I’ve been “sheltering in place” for over a decade now. When I was looking for new place, the view and light of the room that would be my office was an important consideration. But now, many of my clients who normally commute to an office are working from home for the first time. One of them asked me for some tips on how to deal – here’s what I came up with.
Get dressed. A lot of people have asked me about how fun it must be to work in your pajamas. I don’t. Getting dressed, means I’m up and ready to work. If I’m working in my pajamas, it’s a Sunday, something has gone wrong and I’m not happy about it.
If possible have a dedicated work space. I go from one bedroom to the next, but my back bedroom is my office. When I’m in that room, I’m working. I know this isn’t always possible, but if you can create a dedicated space, that the kids and animals know is off limits, then you can focus. I recently had my adult daughter and her husband staying with me, which meant that back bedroom was also now their bedroom. But we set rules – from 10-6 that room was mine, when I logged off for the day, it was theirs. They also turned my dining room into their living room. We all found that having a folding screen in that room greatly enhanced the privacy and focus of them trying to work in that space while I was going back and forth to the kitchen.
It’s OK to do laundry. Simple home tasks like this are OK, you can still work while the machine is running and changing loads is a stretch break. What you want to watch out for is getting distracted by all the possible chores – you’re not in home mode, you’re working.
Eat healthy – you’re home, make a nice sandwich, appreciate how much money you’re saving and do take regular breaks.
Most people have a commute to take them from home mode to work mode, now you don’t have this commute. But use the time it takes to get dressed and get your coffee cup on your desk to make that mental transition and then focus. Use the extra time you get from not having to commute, for self care and extra sleep.
It was the day I worked remotely during a snowstorm 12 years ago and saw that I got more work done at home without all the water cooler distractions, that I realized I could make this work for me. 😊