Due to the Covid-19 pandemic we are going through currently, more and more people have been forced to work from home. Some of which have never had to work at home before, and are in uncharted territory. Add in children that are home from school, and I’m sure your stress levels and anxiety levels are at an all time high.
So I’ve got a few tips to help you get through it…
First, get dressed! My rule is if you wouldn’t wear it to the office then don’t wear it to work from home. That means no sweats or pajamas. I promise you if you wear pajamas all day, it will just make you feel lazy and unmotivated to work. Plus, if you have to be on any video conferences, it just doesn’t look professional, but I’m sure you knew that already.
Second, choose a spot to be your office. And no it can’t be your couch or your bed! If you’re lucky enough to already have a desk in your house, then use that. Clear it off and make it your temporary office. If you can make yourself feel more like you're actually at your office, the more productive you will be. How productive can you really be if you’re laying in your bed? Not much, I’m sure! If you don’t already have an area with a desk, then use your kitchen or dining room table. Even a kitchen island/bar will work. Also make sure you are away from the TV. That will just serve as a distraction. Also, choose a spot, where your background is clutter-free. You don’t want your boss, coworkers, or clients seeing that pile of clutter you haven’t touched in years, do you?
Third, make sure you get together all the supplies and items you need for the day. The less often you have to get up to find something, the more productive you will be. If you wander around looking for stuff you need, you’re going to get distracted and that leads to being unproductive.
Finally, keep your work from home schedule as close to your work at the office schedule as you can in order to keep yourself on track, and eliminate distractions.
Now, keep in mind that if you have kids who are home with you, you’re going to have to make a few tweaks. It’s ok to move your office outside so you can watch the kids play if you’re not videoconferencing or teleconferencing. That can be unprofessional and distracting outside so keep that in mind if you have meetings scheduled. If you are outside, watch for any paperwork so it doesn’t blow away. I learned that the hard way. Of course, your job may dictate how and where you work at home.
Here are my tips for handling the work from home when kids are home too...
1. Eat breakfast together, and discuss your plan for the day. That may mean not letting them sleep in, which is good. They need some structure during this crazy time. It will help them cope a little better. Having structure helps you feel in control of something especially during times like this when everything else seems so out of control. So make sure the kids are set up with some school work to keep them busy and occupied while you need to focus. 2. Schedule your lunch break with them so you can all enjoy a meal together, maybe play a game together or if needed help them with school work they may be struggling with, assuming you can help. We all know some of their school work is greek to us parents, am I right?
3. Make sure video conferencing is done in a different room from them, and make sure they know not to barge in while you're on the phone or in a meeting. Make a rule that when the door is closed you can’t be interrupted. Then make sure the door is open when you’re able. When the kids are younger it can be more difficult. Maybe if you have a spouse or significant other at home also, you can coordinate your schedules so that someone can be available to the kids if they need something. If not, you may have to breakdown and put them in front of a movie. I know a lot of parents don’t want to use screens as babysitters, but desperate times call for desperate measures. You'll just have to limit their screen time other times when you’re able to.
4. Most importantly, don’t feel guilty to letting them watch tv or movies while you are on a phone call or in a meeting. It’s not the end of the world. Things will be back to normal at some point. It may not seem like it right now, but it will and these days will go down in the history books for sure!
If you want more tips and ideas for setting yourself up with nice and productive home office, check out this article on Redfin. She has some great design ideas and inspiration for a home office that will function for you, and help you feel more motivated.
And always remember, if you need help setting up your home office, I am available for virtual sessions. We can video chat and I can see your space and give you my best tips and ideas for a home office that will work for you! My contact info is on the homepage.
Happy Organizing, and please stay safe and healthy!