Dear Remote Workers, Telecommuters, Stay-At-Home People,
I have something to share from my experience. Having worked from home for more than 3 years now, I am confident that you all will benefit from my two cents. But before you start diving deep, remember this saying:
Tough Times Don’t Last; Tough People Do
These are tough times for us and I hope everyone is safe and ensuring the dos and don'ts in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This one tiny virus has brought the world to its knees. We are now in self-isolation mode and homebound for an uncertain period.
While this is not a new transformation for me, I have had several people asking me for tips to survive this sudden change in their lifestyle. This gave me the idea for a blog post, which I want to share for the benefit of the larger community who are probably in their pajamas as they Work From Home (WFH).
So, whoever is reading this, I hope the tips help you in these trying times. Read on:
DO NOT Treat this as a Holiday/Vacation: Yes, you read it right. For a person who goes regularly to the office and loves to coordinate with colleagues, WFH is a radical shift. To them, it may feel like a continual holiday period. However, this should not be the case. Don't treat this time to relax, but to have a balanced schedule consisting of professional and personal goals.
Set up an Office Space for Yourself: Be like Sheldon Cooper from the Big Bang Theory. Pick a spot for yourself to work from. If you get the choice, go for a place with the least footfalls. Ergo, think of no TV in the vicinity, no children or pets to distract you at least during your working hours. Also, ensure that it has plenty of light and plug points. Don’t forget to personalize the space to be motivated daily. I have a succulent on my desk for the company and trust me, it works.
Set a Routine: Set a routine for yourself. Wake up time- Workouts-Breakfast- Lunch-Tea breaks, et al. Breaks are essential not just to refresh your mind, but also to be physically more active. Use the breaks to do some basic stretching or take a walk to sip your coffee or tea. Before I forget adding, we have a daily stand-up, which is when we face time on Zoom with our colleagues. This is a great start to our day and keeps us all aligned. Practice this daily to cut down monotony.
Take Frequent Small Breaks: Feel free to take a 5 min break when a task is completed; this can work as your reward. Ideally, you can take up physical activities during the breaks as mentioned in the pointer above. But alternatively, you can watch some online videos provided that you don’t exceed the break time by a large margin!
Set Daily Tasks: Setting daily tasks is a crucial step. Ideally, you need to prepare for the next day the night before. Keep the list a bit longer than usual to be more productive. I maintain notes of my pending tasks and always make sure that the task is completed within that day itself and isn’t carried forward. Doing this will allow you to spend more time for yourself and your family. This period is when you can focus on your health and work. So, make the most of the both by prioritising and creating a sense of urgency.
DO NOT Break the Flow: When your tasks are completed for the day a bit earlier than you anticipated, you can use the remaining time for your career growth. For instance, you might want to do some certifications, read something related to your industry, write some blogs, etc. It is also the time when you can organize your files systematically, take backups on the cloud, track previous work and so on. This will train your mind to keep at it without getting distracted easily.
Keep the Conversations Going: Remote working can be lonely at times. This is when you can cut down the silence with some interactions with your colleagues. It doesn’t harm to have a merry banter on and off for 5-10 minutes with the people you work with. It also helps bond as a team.
Dress up: Fine. I get it that pajamas are everyone’s go-to clothes when they are working from home. But trust me, dressing up does help you a lot. You don’t have to suit up every day, but maybe dress in smart casuals or wear a shirt on some days you are face timing with the clients!
The list of tips can go on, but I must draw the line here.
Folks, these are desperate times and these call for desperate measures. As we remain self-isolated for a longer duration, let’s make the most of it. Remember, it is not just the “Survival of the fittest…but also the survival of the Disciplined”
Let's vow to be disciplined and together we will excel!!!