How to Stay Connected and Productive When You’re Working from Home
As I write this we are in the early days of “social distancing” in Toronto in an effort to reduce the impact and spread of COVID-19. For many of us it means working from home, possibly for the first time. If you’re not used to it, working out of your home can be lonely, and being outside your regular workday routine can affect your productivity. Here are a few ways to stay connected and productive when you’re working from home.
Stay connected virtually.
I wish they’d coined a different phrase for social distancing. What we need right now is physical distance not social distance. As humans, we need social interaction in order to thrive. But just because we’re practising social distancing doesn’t mean we can’t be social. There are lots of tools available that can allow us to meet virtually either one-on-one or in groups. FaceTime, Google Hangouts Meet, Skype and Zoom are just a few tools you can use to teleconference and stay connected. Schedule time into your day to check in with team members or partners to connect or collaborate.
Create your ideal day.
When you’re not used to working from home, it can be easy to get distracted and wind up off task, or get so absorbed in your work you forget to take care of yourself. Create a schedule of what you’d like your ideal day to look like. Include all the things you need to get done in a typical day as well as the self-care time you need to look after yourself. Your days may not always play out the way you plan, but at least you have a road map for how they should unfold. Here’s what mine looks like for the next few weeks.
I know I just mentioned this in the tip above, but it’s worth repeating. Build in time to take care of yourself. When you’re working from home, it’s tempting to go straight from your bedroom to your desk and work late into to the night. While you might feel super-productive at first, you’ll soon head down the road to burn-out. Make sure you make time in your day to do the things that fill you up and give you energy. Exercise, read, meditate, go outside — you’ll feel so much more productive and fulfilled when you take time to take care of yourself.
Support your local small businesses.
While you’re out there getting some fresh air, stop in at a local small business. They need our support now more than ever. Help spread the sense of connection so we can get through this together.