Commit to a routine
Committing to a variation of your usual work routine will help keep a sense of normality, allowing you to feel the same mindset you would feel walking through the doors of your office as well as when leaving your workspace. It’s more important than ever to prioritise your health and I don’t mean purely physical - mental should be a key focus at the moment. Make sure you are moving each day and allowing your mind time to process.
My routine at the moment consists of a KIC workout to get me up and moving, I then shower and get dressed properly for the day (do not stay in your PJ’s all day!). I have then started practising gratitude to remind myself of the great things I have in my life and speak with my family or friends via video chat, similar to how I would normally call my friends and family on my way to work.
When you do get stuck into your work make sure you take breaks, otherwise you will just burn out. Go eat your lunch outside in your garden or on your balcony if you have one, so you’re conscious of meal breaks and enjoy that moment.
Set goals for each day and list priorities
Plan your workday out like you normally would. After I go through my emails each morning, I create a checklist of what needs to be done, prioritise the list and then set goals for that day. Goals are so important to remain motivated because once you start ticking them off you want to keep going!
Create a workspace
Having a completely separate workspace at home will maintain that professional mindset when you are in that space, and when you step away from your workspace you can have a mental break and reset.
If you are sitting on the couch and working and then having your lunch in the same spot, followed by Netflix or reading at night you will feel trapped. After a couple of days, it will be really hard to stay motivated every time you go to that spot. Not everyone will be able to have a different room to be in but keep your workspace separate from the couch or your chill-out space. Having a proper chair for posture and a table or desk to mimic how you would sit at work will really help.
Just because you are isolated at home doesn’t mean communication needs to stop! In fact, remaining socially and professionally connected is probably more important now than ever. This helps keep you motivated but also gives you access to the ‘outside world’. Set up a virtual date on your lunch break or lock in a video call with all your friends over a glass of wine before dinner.
Try to minimise distractions around you when you are working. Having a furry friend can be hard, so take them for a big run in the morning so they can sleep for most of the day, then take them for another run just before dinner. This will hopefully tire them out and get you outside and moving.
Home tasks such as washing and cleaning can also be hard to avoid when you are working in the same space. Set time around your work hours and make sure your focus then is work. Household tasks can wait!
Set after-work plans
This is to keep a bit of pressure on yourself time-wise. If you don't have anything scheduled for the end of the day you may delay work or take longer than you should to complete certain tasks, with nothing coming up to help you get a wriggle on! Creating an after-work plan like a scheduled call with your family, committing to an online workout and locking yourself into cooking dinner or a show is a good way to avoid procrastination.
Keep your weekends
Being at home all the time can make it feel like the days roll into one. It’s so important to have weekend plans that are separate from your week like you usually would. Challenging yourself with tasks on the weekend like picking recipes to try and master, make a veggie patch or set up a house party with your friends and have a group virtual dinner on Saturday night. This gives you something to look forward to and breaks your week up.
On a final note, it’s critical we are all looking at the big picture. Focus on your mental health, keep your body moving, continue to reach out to people and remain connected and I believe we will all come out of this much more resilient.