It’s likely you’ve never sat down at your home office – wherever in your home that may be – with an entire month of working from home ahead of you. COVID-19 rules our lives, for now, and we all have to follow the public health and safety guidelines, because we’re all responsible adults and we want to help the world move past this pandemic in any way we can.
That means social distance, going out only for essentials, and, yes, for millions, it means working from home.
iIf you feel an overwhelming sense of anxiety and want to do something to make a difference then understand that working from home is the best thing you can do for yourself and the world. By staying home and following the guidelines, you’re saving lives.
- Get organised. If you want to be productive, you have to manage your resources efficiently. Your main resource for working from home is time: you decide when and for how long you’ll do things. That means making a schedule. Think of this as your opportunity to map out your ideal workday. This is your chance: think back over all the times you’ve wished you could make your own schedule, and make the schedule you’ve always longed for.
- Take work seriously. Physically move yourself from the place you drink your morning coffee to the place you plan to crack open your laptop. Second, minimise distractions. Turn off the TV, close social media windows, and if you have roommates or family members around, shut the door. The idea is that you create separation between chilling at home and working at home: work when you should work and relax when you should relax. Otherwise, you’ll end up doing both halfway, and at the end of the day you’ll feel neither relaxed nor accomplished: you’ll probably be annoyed with yourself.
- Schedule meals and exercise. This is crucial: you need to eat, and you need to move. Here’s a thing to know: if you get to the place where everything and everyone around you aggravates you, the problem is probably you, not them. You can avoid getting to that place by making sure you eat on time and get regular exercise. During COVID-19, exercise may mean fifty jumping jacks on your back porch. But if that’s what it takes, then that’s what you need to do. Schedule those jumping jacks and don’t skip them.
- Back up your work. Losing work due to a computer crash, a power outage, or a malfunctioning app is frustrating. And that’s an understatement. That’s why you should back up your work continuously throughout the day. If you’re working on a word document or spreadsheet, click “save” obsessively. Then, at the end of the day, do one of three things: save your work to a flash drive, save your work to an external hard drive, or send yourself an email with your up-to-date files attached. It takes a little time, but if you do have a computer catastrophe, you’ll be thankful you took that time: on balance, taking an extra five minutes to save five hours of work is well worth the trade.
- Adapt and overcome.Yes, that’s a short version of the motto “Improvise, adapt, and overcome.” In the context of working from home this means that when something or someone challenges your schedule, you need to roll with it and keep your eyes on the prize. The prize is completed work tasks. Your adaptations are what you do to handle the challenge or interruption to your schedule. Nothing is worth getting angry or upset about. When something or someone important interrupts you, it’s okay to handle it right then and there – as long as you get back on task when you’re done.
- Remain connected with colleagues. It is very normal to feel isolated and detached during times like these. Make an effort to reach out to colleagues on the phone or by video. Working remotely can make direct communication even more important than it has been before. Make it a point to reach out to members of the team you haven’t heard from in a while.-articlecity