Wednesday 18 March 2020

The Best Tips For Working From Home

The global pandemic that is COVID-19, or commonly known as the Coronavirus, is effecting everyone right now. I know personally, here in Colombo, the country's kind of come to a stand still; the airport has stopped all incoming & outgoing flights, the school's are closed for a month, there's petrol shortage (which baffles me) and shop aisles are bare. It's a crazy time and we have to look after ourselves first. Rule number one is wash your hands! Soap and water is all it takes, and if you're out, keep that hand sanitiser on you.

Some of us might already be working from home, some of us might be making the decision too. Here's the thing about working from home, it can be distracting. You can get lazy (like me). You can procrastinate and easily distracted (like me). You can have a lack of motivation (like me). All jokes aside, I'm not that bad (I have my reasons for some of my inactivity - my camera battery being number one reason but I will not let it stop me). 

But as you move towards such a precaution, you might just feel like starting to slack because you're in the comfort of your own home. I'm come up with a few tips on how to successfully work from home. 

1. Schedule it.
The night before you even start work, make a schedule or a to-do list of what needs to be done the following day. Prioritise the important things first - it is said that your brain works it's best earlier in the day so use that to your advantage, even if you aren't much of a morning person. Keeping yourself organised and having that to-do list written down or open on a document on your laptop/computer to remind you of the day's work will keep you focused. 

2. Sound the alarm!
Set that alarm and set as many reminders as you need. Some of us only need one alarm, others need an extra. Keep that thing loud and close enough so you don't ignore it and get up when it sounds off. Don't give yourself that cheeky five minutes extra because you know you probably wouldn't on a normal work day. 

3. Dress for success.
I'm not expecting you to wear your regular office wear at home, but make sure you wear something that isn't your pyjamas or too comfy loungewear. If you are comfy in jeans at home, put on a pair with a t-shirt. Casual wear will be perfect for this, so you know that you're dressed - it puts you in that mindset that this is not just the weekend, it's a workday. If you want to opt for loungewear, don't go for anything that's too cosy and makes you want to have a nap. Trust me, I've been there. Try leggings and a sweatshirt, or if sweatpants and a t-shirt. As well as this, make yourself do your regular beauty routine - all the skincare goodness that your face deserves everyday and a little bit of make-up. I'm not saying a full face, but a little bit of concealer, maybe mascara and a touch of something on the lips will have you feeling a little more "ready", even if you aren't going anywhere. 

4. Sit at a desk as you would in the office. 
I can't stress this enough if you're someone who gets distracted or procrastinates. Having a clean, organised desk space to work at will keep that focus in check. You won't be as tempted to distraction. If you are good at keeping yourself in check and can work from the comfort of your sofa or bed, good on you. Do that if it keeps you going, if you are full comfortable. But if you know that part of your brain that doesn't want to do work starts creeping it's little thoughts to the forefront of your brain, then be at a desk or even your kitchen counter, or dining table. Somewhere that is desk like will work wonders.

5. Hydration and snacks to keep your energy up.
Always, always, always keep that litre bottle of water with you, by your side. If you don't have a bottle, keep a glass and refill it throughout the day. Water is your best friend - it's not just good for your hydration, but it's good for your skin and your health. It's better to not rely on energy or fizzy drinks because they'll make you drowsy later. Water is number one, and you can even go for a tea or coffee when needed. When it comes to snacks, go for the healthier options! Do not go for sugar or crisps because remember, you're sitting in front of a desk and working, and the sugar in those will make you feel a lethargic as the day goes on. If you can have granola bars, cereal, veggie sticks, fruit and so on just there for you to pick on, that's a really good idea. 

6. As you would at work, take a break. 
Breaks are important and starting at a computer screen all day is not ideal. Set yourself the same breaks you get a work, or even every hour give yourself a 5 minute break and time it if you feel like you're going to go over it. Obviously have a longer 15 minute break at one point in the day and your regular lunch break, just to give yourself that time to relax the mind and refuel. But just make sure in that time, you get up, stretch your legs and walk around, get some food if you need it and so on. Breaks are just as important as getting the work done because if you're overtired, your focus will be minimal.

These are my main tips for your for when you work from home, but I also want to give you these few extra:

7. Make time for exercise. 
If you're not making it out to the gym at a time like this to avoid crowded places, then make time to do a little home workout. Whether that be early in the morning before you start work or after, take at least 30 mins to an hour to get your blood flowing. Follow a workout that you usually do, find one on YouTube or Instagram or try something new. Maybe try yoga or zumba or dance or something - you can find anything online these days, so go for it. 

8. Sleep is key!
Getting those zees are so important, I cannot stress that enough. Set a bed time in accordance with your wake up time. Get that 7-8 hours sleep, it's important for your brain power but also your health. Nowadays, more and more people are getting less sleep and thinking they can run off of 5 hours or less, then by the early afternoon they feel burnt out. It's not worth it. So make sure you put in the time for sleep. And put your phone down at least half an hour before you go to bed, so that you're not distracted as you sit in bed and scroll and then watch the time run away from you. 

This time my drive people a little stir-crazy; perfect example is the ridiculous amount of toilet paper selling out. Let's all just be smart, be informed and stay safe. Look after yourself, your family and your friends. If you have symptoms, go straight ahead and self-isolate, hydrate and look after yourself. If you're really worried, make sure you go and get yourself checked. Take all the necessary precautions you can, with the number one being wash your hands regularly!

Stay safe my lovelies!

Lots of Love, 

Emily xx

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