The past few weeks have been unsettling, to say the least, as we deal with a pandemic. And while I’m extremely grateful for all that I have, the loss of control and uncertainty is difficult to get used to. It can be hard to focus and be productive. A lot of us, myself included, are now working from home. While this might sound fantastic for us introverts out there, it’s still a big change in routine and presents its own challenges. Some of us are also juggling additional responsibilities during the day, such as caring for and home-schooling children, and sharing our workspace with our partners. There’s also the mental load that we’re carrying around – financial worries, concerns about our loved ones, as well as our own fears and anxiety to deal with.
Despite all this, many of us still need to get some work done. It may be helpful to reframe “working from home” to “trying to get some work done during a difficult time.” This allows us to cut ourselves some slack and understand our current reality.
This could be an office, or your dining room table, but try to make sure that there are minimal distractions and that it is a pleasant place to work.
a) Write down your key priorities at the beginning of each day. Focus on these tasks as much as possible.
b) Schedule your time. While a rigid schedule might not work for everyone, setting general guidelines and times when you are focusing on your work can be useful. When distractions do arise (hello pets and/or kids!) deal with them but try to return to the task at hand as soon as you can.
Make sure to schedule regular breaks into your schedule. During these times try to do something that gives you a mental rest – go outside for a short walk, spend some time with your pet, or listen to some music.
a) Schedule video calls or video meetings at least once per week.
b) Have a virtual coffee with a colleague or a friend.
c) Don’t forget that we’re likely all struggling and check-in with a colleague or friend to see how they’re doing.
This is more important than ever! With work/home life blurring into one, it can be easy to let go of the things that are important to keep us healthy. Make sure to plan ahead and cook healthy meals, move your body every day if possible, spend time outside and get the sleep that you need.
While I hope that you find the above tips helpful, I’d like you to also remember that the situation we are currently facing is unprecedented. As a normally productive person, I can be hard on myself if I’m not accomplishing as much as I normally would. But I’m learning to be more forgiving and accept that it’s ok that I’m not as productive right now. I also need to give myself some time and space to deal with everything that is going on. I hope that like me, you will try to do your best and take it one day at a time.
Do you have any tips for working from home? Please comment below!