Stuck working from home for the next few weeks?
As someone who has been working from home for 4 years, I've come to find some things to keep my productivity high and my loneliness low.
1- GET YOUR DAY STARTED
If you are working from home, chances are you can do your work on your laptop, so it can be tempting to stay in bed. Don't. For two reasons; productivity and sanity.
If you are too comfortable you won't get as much work done and it won't be as high in quality. And this doesn't happen immediately; the first day you might do fine working in your bed in your sweats, but after two or more, the quality and quantity of your work will drop.
The second reason is that because you've been working in bed all day, it'll be harder for you to fall asleep. I found that if I spent more time in my bed during the day it was so much harder for me to get comfy and sleep well at night, which in turn leads to the lower quality and productivity the next day.
So. Get your day started - get out of bed, have your coffee, tea, smoothie, breakfast whatever. I personally have some coffee, watch some videos or a tv show while I do so and have breakfast, do my instagram post of the day and start blending in my work as I go.
When I'm done eating that's when the morning routine is over and I get changed, and ready for the day. Your routine can be totally different, maybe you want a little yoga session, or a guided meditation.
For me, it's important to not jump into work right away, because then I loose steam quickly in the day. I need to get into it gently for prolonged productivity.
2- HAVE A DESIGNATED WORKSPACE
Personally, this is easy because I have my studio space at home and have a worktable. Whatever work you do, have a specific spot for your work, which is not your bed or your couch. You need to set yourself different spots for work, your breaks and your end of day relaxation.
If you work all day on your couch and then when you're done work you relax with a movie and dinner on your couch. And then the next day wake up and go to your couch to work, and then relax on your couch. You will go insane.
Working from home is hard because of cabin fever. It's so hard to be in the same spaces repeatedly without end. I live in a one bedroom condo with a den (which is my studio) but I have specific spots for specific modes of my day. I eat in one spot, work in another, have breaks and end of day relaxation on my couch and sleep in my bed. When you have these different spaces for different activities, it helps get the most out of each one.
3- TAKE TIME BREAKS
This is so important because it can be so easy to take a break and then realize you've been scrolling instagram for 3 hours. When you feel it's time to rest, set a timer or two on your phone and honour the time when it's done. In the beginning, I would be in the mood for a nap, not set a timer and wake up after 2.5 hours realizing I lost a huge chunk of my day. And then couldn't sleep at night. Want to nap? Ok set 2 ANNOYING SOUNDING timers for 30 minutes and 40 minutes.
I think it's also important to take little breaks in the day. They always help me get more done. If you are the type of person who doesn't like taking breaks - I would say take a least five minutes to stand up and walk around your space and look outside. If not for your productivity - for your sanity.
4- WHEN THE DAY IS DONE - STOP WORKING
While working from home it's easy to just not stop working. This just leads to exhaustion and then you end up getting lazier on the days to come. It also ties back to having designated work and relaxation spaces.
My work day is about 8:30 am to 5 or 6pm. And then it's done. Unless I have something I'm doing and I just want to get that done, I'll work a little late. But for the most part, when the clock strikes 5:30 pm, I'm done.
Take the time to have a relaxing end of day, do a home workout, go for a run or a walk and cook a nice dinner. Without the commuting time you can take the extra time for self-care instead of having bonus work hours. Think of doing things you always want to do but don't have time for.
5 - RESET YOUR SPACES
It's so important to clean up your spaces before you go to sleep. You want to wake up to a clean, organized space so that you can start your morning routine properly. If you get up and your home is messy, you won't get into the proper mind space to get your morning routine done.
For me, this is folding up the blankets on the couch, placing the pillows nicely, putting away my dog's toys, cleaning and putting away dishes, sweeping my workspace and organizing my table so it's ready for me in the morning. That means, charging my laptop overnight as well.
After a few days, it can get really lonely, if you live alone or even with someone it can still feel really isolating to be home all the time. I have a dog to walk, which helps. But even walking your dog and being outside can be lonely. Make sure to stay in touch with friends and family, call or text every few days - or everyday.
Something that also helps me - although so embarrassing and sad - is that if I am doing something that doesn't require too much focus (like when I'm sewing or cutting fabric) I play a tv show or a movie in the background, or when I'm feeling productive or need inspiration - a podcast. If it's a movie or tv show, it needs to be something you have seen before because you don't want to be distracted by it. My go-tos are Friends and the Office. It's something about hearing other voices and not being in the quiet all day.
I hope these tips help you during this time, if you have any questions or just want to talk about the struggles, don't be shy to comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!