How To Stay Productive & Sane WFH In Quarantine

COVID-19 probably wasn’t a part of your Q1 predictions, but here we are, away from the office and at home to stay safe.

Working from home the occasional half-day is one thing, but after a few weeks, it makes for a completely new way of working. It’s a new normal with a fresh set of challenges, and to set you up, we have our best tips from the GeistM community.

Here are the secrets to work-from-home success:

Put on new clothes every day (yes, they can be pajamas!).

To keep the days from blurring into each other even more than they are, put on fresh clothes every single day. Don’t bother with the blue jeans if the farthest you’re going is from your kitchen to your bedroom - you can even put on pajamas or sweats to stay comfortable, but remember to stay work-appropriate from the torso up if you have calls.

Find Your Quiet.

Quarantining with noisy kids or pets? You need a quiet space for working or phone calls. If you don’t have a secluded home office space, check out every nook and cranny in your home, including the closets to find your peace of mind

Also, find the mute button on all of your video chat programs. You don’t want to be desperately looking for it when you have to tell your cat to get off the counter. Get fresh air every day.

If you have open space near you, try to take a walk every day to clear your head. Even opening a window or pulling back a curtain for extra light will make working feel so much nicer, and much less like you’re “stuck.”

Have a plan for lunch.

Don’t let it get to 1pm to discover you’re starving with nothing to eat. Stock up on crock pot recipe ingredients you can set up in the a.m., make dinners or meal kits with enough leftovers for the next day, or have easy-to-make essentials like sandwich bread and fix-ins on hand for quick meals.

Video chat when you can.

When presented with the option to set up video or audio only, go with video. It shows that you aren’t multitasking, and presents a more personal front - and we could all use a little more human connection during this tricky time.

For long-time clients especially, the effort goes a long way, and they’ll have extra fondness for your partnership in the future.

Put a limit on social media.

Without anyone looking over your shoulder, it’s easier to get sucked into a social media hole of darkness. Place your phone in a different room or use a service like OffTime or SelfControl to block certain sites and apps.

Stretch & rest your eyes.

You may be used to staring at a screen for many hours, but without a change of scenery or Karen from HR chatting with you about her hot pepper plant, it can be rough on your eyes. Invest in a pair of blue light glasses if you can, and use the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.

Also, don’t forget to stretch! Lift your arms as high as they can go and take a big inhale or stand up and bend over at the waist one or two times a day. To give our healthcare providers the best chance at handling this virus, we could be cooped up for the foreseeable future.

This is a strange, new, and reflective period, and to handle it right, we need to take care of ourselves, and our work families.

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