How to Productively Work from Home During COVID19 Lockdown

The Rush To Leave the House

I don’t know about you, but I miss waking up early , putting my suite on, then rushing to leave the house before the morning traffic, then reaching the office before everyone else does, making my coffee and starting to check my emails.

The Divider

There is something phenomenal about leaving the house to go to work, it’s like a divider in your file, it clearly separates your personal life from your professional life. You leave one place with all it’s worries and joys and you physically move to another realm. It’s like having a wedding party that clearly cuts your life in two halves.

Early this year, the whole world witnessed a new norm:

Working from home.

Working from home is a blessing, but it gets overwhelming if we don’t organize it properly. Add to that the stress of a new life, a new world order, a new norm and it becomes stressful.

The Luxury

Imagine you had your own home office that was stylishly decorated to suit your needs, you would wake up in the morning, go to your home gym, exercise on the sound of Pink singing on your surround system that is being played over Spotify, you would then finish your workout, sit in your sauna for a couple of minutes as you mindfully meditate. Time passes without your knowing, then afterwards you go jump in your swimming pool, make your lapses, before you hit the shower, it’s your favorite rain shower bath, you then get out, put on a towel or two to cover up a bit, then hit the kitchen to make yourself a green smoothie. You devour that, contemplate the idea of getting dressed, then you decide f***k it, I have no calls this morning. As you enter your office, you ask Alexa to play your favorite Bossa nova, you make yourself an espresso, sit on your desk, and start your work day.

On the Other Side of Luxury

While you have had an amazing and very refreshing morning and you are now ready to change the world today, Jolly, your neighbor hasn’t had the same morning. You see Jolly is a single mom for two kids, Sammy and Tobby aged 1 and 3. Jolly spent half her night trying to finish that report that was due yesterday but couldnt finish it since Tobby was sick puking all day and she was cleanign after him. The next half of her night was interrumpted by Sammy’s screems and crying. She was finally out of her bed at 5am since Tobby called it a night and since the kids no longer has clothes nor food, so she needs to do the laundry and cook. she makes herself a cup of coffee after finishing th laundry, then little sammy spills it on the clean clothes. it’s 8am already and she needs to start work, she begs Tobby and Sammy to go play in their room, but they are fighting, they want to sit near mummy on the kitchen table, oh, I forgot to tell you that Jolly works on the kitchen table since her house is small. After much begging and negotiations, she convinces them to go to their room and start playing. it 8:42am, that’s better than yesterday, she starts checking her emails, it’s a tough day, she has to submit another report by 4pm this time. She knows that her boss is not very supportive of her being late, he has no clue what is happening in her personal life and she has not mentioned it, she doesn’t want to look weak, he wants an excuse to give that promotion to Natasha.

She cannot put the kids at daycare since they are closed due to the lockdown, her mom is in another state and she has no one to support with the kids.

COVID Took us all off-guard

While each and every one of us has their own COVID19 lockdown story, they all have one thing in common.

COVID took us all off-guard.

We were never expecting anything like that.

We were not ready.

We didn’t have enough time to create plans to deal with it.

Catch the Signs

I do not want to dwell on COVID and it’s implications on our lives, I want to share some tips that will help us all productively work from home.

By the way, if you are not working and you are wondering what to do with your time, here are 161 things to do while quarantined at home.

Anyway, back to the signs, here are some signs to look for and realize that there is something wrong with your work productivity.

  1. You feel that you are slow in getting the work done
  2. You used to get more work done in the office
  3. Your colleagues are always asking you for your unfinished work that is affecting their work
  4. You know your work performance and know that this is not you performing to your optimum
  5. You are trying to focus on the work, but it doesnt seem to be working
How to Productively Work from Home During COVID19 Lockdown

How to Productively Work from Home During COVID19 Lockdown

  1. Make sure to have your own space. No matter how tiny your house is, you can get three boxes and lay them on top of one another and create your own desk. Make sure to fill them with stuff so they don’t fall and you break your laptop. Having your own space will help create a new routine of going to your desk.
  2. Find the most quiet place you can find. If your house is small and the laundry room is the quietest place, then the washing machine will be your new desk.
  3. Put on your earphones. Even if you have your own office, sometimes you cannot block noise. I have my office in a second floor of the house and I can still hear my kids scream and cry. An no matter how focused I am, I get distracted thinking “why are they crying, did they fall, etc” and here goes my thread of thinking. Earphones help block then nosie a bit. If you have or can borrow from someone some noise canceling earphones, then these will be your best friends.
  4. Create a new routine. While you used to leave the house at 7am and come back at 7pm, you now have less tome commuting, you have less time socializing in the office and thus you won more time to have a longer lunch, or take a nap in the afternoon. Employers now know that work and life have been integrated together and smart employers are now embracing this new lifestyle because it is making their employees happier in their personal lives and thus more productive at work.
  5. Communicate better. While you might have been used to communicating with your team members, you need to communicate even better now. This communication needs to be in terms of work being done as well as drawbacks and challenges being faced. You did not start COVID and it’s not your fault that you are stuck working from home.
  6. Use smart apps and software. While you now have to organize your work and your team’s work remotely, you can benefit from applications and software to do that, you will love them. I recommend Asana, it’s perfect. By the way, this is not an affiliate link nor an ad!
  7. Get dressed in the morning. Yes please, don’t stay all day in your pajamas and I didn’t want to write this alone, but please shower daily. When you get dressed every day and you take care of your personal grooming, you feel more energized and you separate the sleep from the work.
  8. Build positive habits. Depending on how far your work location was, and the time you spent commuting, you now have additional time at hand. Use this additional time to build positive healthy habits like exercising, waking in nature, reading, journaling, meditating, etc. Read more about #Chantals2020WeeklyChallenge and what we have been doing all year to improve our year.

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If you have kids, you need additional measure

  1. Try to split the time with the kids between you and your partner (if you have one). This will be very hard, but COVID is COVID and until daycare opens and you decide to send back your kids to daycare or school, you have to deal with it.
  2. It’s okay to divert from your rules. If TV was a no no, you might need a quiet 20 minutes, so make an informed decision and decide what educational videos to play on TV.
  3. Listen to your kids. Sometimes all the nagging can be quieted with you coming near them to see their chef d’oeuvre. Or maybe they want some kisses and cuddles.
  4. Kids’ job is to piss you. Remember how when you want them to sleep early and go out, they stay up, have fever and decide they cannot sleep without you. Remember this and try to reduce the stress of ” i have something to finish and you want a kiss” if they feel that you are busy with something else, then they will make sure to make your life miserable.
  5. Find a virtual support group. You need all the ideas and psychological help you can get and they best way to get it is from other parents who are passing through the same thing.

Here you have it, some tips for productively working from home during COVID19 lockdown.

Are there any tips that I forgot to mention?! Share them below.

Remember, what doesn’t kill you will make you stronger. ~ Nietzsche

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