With recent social hysteria in the current global pandemic that is COVID-19, known also as Coronavirus, madness is sure to be added if employees fail to do their normal jobs when attempting to work from home.
As someone who switched from a corporate office desk and has been working remotely since 2017 (often from a hotel room or coffee shop, but also from my home), I’ve gained the experience and received enough advice to tell you how to stay focused in the WFH lifestyle.
Working from home is only difficult because it can make employees feel unmotivated and unable to focus. So, as a service to kaitsexton.com readers everywhere, here are a few VERY EASY tips on getting your work day started, making your home feel like a work space, and keeping motivated when you WFH.
Getting the Work Day Started
- Set your alarm(s) to wake up and get ready for the day with plenty of time before 9:00 am (or whenever your usual work time is). Stick to your normal routine when possible.
- Avoid checking emails, news, or social media in bed– you’ll get stuck there when nobody is forcing you to get up.
- Have breakfast and bring your usual cup of coffee or ice water to your work station.
- Put on an actual outfit, brush your hair, shower before you work.
- Set meeting times to FaceTime co-workers or be held accountable to video meetings (even if they’re just with your friends).
Make Your Home an Office
- Create a work space separate from your bed or bedroom. This can be an actual office, on a table or counter top, on a patio, etc. Avoid overly chill, comfy areas of your home to work in.
- Make sure you’re set up in a place with light and outlets. Make this space an encouraging area to get work done with little distractions. Flowers and candles make me feel productive.
- Create a to-do list for the day and/or the entire pandemic. Make attainable goals.
- Social Media is your enemy. If you are without self-control on days your manager isn’t looking over your shoulder, it’s best to set limits to your screen-time on your phone. You won’t get anything done mindlessly scrolling.
- Remember that the mind needs breaks to be effective for a long period of time. Do not try to force a 9-5 day when the same thing wouldn’t happen in an office! Allot actual break periods that allow your mind to refresh so you can start back up with razor sharpness.
- Take at least one, longer break each day to step outside, get a 10 minute at-home workout in, and/or do something active to help your creative flow continue through long periods of isolation.
- If you can create at-home deadlines, do so and stick to them. Self inflicted pressure is difficult to maintain, but proven to work. Alternatively, I’ve noticed that celebrating at-home victories (even tiny ones!) motivate my work ethic more than anything.
- For your sanity, remember to close up your work station at some point. Quarantine means staying your healthiest, and over-working can be harmful to your soul!
We all have to adjust in this time of panic, but it doesn’t have to impact us in a negative way overall. Plus, if working-from-home is something you’ve ever asked for in your head, this is your chance to make light of the situation! Just remember that you will be your most focused if you can create an entirely different vibe between home space and your work day.
Keep yourself motivated and active during this social distancing and make sure that the quarantine ends only making you better. Embrace your introverted desire to decompress until the world gets healthy again.