything but stare blankly at my computer or mindlessly watch television. I could definitely be eating better and taking better care of myself but I’m in a complete stupor of nerves and anxiety. If you’re like me, and this virus is massively affecting your psyche and well being, read on for a few tips on how to stay in the game while you work from home.
Set up a designated workspace
Do you have a designated work space? It is important to delineate between work space and lounge space. In David Morgan’s recent interview for CBS News, he states “”The office is not your couch. You have to leave your couch and go to the office in order to work. And that sort of division between work life and leisure time is really difficult to import back to your own living room, your own kitchen counter, your own bedroom.” It’s difficult but extremely important in order to maintain some level of productivity. Take your designated “lunch hour” and make creating your work space a fun, stress-free activity. Fill your space with items you love and can appreciate as you work. This doesn’t have to be Instagram-worthy or Pinterest-shareable. It just has to do the job, so that you can get your job, done.
Set a schedule
This is important. When you are at the office and aren’t working from home, you often do things at the same time every day, right? I always have my morning juice at about 10:30am, take lunch at 12pm, take a walk at 3pm, and at 4:15pm I start going over what I’ve accomplished and what still needs to be accomplished (i.e. create my to-do list for the next day). Keep to this schedule at home as much as possible! The more you stick with your every day schedule, the easier it will be to transition to an at-home schedule. This goes for other everyday activities like working out too! Workout in the morning? Still make the effort to get out of bed and get your workout done in your living room or your run done in your neighborhood. The more you trick your brain into thinking everything is normal, the less anxiety you’ll feel and the more you’ll be able to get done.
Set a timer
Setting a timer can keep you on track. As soon as that timer is up, step away from your project, stretch, get a glass of water, or run up and down your stairs. I suggest setting a timer for thirty minutes. When that thirty minutes is up, step away from whatever you were working on and do something to help you recenter for 3-5 minutes so you can dive into the next thirty minutes. After two hours have passed, or four, thirty minute sessions, take a longer, fifteen minute break. These breaks are good for taking a walk, doing a few sets of planks in your living room, or having a snack. Doing something to raise your endorphins is a bonus and can help your productivity greatly! Don’t go looking for the recent news on Coronvirus. This is something I have found myself doing and it only distracts me and makes me more anxious. Take a step away from the media frenzy, so you can focus on the tasks in front of you!
Make time for others
Find time to support others during this time of uncertainty. Whether they be coworkers, a local business or your boss, check-in, ask what you can do to help, and offer to listen. The more we support one another, the sooner we will see this through. Helping others also contributes to an overall sense of accomplishment and well being. When we are building others up, we are helping ourselves as well. I ordered dinner from a local business last night and it felt awesome. Not only was I supporting a struggling, local business, I also tipped extra to the driver who delivered my food. Taking care of our neighbor has never been more important. What can you do to help?
Make time for you
At the end of your work day, find time for you. Again, this could come in the form of exercise, a healthy, home cooked meal, a hot shower, or even watching your favorite television show. Just make sure, whatever you decide to do, that this should contribute to your sanity, not your anxiety. Take the time to renew and refresh at the end of the day, so that you can continue to perform your best. Kayla Banda gives some tips in her recent article about how to keep your creative spark alive during these unfortunate times. The more we can help ourselves thrive, the easier it will be to come out of this and return to normal life.
I hope these tips were helpful and give you some hope when you’re struggling with working from home. What has been working for you as you #wfh? I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments!