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As someone who always works at home, I thought it might be helpful to share some of my tips and tricks for those of you new to it. It's really just a bit of wisdom I've gathered from others over the years. I'm sorry that it's hard for a lot of you. I have compassion for the adjustment you are going through. Honestly, I find comfort in being home and having the people I love around me.
1. Wake every morning and make your bed. Put on something other than your PJs and eat breakfast. Establish your routine where you accomplish even a small thing early. I get up and workout first thing on the days I can. If you can’t get out of your house (rain, etc) try to do something to get the blood flowing.
2. Review your schedule for the week on Monday. Build in time for getting out of the house for a social distance walk or run by looking at the forecast and then schedule the outside time on your calendar.
3. Zoom or FaceTime at least once a day with a colleague, a friend or even an elderly person somewhere who needs company (my 80 year old father is always available).
4. Budget analog time on your calendar. Read a book or journal. I can recommend fiction, non-fiction, self improvement or career improvement (if you haven’t read Dare to Lead or Daring Greatly by Brene Brown, they are excellent!). Write an old fashioned letter. We sent post cards from our trip to retirement homes who can’t get visitors. If you don’t meditate, try it! Breathe is a great app (5-6 mins for meditation).
5. Work in a space if you can designate it that is away from the rest of your life. I’m lucky enough to have an office, but I’m not gonna lie, on rainy days where I am exhausted, or if one of the kids is in my office distance learning, I work from my bed on a laptop desk. Forgive yourself for needing that!
6. GET UP EVERY HOUR. For a minute or two. And mark it down on a piece of paper. You should rack up at least 12 stand up and move around minutes a day (Apple Watch helps). Warning: Sometimes I get up and go get food. I have no solutions for this other than a padlock on fridge and cupboard.
7. Pay attention to your posture in your desk chair. Activate your core.
8. Eat your lunch in the kitchen away from your computer (double up with your analog read time, maybe!)
9. Our family schedules evening activities together (a movie, Texas hold ‘em tournaments, last night we did an escape room in a box). It has been a long time since my kids were little, and I know this is especially challenging for people with small ones. Maybe you can comment with what you are doing to cope?
10. Try to stay positive. I know this is new for a lot of you. I personally love working this way and am far more productive. I do try to set boundaries so I am not working 24/7. Limit Facebook and other social media if they are a negative force in your life. There are lots of positive things to follow. If you don't work outside the home normally, start that hobby you've been putting off.
You may not be able to do this all at once, but try at least one or two a day and develop some habits.
This too shall pass. I promise.
If this helps you, great. If not, I totally understand. "Be the water, not the rock."