Many of us are working from home in our joint effort to flatten the curve of the COVID-19 pandemic. If this is you, go ahead and give yourself a pat on the back, you’re in this fight! And while the fight might not be a melee of hand-to-hand combat, it’s just as serious.
The last few weeks have had a stressful impact on those of us who aren’t used to working remotely, or being so removed from our friends, family, and neighbors. Yet, the working world is continuing on and we continue to work with it.
This adjustment is not an easy one, so we compiled a list of tips for work productivity in your home.
1. Routine is Key
When you’re working from home it’s tempting to treat it like a vacation day and stay in your bed or sweatpants from sun-up to sundown, but studies show this is a productivity killer. If you want to be at your best, you should commit to a routine just as you would on any normal day.
Failing to adhere to routine can let the hours and days blend aimlessly together, causing your brain to become confused between what’s work time and what's play time. So, try this: wake up with your alarm, shower, eat breakfast, and absolutely get dressed each day. You’ll feel like yourself again in no time.
2. Create a Designated Work Space
Working from your bed is never a good idea. In fact, you should designate your bed for sleeping and pre-sleep activities, such as reading a chapter of your favorite book, before turning off the lights. Working from your bed can cause you to lay awake all night, your brain uncertain about what it should be doing. After all, you would have a hard time falling asleep at your desk wouldn’t you?
Try creating a miniature office corner in your home somewhere. If you don’t have a desk, get creative and set up your kitchen table as a designated work area from the hours of 9-5. Challenge yourself to make it look as similar as possible to the desk in your office, adding potted plants and photos of your family.
3. Entertain Your Kids
One of the most difficult challenges that comes with working from home during the quarantine is the added responsibility of caring for your children during hours they would normally be in the classroom. Remember, your kids are just as bored as you are but without the coping skills adults have.
A good solution is to find online services offering free education for your children during the quarantine. This link includes a list of education platforms currently offering their subscription services for free.
4. Take A Break
Working form home is hard! There are distractions everywhere, and besides, your home was previously considered your place of rest. The best thing you can do is try not to be too hard on yourself.
Allow yourself a break periodically to reward yourself for completing tasks. This will re-wire your brain to become task-oriented, and give you the small escape you crave. Every two hours, take a fifteen minute break to stretch or go for a walk around your neighborhood (just be careful not to touch anything or anyone)!
5. Manage Your Stress
This is a stressful time for us all, and stress can have an extremely negative impact on your health and immune system — exactly what you don’t want during a global pandemic. Even though you’re still working from home, try to maintain your health as your top priority, and find ways to combat your anxiety.
This could be prayer, journaling, or exercise. If you’re looking to find a new form of stress release, there are many companies offering their resources for free during this time. Some tech companies like Yoga Buddhi Co. have made all their fitness apps completely free during the quarantine, so you can get moving without going to the gym. Or, try Headspace, a personal favorite of mine for guided meditation from your phone.
Whatever you prefer, remember to practice self care.
About the Author
Morgan Downey is the Technical Writer & Newsletter Editor at Village Creed.
She is a graduate of Auburn University and enjoys connecting positively with the public through written word.