At the time I’m writing this article, the United States is not on an official lockdown on quarantine, but many people – and businesses – are taking the recommendation to socially distance themselves seriously.
That means we’re at home, probably with our kids and maybe our spouse, trying to get work done amidst the chaos. And as someone who fights this battle every single day already, I’m here to tell you…it ain’t easy.
If you’re finding yourself facing this battle for the foreseeable future, here are some tips for being productive even without someone there watching.
Also, some tips for being able to separate your home and work lives, because take it from me, it can be far too easy to let everything blend together. Which means you’re basically always working, or think you should be working, and that doesn’t do anything good for your stress levels.
Here are 12 really amazing tips!
12. It’s so, so hard for friends and family to get.
Make sure your friends/family/roommates understand that just because you’re home doesn’t mean you can talk or hang out during work hours. Talk to them BEFORE this becomes an issue.
— Rebecca Eisenberg (@ryeisenberg) March 8, 2020
11. That “end time” is tough but necessary.
Working from home most of my adult life. It’s not easy, and takes discipline.
1. Get up/dressed as if you’re leaving for work.
2. Minimize distractions
3. Have an end time to “leave” work
4. You can’t parent and work at the same time. Figure out schedule w/partner/daycare/sitter
— Alison Skap (@AlisonsBookMrks) March 9, 2020
10. Hopefully they’re old enough to listen to rules.
If you’re sharing a house, close your office door and make sure everyone else who may be home knows what that means.
— David Harrison (@dw_harrison) March 8, 2020
9. As hard as it is to ignore the laundry…
Get dressed and do your normal morning routine. Take breaks. IF you can go outside, do. Have a space that is JUST for work. Minimize things that will distract you. DO NOT DO CHORES DURING YOUR WORKING HOYRS.
— Chelsea M. Cameron (@chel_c_cam) March 8, 2020
8. This will make everything easier.
I’ve had to WFH for 3yrs.
1. Get dressed.
2. Make your bed.
3.Set up an “office” space even if it is your kitchen table..
4. Stay off soical media during work hours.
5. Set your alarm for lunch.
6. Only make/take work calls or calls from kids.
7. Set an EOD time & keep to it.
— Victoria Brownworth ☣ (@VABVOX) March 10, 2020
7. Act like you’re clocking in and out.
Set & stick to work hours. You can split hours morning/night with afternoon “off” or timeshift, but still have set hours or you’ll constantly get derailed.
It’s easy to get distracted by flexibility to take a social call, duck out for an errand, or procrastinate with chores.
— Mika McKinnon (@mikamckinnon) March 8, 2020
6. Be patient; it takes time.
In the beginning I had to set a timer. I worked for 25min and then took a 10 min break to do all my spazz shit. Like emptying my dishwasher or texting a boy or whatever. Now I’m on autopilot but it took me a solid year of setting a timer.
— LikeAGirlProductions (@likeagirlinc) March 9, 2020
5. Especially the news on the television.
I work from home most of the time anyway. My advice:
•stay away from the TV
•if your bed triggers nap mode, work in the living room. If not possible, fill room with LIGHT (natural, or desk lamp)
•keep your phone on another desk and put on silent for the hours you plan to work
— Sophia Gad-Nasr (@Astropartigirl) March 8, 2020
4. Only a year?
It is crucial that both you AND ESPECIALLY your spouse/partner understand that though you are working from home, you are “at work” and can not be expected to do household chores, pick up after kids, etc. (spent 9 years working from home; it took a year for spouse to grok this)
— Dr Heidi B. Hammel (@hbhammel) March 8, 2020
3. I love the timer idea.
1) If you feel like your to-do list is overwhelming make a numbered list and let a random number generator decide what you should work on first.
You’ll either be able to work on it, or realize you need to prioritize the list, either way it’ll get you going.
— Liana Brooks (@LianaBrooks) March 8, 2020
2. I am going to try this one, for sure.
Leave the house in the morning to go to work, walk round the block and then come back into your house and settle down to work. Helps make the mental transition.
— Henry Dimbleby (@HenryDimbleby) March 8, 2020
1. This is something we need to do more of even with our day jobs.
Set work hours and have a distinct work space. When you’re done working for the day, leave the space, and leave your computer there. Do not check email on your phone after hours, or if you do, do not respond until the morning unless it’s <urgent>.
— Rebecca Eisenberg (@ryeisenberg) March 8, 2020
I’m going to incorporate some of these myself, though the kid thing is hard to navigate at the moment.
Do you have anything to add? Are you struggling with everyone at home?
Let’s talk it out in the comments!