I'm up super early on this Monday morning because, probably like many of you, anxiety is making it difficult to sleep (please ignore grammar mistakes-- we'll blame my tired brain). Many of us are unsure about what the next few days are going to look like as this pandemic unfolds. As a small business owner, I have a feeling I'll be losing a lot of sleep within the next couple weeks.
MANY of my friends are working from home for the first time. I work from home when I'm not shooting on location, so I wanted to share some wisdom I've accumulated from my experience! It's not all, "YES I GET TO WORK IN MY PJS" energy. It's lonely, and it's not easy to be productive all the time.
Note: These are written from a 20-something-childfree person's perspective, so take what is helpful to you and my thoughts are with you and your kids!
1.) Before you even try to work, CLEAN.
I personally know that I won't get through my emails if there are dishes in the sink. I'll be thinking about them the whole time. Make your space clean before you try to do anything else.
2.) Schedule a lunch break.
When I started working from home, I figured that if I skipped a lunch break, I could get more editing/blogging done and then "clock out" early. Not so. I was powering through the morning, hitting a slump in the afternoon, and finding myself distracted by making four hundred cups of tea/checking my phone. Take your hour-or-so lunch break at the same time each day.
3.) Work out during your lunch break.
Go walk outside or take a job. I remember working at a traditional job and thinking, "if I worked from home, I'd be in such good shape because there's more time to work out!" Use this time to enjoy that feeling, and you can use your lunch break for workouts because no one cares when you arrive back at 1pm sweaty and gross.
4.) If you hate working out, at least go for a walk/get outside.
My winter blues got worse when I forgot to go outside for lunch. 15 minutes is enough-- and yes, do it even when it's freezing or raining outside. My recommendation is to call or FaceTime your friends and family (take this opportunity to teach your parents/grandparents how to FaceTime/FaceBook movie chat if they don't know how!) because it gets so incredibly lonely at times. You really have to make this a priority for your mental health.
5.) Talk to your pet.
Can't have a pet at home? Can you foster (kitten season is here! Apply to foster some kittens and you'll be more than happy to quarantine yourself, I promise)? Can you walk your neighbor's dog (sanitizing the leash handle/washing your hands before and after, of course)? I snuggle with my cat while I work, and I walk my neighbor's dog on my lunch breaks. Talking to animals is good for the soul.
6.) Stop freakin' snacking every 5 minutes.
When I procrastinate, I have a tendency to want snacks. Oh ,let me just eat this quick snack before I send this email. When I started working from home, I'd leave snacks I wasn't even hungry for on my desk. Now I know to put snacks away in their boxes and not leave them out for grazing (unless, of course, I'm hungry!).
7.) Make an "office space."
Even if you don't have an office. make a designated space for work. Make it pretty with stuff from around your apartment (candles, Christmas lights, and dried flowers are all objects from around my apartment that I could use, for example).
8.) Keep your phone in another room.
Just do it. If I don't, I'm on Instagram compulsively. Put it on Do Not Disturb if you can.
9.) Sleep in.
I MIGHT GET SHADE FOR THIS ONE. But hear me out. Yes, you should set your alarm MOST DAYS and ALWAYS wake up in time to shower/wash your face/brush your teeth/eat breakfast before "clocking in." BUT, listen. You won't get to work from home forever. I say enjoy the small perks of this opportunity, because we all know that we deserve a little treat for enduring these weird times. If you have young kids at home, this will be a challenge but perhaps there's a way to make one morning a week feel more restful. Comment below if you have any ideas for parents.
I like to sleep in on Wednesdays for no reason. I just don't set an alarm and I enjoy waking up at 8:30 or so.
10.) Disinfect your laptop/phone/tablets when you come back from a break outside.
This is a new habit I'm working on.
What else would you add? Comment below with what has been working for you.