The old adage, “everything can change in an instant” is so true and today more than ever. The world is navigating uncharted waters and we’re all in the same crazy boat.
Working remotely is a bit of a nightmare when you’re confined to your home with bored children, frustrated partners and the stress and overwhelm that uncertainty brings.
The good news is, there’s hope. It’s important to focus on staying healthy, staying safe and staying sane.
While I can’t stop the children from the hourly I'm board chants or snack requests, or promise that sticky fingers won’t find their way to your laptop screen, I can make a few suggestions on how to keep it together when you feel like everything is falling apart.
Below I've got a few simple tips on being productive when you’re working from home and can’t go out.
To take your mind off of the current chaos, get 10 swoon-worthy office spaces you’ll wish were yours…...
1 - Keep As Normal A Routine As Possible
Do everything you would normally do. Set your alarm as usual, get up, shower and get dressed. Don’t even think about staying in your PJs. While it may sound heavenly, you won’t be as productive if you’re in a lounging state of mind. You need to show up and get dressed for the day you’d like to have.
2 - Don’t Check Emails In Bed
This ties into the PJs thing. Sitting in bed with your laptop is a bad idea any time. Checking emails can quickly turn into a “quick peek at facebook” or a few posts on instagram. And don’t even get us started about Pinterest. It’s very easy to get distracted by social media when you’re focusing on your comfort rather than the job at hand.
3 - Set Up A Workspace Where You Can Actually Work
A dining room table in a separate room is a suitable office, but a kitchen table where the family has to eat is definitely not ideal. Find a quiet spot in your home (preferably with a door) and set up a workstation.
You may need to do a little rearranging, borrowing furniture from other areas of your home. Your desk surface should be big enough to accommodate paperwork, task lighting, your computer and essentials. Piling things on the floor shouldn’t be an option.
When working remotely, it’s extremely easy to get distracted. A designated work area is definitely going to make you more productive (and possibly keep you from killing the kids.)
4 - Make Sure You Have A Comfortable Chair
Choose the best chair in the house that offers comfort and is the right height for your work surface. The height of your desk and chair are extremely important. Working at a desk that is too high or too low will result in sore arms, a strain on your shoulders or back and other potential problems.
5 - Leave The Chores
While doing a load of laundry or making yourself a snack is way more convenient when you’re “right there”, try to do these things outside of your normal work hours.
Sure the Christmas lights should come down but you’ve waited this long, why not hold off until the weekend.
There’s nothing stopping you from clearing breakfast dishes during lunch or tossing the ball around with the kiddos on break. Which leads us to our next tip….
6 - Take A Break
Schedule regular breaks and a lunch hour. You can stick to your usual office routine or designate times that coincide with family members. Even if you keep breaks short, step outside for fresh air. Go for a walk around the block to clear your head. It will help you to better focus when you’re back at your desk.
7 - Keep In Touch With Friends And Family
We all need human contact. At the end of the day, reach out to family and friends on Facetime or Zoom, message that chatty co-worker (who surprisingly is way more interesting than you remember.) Just because we can’t gather together in person, doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy each other virtually or over the phone.
8 - Exercise, Meditate And Practice Healthy Habits
Getting plenty of exercise and practicing healthy eating habits is important now more than ever. Strap your fitbit on and aim for 10,000+ steps a day. Create your own fitness routine if you can’t go to the gym and practice yoga or meditation.
Learning proper breathing techniques is also an ideal way to begin and end each day. There are plenty of techniques online that you can incorporate into your daily routine, whether you’re isolated or not.
9 - Start A New Family Ritual
Remember when you couldn’t wait to spend more time with the family? Now’s your chance. Set aside an hour every evening to play a board game together. Take out family photos, share memories and family history. In the time you would have spent travelling to and from work, you could be teaching your kids a new card trick, making paper airplanes or hitting a tennis ball in the garden.
10 - Learn Something New
Take time after your work day or make a plan on the weekend, to learn something new. Now’s your opportunity to listen to those audio books, watch those educational cooking videos or learn tai chi. Set up a jigsaw puzzle in the family room, take an online painting class or tackle household projects you’ve been putting off. There are plenty of opportunities to try something new. If interior design and decorating interest you, stay tuned for the Lovely Looking Lockdown coming your way.
Over the next few weeks, you just may realise that working from home isn't all it’s cracked up to be. You may not have a choice about staying home, but you do have a choice about how you spend your time.
Stay safe lovely, sending you lots of hugs!