Hello blog land. Los Angeles (and a lot of the world) is kind of freaking out right now, and in turn, so am I. That being said, I am very much aware of my privilege right now–I have the resources to go to the grocery store and buy as little or as much as I want. I bought toilet paper two weeks ago before knowing that it would very soon become a hot commodity. And I have the luxury of working for a company that is currently stable and is fully distributed.
For those who are now being given the opportunity to work from home and are trying to make the most of it, here are some tips I thought I’d share that work pretty well for me.
- Designate a work space.
Since I work remotely full-time, I made space for a desk in my room. Not everyone has the opportunity to do that, but even so, if you can designate a section of your dining room table as your workspace, that will help simulate going into an office.
- Stick to a morning routine to start the day.
I am not a morning person. While I do occasionally succumb to the temptation of rolling straight out of bed into an early morning meeting, I’ve found that I’m so much more productive if I get up and get dressed, make coffee, and take a little time to myself before jumping straight into work. I even know of some people who go on morning walks to take place of the time they would have spent commuting. Which leads me to tip #3…
- Go for walks!
I have a dog, so going on walks is almost a forced habit, but getting outside is one of the best ways to break up the day and help combat the feeling of being cooped up. And with today’s social-distancing in effect to help stop the spread of COVID-19, taking a walk around your neighborhood is still, fortunately, an OK thing to do.
- Take breaks.
Along with walk breaks, remember to take regular breaks too. One of the toughest shifts for me with going from working in an office full-time to working from home full-time was fighting the idea that I’m expected to sit at my desk for eight hours straight. That just is not realistic, nor is it a reflection of productivity. Treat your kitchen like a break room. Make yourself coffee and/or a snack. Schedule coffee or lunch dates with friends, or if being forced to quarantine, set up virtual hangs with tools like Zoom, Google Hangouts, or Loom.
- End your work day.
The biggest reason I advocate for designating a workspace (see tip #1) is so that you can also designate an end of the work day. Even if your work allows for a more flexible work schedule, I have found the value in still distinguishing my time between work and personal time. Since your work is now also in your home, it’s much more difficult to separate the two. Making a point to end your work day can help you maintain some work-life balance, even if life doesn’t look normal at all right now.
All that to say, the most important thing to do right now is to have grace. Have grace for yourself when you are not feeling as productive as you’d like to be, and have grace for those around you who are feeling the same. This is an unprecedented time right now, and it’s OK if we aren’t fully OK. Here’s a list of ways to help businesses that don’t have the luxury of working remotely and are being severely affected by this quarantine.
Stay safe, everyone!