Well, it’s been four months and you’re still working from home with no end in sight. What started off as a two week experiment is now indefinite. You may have started off with a routine and somewhere along the line it’s been lost. Or worst yet, life was too chaotic at the onset of the pandemic and you weren’t able to establish a routine. You’ve been running around ever since.
It’s never too late to start up a routine. The most difficult part of a routine is holding yourself accountable to stick with it. At the beginning give yourself some space to fix or adjust it along the way as you see what works and what doesn’t work.
Here are some helpful hints to start:
1. Establish a wake up routine. What time are you waking up and more important what time are you going to sleep each night? Be consistent.
2. Go through your work routine in the morning, you may not need to shave daily or apply make up as if you were going into the office, and while those pajamas are super comfy leave those for night time. Shower, get dressed, and wear real clothes. While you may not need a suit jacket and tie or high heels, you still want to feel like the best version of yourself. If that means putting on perfume, cologne, lip gloss and jewelry, why not do it. It’s a lot of hours in the day to not feel your best. It doesn’t matter that no one will be around to smell your expensive perfume; the most important person is around to smell it, that’s you.
3. If it’s not predetermined by your job, what are your working hours? Be reasonable with what hours you should be working per your job obligations or the contract. If you were in the office and you didn’t complete a task, were you able to complete it the next day? Why is that not the same when you’re working from home?
4. Don’t forget your exercise routine; even just walking around throughout the day. It’s a lot of screen time that most of us are doing when we’re working from home except without the water cooler breaks and conversations with our office mates. We don’t realize how our computer time can be broken up by actual interactions in the office that we don’t have at home.
5. Set a lunch time and stick with it. Along with that schedule some breaks to walk away from your monitor. Plan your lunches with the same forethought you had when going into the office. If available plan for some out of office lunches, even if that just means picking it up or going through the drive thru. It’s something to look forward to.
6. Have a set quitting time, assuming it’s not predetermined by your job. Depending on your job demands you may have to work overtime but make that the rarity rather than the norm.
7. Having a routine and structure for your day will make it easier to manage. Whether that means setting up reminders; I set up calendar reminders for logging in, breaks, lunch and logging off of the computer. Otherwise you can stay in front of the screen a lot longer than you anticipated.
Remember, be kind to yourself. You are not working from home; you are at home working during a pandemic.