Many of us are learning to adjust to the realities of new work-from-home structures. Now, more than ever, we have to balance our work life with relaxation and fun.
Here are some tips that may help in managing this temporary new normal:
Continue your routine: Wake up at your typical work time, wash your face, brush your teeth, shower, and get dressed. It’s vital to do still as many of the activities you would typically do in the morning. If you don’t usually wash loads of laundry or vacuum every nook and cranny of your place when you wake up, now’s not the time to start.
Decide where to work…
Pick a comfortable spot: Make it your dedicated “office.” Keep in mind what kind of calls you might be making and what type of work you’ll be doing.
Close the door if you can: It signals to your children, roommates, etc., that you’re busy and working. You may even want to put up a “do not disturb” sign on the door. This helps create a divide between your “work” life and your “home” life, even if they’re physically the same place.
Think about lighting: Don’t sit with the window behind you while video chatting. If you’re a person that thrives off of natural light, situate yourself as close to the window as possible.
Eat as you would at work: Don’t dive into the microwave popcorn and your chocolate stash just because it’s accessible. Sugar highs and endless snacking will lead to big lows. What you eat will impact your mood and energy level.
Make sure you’re aligned with your team about how and when you’ll communicate. It’s essential to keep as close to your typical work hours as possible.
Video chat when you can: It creates the feeling of being in the office and gives you that valuable face time.
Remember, punctuation is key: Remember that tone doesn’t always come across in email.
Hone in on your deliverables: Be clear with your supervisor about expectations. Having a clear outline of what deliverables are expected from you will help you make sure you’re being productive and being evaluated fairly.
Maintain boundaries: Remind family and friends that just because you’re not working in your office doesn’t mean you’re not working. You’re not available to jump on the phone or FaceTime just because you’re home.
Set office hours: Continue to work the same hours. Though sleeping in might feel nice, working until midnight might not. This will also stop you from working long past a typical workday.
Give yourself an evening routine: Make sure you’re clear about “logging off.” Whether that means booking a virtual workout class, shutting off your computer, or cooking dinner, make a hard shift mentally after you’ve logged off.
Schedule breaks: It’s crucial to build breaks into your schedule, especially when you are used to taking them at work.
Move: It might be easy to get used to not having a commute. Then all of a sudden, it’s 8 pm, and you haven’t walked more than 50 feet around your apartment. Remember to get some exercise because endorphins make you happy.
Socialize: Working alone can be hard, especially when you’re used to having a lot of people around. Make sure you’re checking your email and talking with your co-workers regularly. This will help prevent feelings of loneliness or disconnect.
Take sick time: Just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean you should work if you’re sick. If you’re not well, take time off; your work will thank you for it.
Last, but certainly not least, take advantage, when you can, of online mediation, physical health, and entertainment resources. Below are just a few of the many out there in cyberland:
- Apple Books has expanded its free e-book and audiobook offerings.
- 305 Fitness offers an all-levels dance cardio fitness class.
- Ailey Extension was created to continue Alvin Ailey’s legacy of community dance.
- DJ D-Nice‘s live virtual dance parties at “Club Quarantine” on Instagram are sweeping the internet!
- Insight Timer is a website and app that offers guided meditations in a variety of areas, such as anxiety, stress, and relaxation. They even have one specific to coronavirus.
- Peloton is offering 90 days of free spring training. No bike required.
- FitnessBlender offers different types of workouts, from stretch sequences to body strengthening and more.
- The Met is offering opera streaming.
- Many museums are offering virtual tours, including the Louvre in Paris.
- The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, a division of the New York Public Library, has live events and online exhibitions focused on the African American, African Diaspora, and African experience.
- You can listen to David Byrne’s American Utopia setlist online and even de- and re-construct his songs on the Build the Beat page.