Here are some suggestions for working from home if you’re not accustomed to the new working environment under Covid-19. There’s a lot of freedom that comes from being able to work from home, avoiding the daily rush hour commute, and the freedom to stumble onto your desktop with your pajamas and morning cup of coffee (and trust me, some days I take full advantage). But here’s a list of helpful tips to get the most out of your stay-at-home work environment that I’ve found works best for getting the most value out of your day.
- Set a designated work space area separate from your personal recreational space that is set up for work. This will have your computer, wi-fi access, and any files as well as office equipment needed such as a printer, stapler, paper clips, pens etc.
- Set a schedule that designates what hours you’ll be working and be sure to schedule in breaks. If you’re like me, it gets easy to get so involved with your work that you overlook meals and breaks. Take some time to get up, stretch and eat a healthy meal to keep you going.
- Create a routine that becomes a habit. I’m a complete night owl so it gets easy for me to slip into a chaotic schedule of staying up late nights and waking up later in the mornings. This creates a bit of a funk when you feel like the best parts of the day (the early morning) have slipped by you. Plan ahead and if getting up early is important to you, then you’ll have to sacrifice some of the late night Netflix binge watching splurges. Of course on the weekends there can be occasional exceptions but try to keep to a routine wake up time as frequently as possible.
- Maintain good hygiene. This might seem obvious but without an office to go to, it might be tempting to walk into your home office space in your pajamas. Tom Ford has an incredible quote that says “My goal is to help women become the best version of themselves”. And when we look our best, we often perform better because we feel better.
- Silence all distractions during your designated work hours. This can mean letting family and friends know that you’re not available during certain hours. You may have to plan in advance to have someone help the kids with their online school studies, or any other items that you may be in charge of that will be put on pause. If your phone is a big distraction, try silencing the group text messages that go off throughout the day. I’d advise against turning off your phone in case there are urgent calls from banks or the SBA that may want to reach you throughout the day.
- Use your downtime to clear clutter. I’ve been reading Essentialism by Greg McKeown that’s focused on the concept of Less but Better. It’s helped to eliminate clutter and what better time for some spring cleaning than when we’re stuck inside.
- Work around your body. As much as possible, try to create an ergonomic work space around your at-home office. I’ve tried using a medicine ball as a chair and also added a standing desk with a foot pad, and now I alternate between the two.
- Make time to socialize. Remember to connect with your colleagues, vendors, and friends. Just schedule it so they are planned into your day.
- Create a checklist of items to work on for the following day. It’s easier to know what projects you need to work on, and order them based on priority when you’re in the workflow versus when you’re coming back to work with fresh eyes. Having a checklist can help you get back into the zone of where you left off.
- Be Grateful. Make a list of items you’re grateful for. It could even be a list of things that you were able to get off your checklist. Often we’re so focused on what we need to accomplish, that we don’t take time to appreciate the things that we’ve already done.
Enjoy this heartwarming video below, dedicated to all the healthcare providers at the frontlines of this pandemic.