If, like me, you still have your job despite COVD-19 pandemic, you are probably feeling extremely grateful. And if, like me, you are now working from home, surrounded by other family members and noisy kids, then you might also be grateful to read this.
I’ve worked primarily from home for several years, interspersed with air travel to complete my role as OI Team Leader in AUS & NZ. There are a few things I do that serve me well – and a few things I’ve needed to change – in order to continue my professional responsibilities. Here are the fundamentals;
Declutter. Whether you have a dedicated office space, or need the kitchen table, it’s important to create that workspace so that it inspires you. Tidying up, putting items away, and prettying your work area will invite you to sit down, and roll those sleeves up.
Schedule. Just because you’re working from home, doesn’t mean you need to be at the laptop at 7am, or 7pm. Be clear about how you spend your time – what you will be doing and when, and tell the rest of your family / household when you will be working & therefore unavailable.
Prioritise. Time management is as important as ever – work and life can too easily morph. Set a realistic task list to accomplish each day and systematically work through that so that at the end of your work time, you feel satisfied.
Focus. I understand, your cat is cute and your kids are a-d-o-r-a-b-l-e. Well, guess what? So are mine. When you are working, focus on that, so that you can finish and enjoy those cuddly little people or furry beloveds, ASAP!!
Take regular breaks. As you usually would in the office, step away, take a stretch, inhale deeply, exhale completely, and repeat. Make a cup of tea. My go-to is the deeply stress-relieving, immune boosting Tulsi (Holy Basil) by (surprise) ORGANIC INDIA !!
Exercise. Just because you are working from home, and most likely self-isolating, doesn’t mean you become immobile! Make sure, each day, that you move – outdoors if you can, in fresh air- walk, run, swim, yoga or even star jump your way to cardiovascular exercise. This will help you settle into your work seat.
Connect. You may be physically removed from your peers, but you don’t need to socially disconnect. Stay in touch- cross-pollinate ideas over a shared (scheduled) lunch just the way you would at work. How about a virtual tea break?
Seize the moment. Here’s a golden opportunity to tackle that project that you haven’t managed to complete in the office – free from distractions and interruptions (cute kids excepted).
Relax. Especially in the evenings. Try to finish work before dark. Evening time is for winding down, being with family, self-care, and preparing for a good night’s sleep. Deep, restorative sleep makes a significant contribution to our energy levels, our ability to focus, fortifies our immunity and enhances our mood.
Be kind to yourself. The changes surrounding us are also within us. There’s a lot to process. Your productivity may not be at its peak, and you may need to make allowances for that. An extra dose of mindfulness, gratitude, and self-compassion will go a long way right now.
These techniques are tried and true and work for me. Not all of them will resonate with, or work for you. Hopefully there are some gems that help your work and your home life to co-exist as peacefully as possible in these most unusual circumstances.