With the most recent lockdown, our world has been turned upside down once again and put on what feels like a pause with the rise of COVID – 19. We have recently been asked to stay home and away from others again. These lockdowns are a change for many of us. Isolation at home is not something that comes naturally to most people, so it is very easy to fall into bad habits such as sitting around, staying in bed, and turning to procrastination. However, we can take this second lockdown as a second chance to learn and train ourselves on how to adapt to being at home and create new habits at home to live a healthy, productive, and consistent life. This will allow for you to excel with any type of work you are expected to do at home during this time of uncertainty and any other times like this that may come along.
Creating a Consistent Routine:
Home is usually a place we associate with relaxation. This makes it is all too easy to want to stay in bed and do nothing throughout the at-home workday. In order to prevent this, it is essential to create a consistent routine that motivates you to be as productive as you can in a healthy way. Whether you are now working at home, or simply spending much more time at home, why not try and schedule your days in advance and in a way that separates your workday and your relaxation time at home? On workdays, this usually starts first thing in the morning, and it is helpful to wake up at your usual time for work. From there you can try to schedule your days in time chunks. For example, a chunk of time for breakfast, a chunk of time for an at-home workout, a chunk of time for a meeting, and a chunk of time for work. These chunks of time can be used to accomplish anything you need to throughout the day. It may be beneficial to write this down in a planner and to structure your day like a normal day at your workplace. This is beneficial as it materializes your plans into something you can physically see in front of you. Additionally, there are a vast number of apps that you can use if you find traditional pencil and planner method is not your style. This way you can set alarms on the apps and have them send you email reminders amongst other useful features. This will ensure that when working from home, you have appropriate time set aside for tasks related to work, as well as your life in all other respects such as self-care and rest.
If this schedule seems to benefit you while you are managing during this time at home, it may also be time to think about building a workspace solely designated for yourself. This can be as simple as a small desk in a quiet area of the house. This can be a place designated to your work information and materials, and not have anything associated with any other activities. This is important as it will limit distractions. However, if you have a house with other people residing there, you may find it hard to stay focused with all of them around. If this is the case in your home, it may be worth it to try and set some boundaries about your work. This may mean establishing that your workspace in your home may have to be off limits for a short time period and needs to remain quiet.
Having a quite zone may not always be achievable for an entire day with some living arrangements; so, in some cases you may have to negotiate with your partner, children, or roommate(s). This can look different for many people, so you may need a different strategy for each person to try and keep that 30 minutes quiet. For example, you may need to share your time chunking system with your partner or roommate in advance and work together to arrange quiet times accordingly. This means that you could try set aside a time chunk for them if they are willing to allow you to do your work quietly in another time chunk. Additionally, if you have young children, you may want to try and ask your partner to watch then during that time or dedicate that time for your child to have device time. This may also involve talking with your children about your time chunking, explaining how if you have quite time during this chunk, you will ensure that you dedicate an entire chunk to play with them later. This may take time to achieve, but trial and error will ensure you find what is really best for you and your household. This will leave you with a comfortable and quiet work zone with company to look forward to in a later time chunk.
Tips on Taking Breaks and Staying Healthy While Working from Home:
Although technology can be a blessing, sometimes it can be quite tiring to stare at a screen all day. This is why it is important to take time for yourself and invest in something new at home that does not involve working in your at-home office or looking at a screen. Keep your body and mind active so you feel prepared for the day ahead or your next task of the day. This is the perfect time to put those yoga lessons to good use, try an at-home workout, even try baking, or invest in any new hobby that you have been wanting to try. De-stress and enjoy yourself, as a healthy body helps lead to a healthier mind.