Never in a million years did I think that we’d be living in the era of COVID-19 and social distancing. This will be my second full week working from home and I don’t think I’ll be going back to the office any time soon.
While I’ve always loved a day or two of working from home, having it be a full-time thing is not as easy as I once thought it would be. I’ve learned a lot in the past week, and have read tons of tips from other bloggers, journalists, and freelancers that have helped me stay productive and sane.
Set Up A Working Area
It is tempting to just work from your couch and in your pjs while you have Netflix or the news playing tin the background. This might work for the first day or two, however not only is it terrible for your posture, but it will also take a toll on your ability to concentrate. Whether you set up in a guest room with a desk, or in your dining room, having a clear working area will help you stay on top of your tasks, make it easy to take meetings and your back + wrists will thank you for it!
Stick To Your Usual Routine
Before COVID-19 you used to wake up at a certain time, shower, get dressed, have coffee and be on your way to work. Stick to the same (or similar) schedule to help you mark the difference between a work day and a weekend. Remember, you’ll still have to stay at home on Saturdays and Sundays, so waking up early during the week and later on the weekends will make you feel like you’re actually having some leisure time.
Getting dressed, showering, and brushing your hair before starting your work day will not only help you wake up and be ready to #slaytheday, but it will also keep you sane. Staying in your pjs for days and weeks at a time will make us all go a little bit crazy in my opinion. I just purchased a couple of atheleisure sets from Amazon so I can “get dressed” without having to put on jeans.
Don’t Skip Meals
In the spirit of maintaining a schedule, be sure to eat breakfast before/while you start your day and TAKE YOUR LUNCH BREAK! Of course, there will be days with lots of work and you might not be able to take a full hour, but for the most part make time to prep lunch and sit down to eat it!
Keeping a regular schedule with your meals will also keep you from wanting to snack all of the time and gaining the #Quarantine15.
#ProTip: get creative with leftovers and turn them into a brand new meal! My Carnitas tostadas from the night before turned into a Mexican rice bowl.
Take Mental Breaks
We all take a 5-15min mental break or two during the regular work day. Don’t be afraid to do the same thing while working from home. Take some time to prep a quick meal for lunch, check in with your loved ones, break a sweat with a quick workout, or do a little bit of laundry!
Mental breaks give your brain a breather, they may inspire you to come up with a creative solution to a problem you’re working on, they’ll keep you from getting extremely bored, and they will help you stay productive.
Here’s a quick workout by my trainer, Jessica McNeir of McFit HOU, that you can do during the day or at night if you tend to work later hours (do 2 hours before bed or longer, not less). It’s a great quick little break that burns calories:
- 50 push ups
- 50 prisoner squats (squats with your hands folded behind your head)
- 50 sit ups (anchor your toes under the sofa)
- You can take breaks if you need to but you need to get to 50 with all of the exercises! Don’t forget to hydrate after.
You might see an email come through late at night or during the weekend and be tempted to hop on the computer to reply. DON’T DO IT. If you don’t establish boundaries with work then your home becomes your permanent office and no one would ever enjoy to literally live in their office, right?
Establishing boundaries with yourself when it comes to working from home is just as important as establishing boundaries with your colleagues. If your boss or coworker is constantly calling you at crazy hours (unless it’s a life or death emergency that will get you fired) don’t pick up. You will need to communicate, in a professional manner, that just because you are working from home and don’t really have any places to go doesn’t mean that you will be working 24/7.
Don’t be Afraid to Over-Communicate with your Colleagues
For some offices work from home is just not a thing and moving your operations to a WFH setting can be extremely challenging. It’s important that you stay in touch with your coworkers, whether it’s via daily meetings, emails, chat and/or text to ensure that things go smoothly.
Some of you might also have a roommate or significant other who is also working from home and you need to coordinate schedules for quiet times, conference calls, etc; you need to communicate that with your colleagues so they are mindful of your schedule. Additionally some of your coworkers might be working from home with their kids, be flexible with them as I can’t even imagine what working while helping your kids do their homework is like. I can barely cope with working from home while having 3 needy doggos!
Get Some Fresh Air
When possible and while maintaining your distance from others, go for a run, a walk or a bike ride. If you have a porch or a back yard, spend some time out there during the day. Cabin fever is real y’all and a little fresh air will help, trust me.
Yes, my neighbors across the street have ponies. #Texas
As the weeks go by I will continue to add to this post so we can all stay productive, sane and in a positive mindset! We’ve got this, babes.