Since the Coronavirus impacted the whole world, working from home has become almost mandatory. Of course, this is not valid for all industries. How can we adapt and work from home more effectively in the new context? Here are 10 routines that I use and help me get through the day. Get inspired! 🙂
For me, remote working was an idea that became more and more present starting with last year. Now I get the chance to experience it, maybe sooner than I ever imagined.
First, these changes came into my life suddenly with the impact of the Coronavirus. While everyone was advised to stay indoors, the landlord announced to me that I have to move as soon as possible from the apartment I rented. There I was, in the middle of the chaos that started in Bucharest almost two weeks ago, looking for a new home. All of this, while my daily routine was rearranging. I was stressed.
Even though I was trying to isolate, I had to get out of my house several times a day. After I found a new place to stay and moved in with the dog and minimum stuff, things started to fall into place. I felt that I needed a daily routine to work from home more effectively. Because I must admit, I was not in my best mood. Also, the massive amount of news about Coronavirus: numbers, statistics, predictions, etc., contributed to that. It was an additional source of stress and worry.
There is this quote I like a lot:
I always found my best resources, capabilities, and motivation during challenging times. Change has been the only constant I had in my life during all these years. Sometimes I craved for it, sometimes it was established by external factors that I could not control, just like it is now. But every time, it brought up the best in me and taught me how to adapt.
Adapting my daily routines to the new context
I used to have some of these routines also while working in the office. In the context that I described above, changing my home, my way of working, and having to face the stress of Coronavirus news, maintaining a structure of the day helped me. So, here we go:
1. Indulge myself with the morning coffee or tea ?☕ This is a special moment for me, it’s a ritual that I loved having before working from home, and I still enjoy it now. It is even more enjoyable now, as I have more free time in the morning.
2. Every day I make my bed. It helps me get into “working mode” and not get lazy.
3. 10-15 minutes of meditation or breathing exercises. ?♀️ I do it every morning, no matter how I feel. Sometimes I feel so stressed that I can barely go through with it. I do my best every time. After meditating, I can prioritize better, and most importantly, I feel calm. It helps me manage my anxiety.
4. I dress like going into the office and use light makeup as I usually do. I never stay in my pajamas. Somehow I feel demotivated if I don’t dress like going into the office. This aspect is essential to my job because it requires daily communication on the phone with customers and partners. My mood and energy levels are fundamental to being productive. My posture and state of mind can alter my tone of voice.
5. It took me several days to find the right place to work from ?? in the new apartment. Here, I don’t have an office desk yet. So I tried: working from my bed, working sitting on a pillow on the floor, and working from the kitchen table. The best choice seemed to be working from the kitchen. At least for the moment. My back protested to any other tentative. So, talking from this perspective, I recommend you find that place in your house that is most similar to a desk and use an ergonomic chair. I plan to set up my home office properly once the furniture retailers are back in business.
6. During the day, I pay special attention that I don’t forget to take breaks. Sometimes I plunge into work, emails, phone calls, reports, and hours pass by. From time to time, I get up, walk around the house, and do some physical exercises. (for my back, legs, shoulders, and arms).
7. Because of the isolation, you may feel lonely. I know it happens to me, and I am the type of person that loves to spend time in solitude. I discovered it is constructive to start the day with a video meeting with my colleagues. Video makes it more personal, and it’s nice to see and have some laughs with your colleagues. It helps me also prioritize my work, as I understand what the expectations are for the day. Communication is fundamental when working remotely, too. I may encounter situations that I don’t know how to handle. To work from home more effectively, I need to know how to get access quickly to the required information. In this respect, I found chat groups and virtual offices very helpful. Anything from Skype, to Whatsapp, can work for me.
8. Keep your home office clean and tidy. Of course, in the epidemic context, we all clean our homes a lot more than usual. But I chose to mention it in this article about productivity, because sitting in an environment with fresh air, or even a delicate, charming scent, can help you concentrate better. So open the window in the morning and let the fresh spring air into your house. Use some aromatherapy if you like. Maybe even spend a few minutes on the balcony before starting to work. 🙂
9. Pay attention to the little details that keep your spirit in a good mood. Think of all your five senses and the beneficial stimulants that you get in nature. Take care of your plants, pets, listen to chill-out music on the background, or whatever feeds your soul, wear soft and comfortable clothing, take care of your body and mind. You can also try rearranging the furniture or new design ideas that give your place a new fresh look. I feel lucky that in my new home I just have to open the window in the morning and hear birds singing. Also seagulls sometimes. 🙂
10. If you are not living alone, you should set boundaries with the other members of the family. Being interrupted is a productivity killer. Enjoy the time you spend together, but also discuss openly and agree upon a set of rules for working time.
So, these are my recommendations to work from home more effectively. I tried them all, and they worked wonderfully for me. ?In the end, the crisis brought us also opportunities and good things. For example, we don’t spend so much time in traffic anymore; we can spend more time with ourselves and our families, and think about what is meaningful for us in life.
It is a significant shift in our way of living, working, enjoying life, or maybe even loving one another. Let’s embrace the changes and allow a new way of living to emerge.
Let me know in a comment how do you become more productive while working from home. What are your routines?
*photos from: https://pxhere.com/