With the enactment of Governor Pritzker’s Executive Order 2020-10, many of us are now working from home when we have never done so before. It can certainly be an adjustment, but it is possible. Here are 3 tips to help you rock the new work-from-home lifestyle you have to embrace:
1. Create a Workspace
The first thing that you should do is create a workspace dedicated to working from home. If you do not have a dedicated “office,” don’t worry! You just need a workspace that is functional during the hours you will be working. If you have to set up a temporary workspace at the dining room table during the day, then tear it down to enjoy dinner by yourself, then do what you have to do to ensure you have an effective workspace while you are working.
In addition to creating a workspace, make sure you have the supplies you need. You can’t work effectively if you are missing supplies you need to make your work life easier. Maybe this means you need to pick up some pens, a pad or two of paper, and a paper organizer. Maybe it means you need to buy a mouse for your laptop. Whatever it is you need, make sure that you are stocked up on the supplies that will make you as productive as possible.
2. Create a Schedule
If you usually work from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., try to keep your “working time” as close to your usual workday as possible. This will make it easier to ensure that you are working at your most productive times; times when you are already used to being at work and getting your work done. In addition to working during your usual work times, make a schedule for your workday. This will prevent you from spending half of the day taking breaks. There is no standard schedule that works for everyone, so you might have to play around until you figure out what works for you.
There are many things that may be included in a schedule that you may not have considered. For example, in order to keep yourself on a schedule, go ahead and schedule in your time to wake up, shower, and eat meals. Whatever it is you do before work, put it in the schedule so your brain registers that it’s time to wake up and get stuff done. This will set the entire tone for your day. And don’t forget to build in a five-minute break every hour. Utilize this time to decompress—whether it’s playing a bit of your favorite game on your phone, scrolling through social media, or going for a quick walk. There are many great ways to give your brain a break during the workday.
In addition to creating a schedule for yourself, make sure your family members or roommates understand that you are working from home and that it is important that you are not disrupted unless an emergency comes up. This will help set boundaries and hopefully avoid the frustration of being interrupted while trying to get things done.
3. Be Flexible
If you were not previously set up to work from home, please be patient with yourself. Remember that this is something new for you, and there will be kinks to work through. It’s okay if you have some hiccups in the first few days of working from home. Just remember that this is your new normal for a little bit, and it’s okay to have a few bumps in the road. Be ready to adapt to these changes and embrace them. If you’re having more issues than expected, look for tips on YouTube to maximize your at-home efficiency. Your perseverance in a trying time will make you a better employee (and person) in the long run.
Everyone is going through changes in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. One of these changes is mass work-from-home due to being required to stay at home except for essential travel. Use these tips to make sure you’re ready to shine in your new normal. You may have a few hiccups, but you’re more than capable of becoming a work-from-home rock star!
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