The infamous COVID-19 is affecting everything from public transport to travel to one’s ability to buy pasta, and the methods by which we can “flatten the curve” are at the forefront of everyone’s minds.
The most common of which is working from home.
Whether “WFH” is new to you or not, everyone has their own pattern when it comes to staying productive but there’s no denying - it’s hard.
Our pets, family members, fridges and beds pose great threat to our productivity there’s no doubt about that.
So here are our ten top tips for staying sane whilst working from home.
1. Get up, get dressed, get going
The luxury of working from home, for many, is the flexibility.
You’re not restricted by 9-5 and if you need to step out in the middle of the day or your early morning is otherwise occupied then it’s fine to shift your hours.
But, this is also dangerous.
The temptation to sleep in and start that little bit later is often too much to bare, but we have to start as we mean to go on.
So, our first tip for staying sane whilst working from home is try to keep your hours as normal as possible.
Get up as you would for work, get out of your pj’s (even if that only means stepping into some sweats) and get going!
2. Create a morning routine
The other perk of approaching your day as if you were heading into the office? That extra slot of time where your commute would’ve been.
This is the perfect opportunity to make the most of being at home and create that morning routine that you’ll dream of come the return of your normal working week.
Sit down with that coffee you never have time for, check the news (or something a little more upbeat) and have some breakfast.
Or go for a run, do some yoga or meditate.
Take this time to set yourself up for the day, and the rest will come easily.
3. Don’t work in your bedroom
We cannot stress enough the importance of a work-life balance, now more than ever. And that doesn’t just refer to making sure you take time to relax after the clock strikes 5.
The work-life balance includes your physical space and if where you sleep becomes where you work and where you work becomes where you eat, you’ll get yourself all kinds of confused.
Keep the bedroom for sleeping and set yourself up a nice home-office space somewhere else in your home.
Or, if you don’t have tons of space and you have to work from your bedroom then make sure you pack up and put your things away at the end of the day.
And that leads us nicely on to our fourth tip.
4. Tidy Desk, Tidy Mind
You’ve heard this one before, right?
Well, it’s true.
Recent studies have found that people working in a clutter-free environment were able to work consistently for 7.5 minutes longer than those working in a big old mess.
A tidy desk is key to productivity. Not just because then you know where everything is, but then you’re not confronted with clutter that really will affect your mind-set.
And it makes sense.
If nothing else, you don’t want to be frantically searching for those important notes whilst on a zoom call to your boss.
5. Snacks, snacks and more snacks
Now we’d be lying if we said there weren’t obvious perks to working from home and ones that we take full advantage of.
Sweatpants and hoodies, your own kooky playlist or talking to yourself out loud - no judgement.
And the other benefit? Snacks.
Obviously it’s important to make sure you’re staying fed and hydrated so you can be productive but let’s get excited here.
Now’s the time to eat the crunchy, smelly, weird snacks that you’d never dare crack out in your office.
If you want to eat sushi with corn chips followed by popping candy, you go forth.
6. Take breaks
Breaks are incredibly important, at home and in the office.
But working from home takes some adjustments and can often be stressful if you aren’t used to it.
So, instead of glaring at your computer screen in despair, take advantage of the fact that you’re in your own space.
Stroll around your house, fluff up your pillows, wash the dishes, go into the garden.
Take a break!
7. Go outside
With the outside world edging closer and closer to lockdown, there’s often no real incentive for us to leave our homes.
And it’s surprisingly easy for time to pass by before you realise you haven’t actually felt fresh air on your face in three days… not that we’re speaking from experience or anything.
Our 7th tip to you to stay sane whilst working from home; go outside.
Before, during or after work, go for a walk, get some exercise, have a change of scenery.
Netflix will still be there when you return.
8. Use tools
Like we said, shifting from your office to home can be a struggle. Especially if you’re not used to working remotely.
But, there are tons of useful tools that you and your team can use to ensure things run as smoothly as possible.
You can have team catch ups on Google Hangout, hold meetings with clients on Skype or Zoom or try using a team planning tool like Asana so you can better keep track of what’s getting done and what still needs work.
9. Get that playlist
For some of you, your home will be bustling, noisy and your struggle will be finding some peace.
For others, your home might be eerily quiet compared to the sound of city traffic on the streets outside your shared office space.
So, whether you need something to drown out the noise or break the silence we recommend finding a great playlist whether that’s old school beyonce or electronic focus.
10. Know when to stop
Our final piece of advice for staying sane whilst working from home is knowing when to stop.
Just like we said you should approach the morning like you’re heading to the office, you should approach the evening like you’re heading home.
It’s often difficult to separate your work life from your home life, especially when geographically they are the same.
But try not to let yourself “just do that one last thing” or “quickly read that email that’s just come through” if you don’t have to.
Your work hours can easily bleed into your evening if you don’t find a way to put up a barrier.
So make sure when you’ve finished your work, you close your laptop, mute your phone and head home for the evening.
All in all…
Working from home is a double-edged sword.
You’ve got the freedom to be in the comfort of your own home, shift your hours if you need to and be with your family.
But you’ve also got to battle the temptation to sleep in or that pile of dishes that seems far more pressing than your work to-do list.
Following these ten tips are a great place to start if you’re looking to boost your productivity and, above all, stay sane whilst working from home.