As many have learned during the COVID-19 pandemic, working from home can be very frustrating if a worker doesn’t have the needed support system. It can get extremely lonely and distractions within the home- cleaning jobs, cooking, watching TV, and attending to your kids- can disrupt your productivity. It is an unusual professional environment, so it is only natural for anyone to struggle in it. With these 5 tips, however, you can stay productive during the quarantine.
5 Tips How To Stay Productive During Quarantine
1. Have an at-home work station
Many people didn’t have home offices before the pandemic. When they were forced to work from home, they had to improvise workstations in their living rooms, dining areas, and some in the bedroom. If you are one of them, it is time you assessed how well the arrangement is working for you. Ask yourself:
- Is working in bed sustainable for the long-term?
- Can you continue working at the dining table where you know without a doubt that family members or roommates will disrupt you during meal times?
- Can you work optimally in the living area with pets distracting you all the time or your spouse interrupting you with unnecessary comments about the movie he/she is watching?
If you were honest, you answered no to most of the questions. You need to create an office environment; an area that you don’t share with anyone else in the home. If you don’t have an extra room to set up your office, you can set it in one corner of a spacious room. Have a nice desk and a comfortable chair, and then separate the area from the rest of the room using curtains or houseplants. Communicate to everyone that the office area is a no-go zone and no one should go there no matter what.
After the corona-virus, most businesses will be looking for ways to decongest their offices, so there is a high chance that you will be working remotely for a little longer than you imagined. If your home isn’t comfortable, you can liaise with your employer to pay for membership in a co-working space near you. If you work in Dallas, for example, you can find a comfortable place at a very affordable fee. Working in a shared workspace eliminates the need for commuting to work every day and at the same time eliminates the hustles of working from home.
2. Keep your emotions in check
The lockdown has left many people experiencing a rollercoaster of emotions, most prominent of all being anxiety, grief, and helplessness. News headlines are dominated by stories of people dying, others infected, and others losing their jobs. Everything is feeling off, stressful, and scary. And now that your social circle has shrunk, you probably have no one to share your emotions with.
Most people cannot work optimally when overwhelmed by emotions. That is why you need to take charge of your emotions. Find reasons to laugh and feel joy, for example watching funny shows and movies, chatting with friends via Skype, and playing virtual video games. Let yourself be “not okay” if you feel bad. Don’t suppress those emotions using alcohol and drugs. Talk to someone about it. After all, it is okay not to be okay.
3. Have a realistic schedule
Unless you have to work as per your employer’s schedule, it is best that you set a reasonable schedule as per your lifestyle. If you work best in the morning than in the evening hours, for example, schedule most of your day’s work for morning hours. Don’t take on more tasks than you’d normally take if you were reporting to the office.
If you are drained or overwhelmed, go ahead and take a break even if it is for a whole day. Working from Sunday to Sunday just because you are bored at home and have nowhere else to be will only fatigue you and make you unproductive. Just be careful not to let laziness and lack of motivation decide your schedule for you.
4. Have the right tools
The “right tools” vary from one profession to another, so you need to liaise with your employer to determine which tools you need to up your productivity. However, almost every remote worker needs Slack, Skype, or Zoom, among other video conferencing tools, for their meetings and conversations between colleagues. You may also need reliable Wi-Fi, project management tools, and task tracking tools.
5. Take care of your body and soul
Create a self-care routine and stick to it. Go out for walks to get some fresh air. Get enough sleep in order to boost your mental health and immune system. Meditate to calm your mind. Engage in cardiovascular exercise to keep your lungs healthy. Because corona-virus is a respiratory illness, you need to keep your lungs healthy. Take care of your body hygiene. Eat well. When you take care of your body, you will be able to focus on your job better.
Final word: Avoid cabin fever
Try to lead as much of a full social life as possible, even when you are stuck indoors. Chat with friends over the balcony, chat on social media, and stay connected. It is also advisable that you keep off news as much as you can. Don’t beat yourself up because you lost your productivity for a while; that is normal during these uncertain times. The most important thing is to work every day towards improving yourself.