Working From Home: COVID-19
My first day working from home due to COVID-19, I made several devastating errors in rapid succession. I started the day by waking up at 11 a.m, even though I had a full day’s workload. Not great. I had a load of school work to complete that day, but I put it off until later that night. I stayed in my PJs the whole day. By nighttime, I felt like the day had been wasted, and my evening was saturated with work. I decided to make a few changes that I want to share with you here because they’ve made my sheltering-in-place much more sustainable (AKA I’m still pretty sane). Tip #1: Create a work-life balance When you are working in the same place you eat and sleep, it’s incredibly easy to let your work/school life and your home life to blend completely together. It’s not a very healthy thing to do, because people need time to rest and recharge. What’s worked really well for me is to schedule all my work and meetings between nine and five, and keep my weekends free, similar to a typical full-time job. And when you’re off the clock try to be off the clock᠆ keep checking emails to a minimum and don’t schedule any work meetings over the evenings or the weekends. And it’s not just me who recommends this, the experts agree. It’s okay to not always be successful (I’m writing part of this blog at 8 p.m.) but it’s important to extend yourself a little grace and do what’s best for your health. Also as a quick disclaimer: I do recommend taking breaks throughout your day. I’d recommend filling them with something from tip #4. Tip #2: Start your day with something active Personally, doing this has changed my quarantined life. If you’re like me, you have to mentally slap yourself repeatedly to get out of bed in the morning, and once you do it’s difficult to shake off the sluggishness that makes you want to curl right back up on the couch. I’ve found that doing yoga in the morning energizes me and makes me feel ready to face the day. Of course, a nice ab workout or dance routine would have a similar effect if you prefer something more fast-paced, I just strongly recommend getting your blood flowing early in the a.m. Tip #3: Keep a morning routine Along with starting your day with something active, I’ve recently heard a lot of people recommending waking up early, eating breakfast, and getting dressed. I wholeheartedly agree with that recommendation. It’s too easy to do what I did on my first day and ruin a routine by sleeping in and staying in your PJs. It’s been really helpful for my overall motivation level. Tip #4: Break up your day with something a little different With a crisis like the coronavirus, it’s really important to stay inside in order to slow the spread. However, that doesn’t mean each of your days has to look like a carbon copy of the one before. If you’re like me, that’s a quick sprint towards losing your mind. We may be limited in what we can do, but we can always take a moment to video chat with a friend, cook a new recipe (like this delicious avocado egg dish I made the other day), or go for a nice, socially distant walk. Breaking up your day with something a little different can really help to keep track of what day it is because they no longer feel exactly the same. I hope my tips have helped you navigate this new normal a little bit! These tips have worked well for me, but I do recommend tweaking them to figure out what works best for you. When it gets right down to it, all that’s important is keeping up motivation and trying to fill our days with little moments that bring us joy. Caroline States is a junior from Anderson, double majoring in public relations and visual communication design. States is an associate with Fifth Street Communications®, a student-run public relations agency at Anderson University.