With both city and state governments announcing new guidelines and restrictions to stay healthy and safe, a lot of people are expected to not just stay home, but also work or attend classes from home. There could be a silver lining. No more commuting (at least for the time being), and more opportunities to eat an actual well-balanced meal instead of whatever you can heat up in the office microwave or find in the campus cafeteria. However, in a setting where you’re completely in charge of how you manage your time, you can be your own worst enemy. Here are some tips to maximize your productivity while working or learning from home.
Respect Your Space
It may be tempting to work from the comfort of a big comfy couch or a cozy bed. Respect your work and the space you work in. Find a designated spot to work at. If you have a desk at home, awesome! Remove distracting items that aren’t work-related. Make your work environment nice and functional to stay on track and maximize your efficiency. If you are sharing your space with other people in your home, have them respect your workspace and schedule.
Find a Rhythm, Create a Routine
The best way to keep some normalcy is by doing the things you would normally do during your workday. Waking up at your normal time to get ready for work or classes, even if that means just going from one room in your home to another, can help prepare you to get to work. You can also get into work mode by playing whatever playlist that helps you concentrate and focus.
If there is more time now in your morning from the lack of commuting, take advantage of this time. Perhaps take your dog on a walk or get a quick workout in to get the creative gears turning. Whether you go on a walk or maybe tend to the garden for a break just make sure you get out to get some sun and some fresh air. Schedule regular break and take them, don’t cheat yourself of break time either.
Communication is key in these types of situations. Over-communication is quickly becoming the new norm. It may seem like over-communication is overkill. Nevertheless, doing so will ensure that you are on the same page with your coworkers, classmates, supervisors, and professors. Make it a priority to speak with these people on a regular basis, not just about the issues and complications that you have to suddenly deal with, but also share positive thoughts or funny stories to help with isolation and morale.
Know that this is a weird and trying time. Be kind to yourself and those you interact with. Some may not have the same home situation as others. Your employer might allow you to adjust your work schedule. If your home is quietest or most optimal for productivity earlier or later in the day, maybe shift your hours so you can take advantage of that. Allow yourself enough time to get tasks finished. Take potential distractions into consideration when you manage your time.
Make sure you take the proper precautions to minimize your risk of being exposed to/spreading COVID-19. Continue washing your hands and not touching your face. Practice social distancing. If you’re feeling sick, stay home. We all need to be diligent and responsible during times like these.