5 WAYS TO STAY SANE WHILE WORKING FROM HOME

by Tina Huynh

August 28, 2020

1. Set a schedule

It’s easy to get carried away with that Netflix show you watch every night because it’s the last episode of the season and you know you can hit that “snooze” button a few times because you can “make up” for being late later. Next thing you know, you wake up at noon with a few missed calls from your boss and half the to-do list not completed. You then tell yourself that working from home is not for you.

It can be easy to slack due to lack of supervision when working remotely. However, setting a daily schedule and sticking to it and help increase self-discipline and create good habits for the “work from home” life.

If you’re just now switching from your regular daily job to working remotely, try to wake up at the same time and do everything you would normally do before going to work. Keep up with your regular office hours and take frequent breaks just like how you would normally do when working in office. If you take lunch breaks at work, try to do the same at home at the same time. With all the changes happening and the complete switch in working environment, maintaining some habits can make it easier to adapt.

If your job is fully remote, sticking to a routine makes your day more organized and less stressful.

I wake up early and get dressed and ready as if I am going out to work. It keeps me more energetic and attentive for work.

Neha Aggarwal, Scrum Master / QA Analyst

2. Communicate to people sharing your space

If you’re sharing your living space with someone else, it is important to communicate with them your working schedules and the ground rules you would like them to follow during your working hours so that it is respectful and fair for both, especially if the other person is also working from home. Some things to consider are:

  • Working hours
  • Personal workstations
  • Specific space and times for meetings/calls
  • Sound levels (for example: music)

When these ground rules are thoroughly established and communicated, both you and people sharing space with you can organize activities better and work more effectively.

3. Reduce screen-time

Without being in a workspace with supervision or pressure from coworkers, it is easy to procrastinate by picking up your phone and getting distracted with some new TikToks or aimlessly scrolling through Facebook. Being on your phone reduces productivity and adds to your screen time, which is already high when you’re plugged in all day.

To maintain productivity and a healthy amount of screen-time, it is advisable that you keep your small devices away and set a limit for yourself one how much time you should spend on your phone, both during and after work.

One thing I have been doing is hide my phone in my drawer or somewhere in the room where I can reach fast in case I get a call, but still keeping it out of sight so that I forget about it and don’t get tempted into picking it up randomly without a purpose. “Out of sight, out of mind.”

4. Take frequent breaks

It is easier to get carried away and dismiss breaks when working from home. From eating your lunch in front of the computer or sitting at the desk for hours on end, not giving yourself breaks can be draining and exhausting. Just like how you would take bathroom or coffee breaks at the office, give yourself some time away from your projects and deadlines to walk around, refuel and reset.

I have kept my breaks at fixed time because with the whole family at home, I make sure that everyone take their meal breaks and I can resume my work without any interruptions.

Neha Aggarwal, Scrum Master / QA Analyst

5. Change up the space

Being in the same space at home every day can make anyone feel dull and uninspired, especially when you don’t get out of the house as often. A change of scenery can make a big difference on your perspective and productivity.

If you want to stick to being home for safety, change up your workspace by bring your laptop to the dining table, the living room, the front porch, back yard, or balcony if available. Switch to the lobby or conference room in your complex if you live in an apartment. 

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