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Working While Quarantined

During this pandemic many of us are starting our days stumbling from our bedrooms and trying to wake up as we begin working in a newly designed office space, at home. We now find ourselves trying to clear table space, kick toys out of the way, and avoid obstacles such as our bed or couch. Are you wondering how to be productive in a setting where we are used to sharing time with family, watching television, or playing with your dog? Are you having trouble balancing your time between the roles we play at home and work?

I am here to tell you how to do this so you can remain sane!

There are ways we can make the most of this time by turning boredom into productivity, hopelessness into optimism, and distraction into action!

Reclaiming Normalcy

Much of what everyone has been experiencing lately is far from the distant, day-to-day, “normal” lives we were all used to. To help maintain our sanity, we need to fight to keep or get back the routines we once had. I know what some of you are thinking. Without a job to travel to, what’s the point? Eventually this incredibly long and unexpected staycation will end. Keeping our typical routines will prepare us for opportunity, help our productivity, and serve to remind ourselves what life was like when we didn’t wear pajamas all day. Regardless of your current employment status here are some ways to maintain your normal…

  • Keep a schedule similar to your typical work day.
    • This includes waking up, getting dressed, going to bed, showering, eating, exercising, taking breaks, entertainment, and family time.
    • Try to plan these events at the same time every day with technology to set alarms/notifications, or display your plan by writing it on a calendar or dry erase board.
    • Create a designated work space. A desk, or table is best. Find a quiet area if possible and try to plan your work time with family members to avoid unwelcomed noise or distractions.
  • Take care of yourself by maintaining your mental and physical health.
    •  Plan time to exercise! It doesn’t have to be strenuous or a test of your endurance. Even a couple minutes a day can be helpful.
    •  Practice good hygiene! I get it, maybe you have nowhere to go and no one you want to impress. Good physical health leads to good mental health.
    • Find ways to be social! Call family, video chat, plan virtual hang out time.
    • Enjoy some quiet time by meditating. Focus on slow rhythmic breathing to distract your mind from the world around you for a few minutes.

Thriving While Surviving

It is possible to turn this dreadful, bleak, and uncertain time into an opportunity to achieve personal and professional growth. So, take those covers off your head and look around you! Now could be your chance to evaluate your goals and generate a plan to get what you want out of life. A wise man once said: “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.”…

  • Work with purpose regardless of whether or not you are employed.
    • Create to-do lists! Organize and prioritize work you need to complete. This could be assigned tasks from a supervisor while working remotely, or projects you’ve been avoiding around the house. For daily tasks, such as checking/responding to emails, routine assignments, or housework, try scheduling the same time to address these tasks each day.
    • Regiment your time to get the most out of your productivity. Try the Pomodoro method. Work for 25 minutes then take a break for 5. Do this 4 times, and after the 5th work session, allow yourself to have a longer break of 15-30 minutes, then repeat the process. Alternatively, work for 60-90 minutes at a time but allow for a longer break time between work sessions, like 20-30 minutes.
  • You are not quarantined from yourself.
    • You may be restricted to your physical property, but there is no boundary around your intellectual property. Be at peace with what you cannot control, and take solace in the fact that you have control over your thoughts and actions. You can take your mind on a journey of discovery to learn about yourself or the world around you.
    • Develop skills! Whether it is time management, professional etiquette, or communication skills. What can you do to make yourself a better person, employee, or candidate for a new career? Research! Read! Write! Learn!

Quarantined While Working

Now is our chance to regain order in our lives. A great opportunity is upon us! We can all come out of this pandemic as better people. There will come a time when we will reflect on this present situation. Will we remember if we treated this abundance of time as a gift? Make the most of your minutes and power through your hours. When it’s time to work away from home again, we will be ready.