It’s Corona time, which means you’re probably going to be working from home for the next week… month(s)?
While that may sound like the ideal scenario to some, it’s a nightmare for others. Let’s face it – although it’s great to not have to not have to commute and have your coffee in bed, you might find yourself eventually craving human interaction or perhaps missing a brainstorming session. Already a little stir-crazy? We feel you.
Here are some tips for staying sane while working from home.
Keep regular hours.
“I like to start my day with pretending as if I were going to work, even though I physically am not,” says Sahar, one of our writers. Sure, she’ll indulge in the extra 15 minutes that she would’ve spent showering and instead have her coffee in bed, but then she goes about her day as if she were heading into the office. Keep regular hours and a regular schedule. Shower if you’re a morning-rinser. Get out of bed. Make yourself breakfast and begin work at the time you’d usually go into the office.
Arrange a work-only space.
It is essential to leave your bed. If you have a desk, set up your space so that you have a designated area for work. You may want to move around throughout the day but it is important to separate “where you sleep” from “where you work.”
You need it and your brain needs it. If you don’t have one yet, invest in a desk, or use your kitchen table and completely exit your sleeping space. Either way, create a separation between home comfort and work session (though take it easy too, it’s okay to indulge in a little comfort).
Log off Twitter.
Just do it. Get your news from somewhere else without comments from the WebMD-obsessed peanut gallery. Only be alarmed if you have too – plus, the app is distracting.
We all know this, and deal with it even in an office setting: in order to be productive (the way capitalism wants you to be) you have to limit distractions. But working from home is different. A great way to limit distractions is to maybe put your phone away for an hour, or try to work in a closed space, establish boundaries with your roommates and ask them not to distract you. Oh, and no TV!
Try going for a walk or exercising.
The CDC says solo walks down the block are OK as long as you limit close contact with others. You’ll need the sunlight and you’ll need the breeze if you want to stand any chance at keeping sane. Exercise is also a great way to get rid of extra energy, use the quarantine to get fit! There are a bunch of YouTube work-outs, too.
Take a break if you need, but don’t go wild.
Breaks are essential to maintaining productivity – but try opting for a book or read an article online (maybe an ULTRA article?). Maybe make a snack in the kitchen? Avoid streaming your favorite show during a break; one episode can easily turn into four. It’s a slippery slope and before you know it you won’t be working at all.
One of the biggest rookie mistakes you can make while working remotely is staying in your pajamas all day. It might seem comfortable at first, but it truly will make you lazier and less productive. Instead, dress up. Wear clean clothes and a comfortable outfit. This will force you to get out of bed and to be productive.
If you find yourself feeling depressed…
If you work at home long enough you may realize that you actually just might be missing other people and social interaction. If you’ve already gone on a walk, try FaceTime-ing a family member or friend. Knock on your roommates door for a chat – sacrificing your mental health should not be a side-effect of “social distancing.”
* * *
Working from home is not for everyone, and doing it for a long time might send you off the rails, but it really is all about how you choose to look at it. It might just end up being the exact thing that you needed!