First things first: you have to have a routine. Without that, it'll be pretty tough to do your job and more importantly to separate out work from rest time. Especially making a distinction between the working week and weekends. Doubly important when we are all self isolating. Here are some tips around getting that right:
1. Get up the same time every day in the working week: in fact get up the time you usually get up to head into work, as sometime soon (we hope), you'll back to the commute. If that means you now have a few hours before the working day. This is your chance to do some exercise, learn a language or whatever rocks you boat and can be done safely inside. I personally do exercise and learn french using Dualingo.
2. Start and finish work at a set time: make it clear to yourself this is work time.
3. Even though we can't go out and meet people. It's the 2020s, there are so many tools you can use to communicate with colleagues and customers. I personally use a combination of Telegram and WhatsApp for talking to colleagues and Skype, Zoom and Google Hangouts for meetings. Make sure you and your team have something which works well to keep you communicating easily. We always start the day with a call to discuss what we need to do and also to chew the cud. Chewing the cud is important. Just because you can't physically meet, you can still make time to find out how everyone is and get some people time. We are sociable animals after all.
4. For managing your workload, there are loads of tools out there. We use a combination of Google docs and Trello. It's easy to build a list of things to do and it helps you keep to it.
5. You'll find you will get more done working at home than in the office: working from home, means working without distractions. No more pointless meetings or people showing you funny cat videos. The result is you should get through stuff quicker. That's great, as you can reward yourself with breaks. Be careful not to over do it, as you can find yourself stuck at your desks for hours. If you create a list of things to do and you nail it. Stop and enjoy the moment! It'll also give you more time for your family or other fun things.
6. If you find you have time on your hands, don't waste it. Use the opportunity to read up on your job and do some research. In a changing world, taking time to learn new skills is good for the noggin and good for your career. It also provides structure in your day and keeps you feeling good.
7. Don't sit on your arse all day, its as bad as smoking. Make sure you get up regularly. If you can safely walk outside or cycle, why not build this into your day. I've also started using VR games like Superhot, Beat Sabre on my Oculus Quest to help keep me moving. More on VR in a later post.
8. Drink lots of water, which will also help get you up out of your seat occasionally.
9. Remember to take lunch and breaks. It's important to keep structure to your day and give your noggin downtime. It also gives you time to socialise with your family, cats, partners, housemates etc... You can also use it as time to call friends and family, especially those who might be lonely.
10. Turn off your email and work communications at night. It's healthy to have downtime. I don't check my mail between 7pm and 8am. It helps to separate work day from me time. Just because you are working from home, remember it's still your home not your office, so this is important.
Next post will be about some exercise tips working from home