Since many of us are now being forced to adjust to working from home, for the time being, it can bring about its own set of unique challenges. We now have the freedom to wake up whenever we want and no one can force us to put on actual pants. To make sure you still get everything done for the day, organization is key. Get your planner ready as you schedule out your day to tackle whatever tasks are still ahead of you from the comfort of your living room.
Of course, the first step is getting out of bed. Now that things might be a bit laxer without a morning commute, you might be tempted to turn off your alarm. During these times, rest is considered a priority so make sure you get plenty of it without the harsh sounds of an alarm in the morning. Set aside an hour in your schedule starting when you first wake up. During this time, eat a healthy breakfast and get ready as you normally would. It’s important to change your clothes in the morning as it is a subtle change that lets your body know that it’s time to be productive. This also helps lessen the feeling that the days blend together while stuck at home. Since you’re not actually going into the physical workplace, you have the freedom to dress much more comfortably which you should definitely take advantage of. Even if you feel like wearing a hoodie and sweatpants, go for it as long as they are different from your sleeping clothes.
Once you turn on your home computer or laptop, get the daily tasks done first like checking email and social media. Try keeping this to a minimum to minimize the chance of falling down any random internet rabbit holes. You can either schedule in 10-15 minutes dedicated to email/pre-work ritual or 5 minutes per website (5 minutes email, 5 minutes Facebook, 5 minutes Twitter, etc.) Of course, if you have an important email that you need to respond to or family member to message back, take the time to get this done first. Once you feel as though it is time to get ready to get to work, close all tabs or the browser entirely as a way to reset everything. Before officially starting to enter productivity mode, you can set the tone perfectly with background noise or music. To make sure you stay focused on the tasks at hand, the best choices are natural sounds or ambient music. These types of sounds make sure that the room isn’t completely silent but also don’t take your attention. They can also make sure you stay calm and relaxed throughout. Once you settle on a playlist, settle in a comfortable position at your desk or living room and get ready to be productive.
Time to work
Now it’s time to start working. This is where the bulk of your morning schedule will be dedicated to so be sure you know what has to get done at this time. To make sure you aren’t too overwhelmed by your work, split your work in half so that you have tasks that you can do in the morning and later on in the day. Additionally, set a timer that you can devote completely to your work. Whether it is one hour or an hour and a half, do as much work as you can within your pre-determined timeframe. Make sure the timer isn’t visible while you are working to avoid any unnecessary pressure to get a certain amount of work done. Either hide it on a different tab or set it on your phone. Once this timer goes off, you will have earned a much-needed break.
Now that you have gotten some work done, take some time to rest and get your mind off of your work and everything else in the world. During this unknown and stressful time period, it’s especially important to be kind to yourself and not work yourself too hard. Once you take time for a break in your schedule, let your mind rest by doing something not related to work like reading, listening to music or watching an episode of a show. Also, make sure you eat lunch during your off time. This can be a great time to reach out to friends or family to simulate a lunch break that you would normally have at work or school. During your break would also be a great time to get fresh air or move around if you have been staying in one position for a prolonged period of time. If the weather is not too terrible, go out for a walk around the block. Make sure to maintain the social distance of 6 feet between any other people that might be around.
The afternoon shift
Once you decide to get back to work, try to move to a different location than where you were working in the morning. This can help your mindset by giving you a new sense of scenery which can help feel like you’re working in a less static environment. Whether it’s the dining room table or your desk, choose a location where you’ll feel comfortable and focused. You can decide whether you want to set a timer or work until a certain time. Deciding to work until you normally would get off work can definitely help make it seem like a typical workday. You can always do more work later in the day, but make sure not to push yourself too hard and avoiding getting burned out.
Now that you have gotten your work done for the day, have the rest of the day dedicated to whatever you want to do. Cook some dinner, put on another episode of your favorite show and take some much needed time to relax. During this time, it would be a good idea to schedule ahead for the work that has to be done the next day and also the week ahead. Take into account any other tasks that have to be done or errands that have to be run. Once you feel like everything is taken care of, try to get to bed at a reasonable time and get plenty of rest for the day ahead.