For most people being at home hour after hour and day after day is maddening. As it turns out however, many who ordinarily work from home (like my#) are not in that camp as this is not unusual. Admittedly, it is a bit unusual not to go out much at all, but working from home and transitioning from ‘work mode’ to ‘personal life mode’ is something I mastered many years ago.
Here I share some proven strategies in anticipation it will help others who may not be balancing working from home quite as well as they had hoped.
First: Determine when you will be working and when you will be done with the workday.
This is important. Set some boundaries around when you will be doing work activities and when you will be doing home or personal activities. Avoid muddying up the two.
Second: Plan your fun.
That’s right – you need something to look forward to, as well as something that will keep you motivated. Without co-workers around to keep you on track, motivation can wane. Perhaps you make plans with family members if you live with them, or you schedule a video chat with friends near or far. Or binge- watch your new favorite TV show after dinner. Put it down in your calendar so you know it is real and intentional.
Third: Keep an updated list of tasks for work as well as one for personal or home-related tasks.
In addition to writing out the order you plan to do your tasks in, also write how long each task will take. Thereby, if you find yourself with a few minutes between tasks and want to fit something in (like putting a load of laundry into the wash while waiting for something to print), you can quickly scan your list and do something productive that fits that time slot versus raid the refrigerator.
About that: While it is super convenient to have lunch and snacks on hand when working from home – don’t let this get out of hand. It is so very tempting to grab something every time you are stuck with a task or as a procrastination mechanism. I know. It’s a common issue for many. Plan when you will eat and know what you will eat so you don’t eat an entire bag of cookies when you are thinking or taking a break. Have your water bottle at your work area before sitting down to work. Avoid interrupting yourself by getting up for that, thus tempting yourself to raid the fridge or pantry while you are in the kitchen.
Last: Do those ‘back-burner’ projects now!
Remember all those tasks, chores, and projects you have been telling yourself you would get to when you ‘had the time?’ Well, guess what? That time is here – because even if you are working from home –
you may not be putting in as many hours as you did in an office. Many people are organizing their garages, closets and cabinets. #Organize, purge, tidy-up, clean up. It is springtime after all, so go for the seasonal clean up. I know people who are organizing boxes photos that are decades old. Even if you are working from home during the day– you have the evenings and nighttime to tackle other projects. Not to
mention the weekends are now fair game to get on top of those projects around the house. Just imagine how much less stressful your home will be if those long-awaited projects are done and done! That will be one great end result of #self-isolating that everyone can enjoy, in addition to keeping busy and being productive now.
Don’t neglect exercise – you don’t have to go to a gym or own a lot of fancy equipment to workout. Use your stairs, the floor of your bedroom, and do isometrics. We all have surfaces and our own bodies to work with. Take advantage of the plethora of YouTube videos that can guide you on workout routines and ideas.
While all this #isolation is difficult and the reason is scary – there are some ways to make a good use of the time and keep your body and brain occupied. If you have children at home with you – help them incorporate some of these tactics, too. They will develop good coping skills at the same time as you do. Remember they do watch what you are modeling. Be safe and well.