The coronavirus has affected almost every territory across the globe. As of writing, Antarctica is the only continent with no confirmed COVID-19 case. As a result, 93% of the global population now live under travel restrictions. In response, big and small companies have advised their employees to work from home. While this eliminates many problems, it does create new ones. The most prevalent challenge is: how do you maintain your productivity at home?
Create a Routine
Set the alarm an hour or two before you have to work. Install a water heater for a soothing shower. Have a hearty breakfast before you open your laptop. While it may be a relief that you no longer have to commute or wake up extra early, it’s hard to expect yourself to be ready for work when you’re treating a workday like a Saturday. You most likely already have a routine before you started working remotely.
Make one that’s tailored to your needs at home. Think about it: your body is used to the same routine for years. Disrupting that pattern suddenly for an extended period is jarring. This doesn’t mean that you have to wear makeup or dress business casual. Instead, you can exchange the extra hour you have from traveling to work with a skincare routine. You can reap the benefits of working from home while still doing your job.
Give Yourself a Break
Over the past few weeks, you may have felt a looming sadness because of the coronavirus outbreak. Harvard Business Review has identified that feeling as a kind of grief. To address it, you have to understand and accept that feeling of discomfort. Stay away from the constant exposure to the news for a while.
Take a break every 30 minutes and take your eyes off the computer screen. If you feel that you are less productive now than before the COVID-19 crisis, that’s fine. Psychotherapist Dana Dorfman has said that there’s no single way to address the current circumstances. You can only allow yourself to be and have compassion for others.
Whether you live in a tiny apartment or a massive mansion, you need room for yourself: a dedicated space, with minimal disturbances, where you can be productive. If you have limited space in your home, you can work in your dining area.
Try to avoid working in your bedroom because it’s associated with sleep and relaxation or your living room because it has your TV. If you have loud neighbors, use earphones to block out the noise. Put your cell phone on vibrate or turn off your Instagram notifications. Hearing it ping every so often can entice you away from your work.
As the coronavirus continues to infect, it’s unknown when normal life can return. Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that it might not happen until a vaccine is developed, which could take 12 to 18 months. Until then, the only way to deal with this new normal is to adjust as best as you can. Do what feels right for you. If you need help, reach out to friends and family or call the Disaster Distress Helpline.