COVID-19 has turned our world upside down. Besides the thousands around the world who are infected and fighting the virus, there are thousands more doing their best to stem its spread and transmission.
To that end, several regions are under 'lockdown' and an unprecedented number of employees much now work from home.
I have been fortunate to be self-employed and working from home for the last 14 months, and I've accumulated a few tips that will surely help those who are fresh to practice:
1. Set aside a designated workplace
If possible, find a dedicated workspace within your home. Whether it's music, an oil diffuser, or extra plants, your environment will affect the way you work.
2. Keep your morning routines
Get up and get ready for the day as you normally would. Make your bed, brush your teeth and take a bath, even though your commute is only a few step, rather than a few miles.
3. Schedule out your day
This doesn't have to be a strict plan. However, use Google Calendar, sticky notes, reminders on your phone or whatever helps you to stay on task.
4. Please socialize!
Especially during this period of quarantine and social distancing, it's easy to get lost in your work. Fix this by calling a friend, or scheduling a Zoom/Skype meeting with a colleague.
5. Set daily + weekly goals
I've found that it helps to start off the week with goals. Prioritize what you would like to get done in a day or week and make sure your schedule (in #3 above) has actionable steps towards completing them.
6. Eat your meals away from your desk
To be honest, I often fail at this one, but it's still very important. It’s tempting to bring your meal to your desk and just keep working or maybe you'll throw on Netflix. But forcing yourself to step away from your screen is a healthy break.
7. Walk around while on non-video calls
I find that getting up and walking around while I’m on phone calls helps me to stretch and be more engaged on the calls.
8. Stay hydrated
When was the last time you drank water? At home you probably don't have a water cooler around which you can chat with colleagues. It’s easy to forget. I keep a dedicated tumbler in front of me and it makes a big difference in keeping the habit of staying hydrated.
I hope these suggestions are helpful. Leave a comment below if there are any tips which you've learned during your experience.
My humble workspace at home.