Coronavirus lockdown: How to maintain your sanity and maximize your productivity when working from home
Here are six tips to help you with your work-from-home situation while in isolation
Nations across the world have called for lockdown as the coronavirus pandemic continues to rage on and claim lives. While completely necessary to tackle the spread of the disease, the lockdown has caused major disruptions in all our lives. It has especially had a huge impact on employment, forcing many businesses to either close down or implement the work-from-home rule.
For many, work-from-home could just be their new reality. While it sounds nice in theory, it can very well be a pain when trying to balance your home life with a work-from-home life. Responsibilities don't seem to sort themselves out in two separate piles, because you don't mix personal with professional, and that could do your head in. Then, how exactly are you supposed to find the counterbalance between the yin (home) and yang (work)?
Here are some ways to retain your sanity as you embark on the exciting new work-from-home journey.
Create your ideal work-space
On a normal day, a daily commute to work and some fresh air is your wake-up call. But being in the comfort of your home, it may seem hard to keep your eyes open despite the fact that you've downed a tonne of caffeine. In such cases, you'll have to create an ideal environment for yourself.
Firstly, change out of your pajamas, into something more work-casual and maybe add a pair of shoes to the mix. Then, do up your work-space as you deem fit or turn it into a facsimile of your fully-stocked office desk. This could not only add the extra oomph that you need for a work environment within your home, but it could also trick your brain into thinking you're in fact in the office and ensure maximum productivity.
Choose a work chair with back support so hunching over isn't an option, and so it wouldn't strain your spine.
Determine your scheduled work hours
While some may require to follow pre-determined office work-hours, others may resort to kicking-back and starting off leisurely. Even then, you have to pinpoint the hours where your productivity is at an all-time high and check most of the things off your job list. Creating a job list too can contribute to your daily output. Not only does it help with managing tasks and the time, but it is also a key motivator. Don't forget to include sufficient break periods so you get some time for a breather, in between busy hours.
In a similar manner, to be more systematic you can also make a schedule for home chores, making sure they don't coincide with work. Your surroundings should provide you with the least distraction. And please, for the love of God, laundry is scheduled for after work.
When working from home, you are solely dependant on technology to go about your tasks and get work done. Ensure that you have reliable power back-up, so you don't have to run around like a headless chicken when you face technical difficulties or power failure. Have the power source for all your gadgets and tech supplies in your reach so you don't get distracted every time it drops to low battery mode.
Virtual communication is key
Set up a communication space on an online platform like Slack or Google Hangouts with your team or just people in the office, so it is easy to stay updated. In this way, each of you can reassure the other of your attendance, and collaborate easily as compared to phone calls or emails. Platforms like Skype and Google Duo can help you host video conferences so you don't miss out on your weekly face-to-face meetings. It's more effective in cases of brainstorming and having full-blown discussions.
Furthermore, it'll help others stay informed of the tasks you have decided to take up so there is no repetition among yourselves. Albeit, your phones, tablets, and computers should have their notifications on so you don't miss out on anything.
Just as you would in the office, make sure you take regular toilet and coffee breaks, but most of all stay hydrated. Make a detox mix of lemon, mint or whatever you'd like to release toxins from your body and help you stay healthy. Avoid drinking alcohol during the day and say no to energy drinks as much as possible. Do not skip meals, and get a good night's sleep so you can stay active during work.
Also, try to not be seated at your designated work-space for too long as you may strain your spine or muscles from being bent over the desk for too long. Regulate movement, walk about your room to help with circulation, stretch from time to time.
Finally, turn off all your gadgets and work notifications when its time for you to get off of work. Sit back and relax with a good book to habituate your reading and recuperate from a long day. Sip on a glass of wine or juice (pick your poison) while listening to some music, giving your mind the repose it needs after sinking knee-deep in information and laborious activity. Netflix and chill is always an option when you need to just sit back and relax.