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5 Tips for Working from Home During Quarantine

Updated: May 20, 2020

With COVID-19 confining us to our homes, there’s been a huge spike in the number of people who are now working from home.

While working from home can feel like a vacation at first, we realize this actually isn’t the case a couple of weeks in. If you’re struggling to stay motivated as you work from home, you’re not the only one.

I’m one of the lucky people who didn’t have to adjust to working from home during quarantine because I have been for a while now.

While I’m a little better adjusted to working from home now, I did struggle a lot at first! So, I created a list of the things that helped me adjust to working from home.

Keep reading to learn what they are…

1. Set Aside a Workspace

Even if you don’t have an office you can temporarily work in, it’s important to create a space that’s dedicated to working.

This will help you get into a “work mindset” even though you aren’t leaving the house. If you work from wherever you feel like it in the house, you may start to lose sight of when you’re working and when you can just relax in your home.

You could set up a guest bedroom as a makeshift office (because let’s face it, none of us are having guests anyway). Or, set up your dining room to be an office and eat in another room until you can go back to work.

As long as your space is devoted to working, it doesn’t really matter which room you choose.

2. Create a Routine

You’re working from home, so that means you can roll out of bed and start working in your pajamas, right?

Well, just because you can, doesn’t necessarily mean you should. When you start losing the routine you created from going to work, you may find it difficult to get anything done. Plus, the more you stray from your routine, the harder it’s going to be to adjust when you go back to work.

So, while you’re staying home, try to get into the habit of waking up early, taking a shower, and exercising at some point in the day.

To help you stay on task, consider writing down an hourly schedule for the days of the week that you need to work!

3. Eliminate Distractions

As someone who has been working from home for a year now, I’ll tell you that distractions are the killer of productivity.

When I first started working from home, I would literally sit on the couch with my laptop as I watched TV. Sure, I was getting work done, but it was not nearly as good as it could have been with my full attention.

This is why working from home can be difficult. Just think about it… you’re literally surrounded by distractions! Your phone, TV, pets, and chores are right in your face.

As hard as it can be, when you’re working from home it’s important to push away distractions. Put your phone in another room for an hour or two, don’t keep a TV in your workspace, and (I don’t love this one) keep your pets out of your space when you need to be productive.

This will make you feel a little more like you’re at work, which is important because you technically are!

4. Schedule Breaks in Your Day

Breaks are tremendously important for being productive.

They help break up the day, so you don’t get burned out and give up at 1 in the afternoon. I find that a 15-30-minute break is sometimes enough to refresh my brain so I can get back to work until I’ve completed everything that I need to.

The key here is to schedule your breaks. Plan to have breaks at specific times of the day, and time them with an alarm. Without your breaks scheduled, they can easily turn into breaks that last hours.

Here is a little formula that can help you plan your breaks:

· Work for one hour

· Take a 15-minute break

· Work for one hour

· Take a 15-minute break

· Work for one hour

· Take a 30-minute break

Then repeat the cycle until your workday is over! This keeps me from crashing halfway through the day.

5. Give Yourself a Little Leeway

The majority of us aren’t used to working from home.

Routine is everything to a lot of us, and when that’s disrupted, we have a really hard time adjusting! Plus, the boost in remote work isn’t under normal circumstances. On top of trying to get everything done for work, we’re dealing with the stress of trying to stay healthy and worrying about those we love.

When our brains feel this type of stress all day (let me know if there’s a more scientific term for this feeling), it takes a toll on us. Many of us are feeling low energy, unmotivated, or just plain exhausted.

It’s important to give yourself a little bit of grace to adjust to your new normal. Celebrate the victories and use self-perceived failures as an opportunity to create a plan for improving the next day.

I have worked from home for the past year, yet, I’m finding work difficult on some days given the circumstances.

The way you’re feeling is totally normal, so don’t beat yourself up for it. Try to find ways to boost your motivation and make the situation a little more bearable. If you live with roommates or a partner, try to brainstorm ways to make your current situation easier on everyone.

Moving Forward

While working from home can be difficult to get used to, just try your best to maintain your normal routine.

Sure, it will take some adjustments, but keeping some form of normalcy is super important right now.

If you have any tips for how you’re being efficient while working from home, I’d love to hear them. If you enjoyed this post, check out my tips on taking care of yourself during quarantine!

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