The world is currently in the grip of a serious health crisis caused by the deadly COVID-19 virus. To protect hospitals from becoming overrun with a barrage of new cases, government advice in the worst affected countries stipulates that everyone but the most essential workers should adhere to strict self-isolation measures to prevent the virus spreading. For those of us whose jobs it is possible to do remotely, self-isolation means working from home for a few months. Here are a few tips to help you set up your home office to maximize your productivity during this testing time.
- Find a Comfortable Space to Work
The first thing to do to prepare yourself for working from home is to set up a pleasant place from which to work. If you are lucky enough to have a spare room, clear out the clutter, give the surfaces a good clean and find a comfy seating and desk arrangement. Choose a room which receives few noise distractions to help you concentrate on getting what you need to do done.
- Take Regular Breaks
No matter how in the groove you feel, if you want to keep up your stamina to work all day, taking short, tactical breaks is a must. Most people find it helpful to set a timetable at the beginning of every day with regular break intervals. Ideally, you should spend your break getting some fresh air sitting in the garden for a few minutes with a book and a cup of coffee or tea.
- Separate Work from Home
When working from home, it can be tempting to spread your work around your daily household chores. Doing so, however, can end up leading to procrastination and making excuses, which will often cause you to have to extend your working day well into the evening. The trick to avoiding this is to set yourself clear start and finish times which help you to maintain a separation between your work and home-life.
- Be Firm with Distracting People
Living with a family or sharing an apartment with roomies can make it pretty hard to concentrate and focus on the task in hand. If you find yourself getting distracted by idle chitchat, loud music or excited phone conversations that seem to go on forever, do not be hesitant about expressing your need for peace and quiet to get your work done.
Being cooped up day after day during lockdown is likely to lead to a certain degree of cabin fever which is likely to lead to a loss of motivation and focus. Combat the lethargy by keeping to a strict daily exercise routine. Even just a few minutes of exercise every day will leave you feeling energized and help you get into the zone more quickly when you sit down to work.
These are challenging times for all. But we must remember that things will get back to normal in the not too distant future. In the meanwhile, try to enjoy the extra time you have at home; just remember to get your work done!