Recently, a meme resonated with me in this crazy week: ‘your grandparents were called to go to war while you are called to sit on the couch….’.
Though this may be true, I’m concerned that our generation will struggle deeply with the effect and beyond. Today our world revolves around interaction.
Despite attachment to headsets and live streams, personal, human connection remains critical to a healthy existence. In the wake of this current nightmare or annoyance (however you view it), extroverts, like myself, will undoubtedly suffer. At Bubble, in order to contribute comfort and relief, we put together a ‘how to’ blog post on ways to work from home.
While working from home may seem like a dream situation, there are caveats that prevent many from successfully implementing the work-style. Focus and continual productivity away from the ‘normal’ workplace, can be a challenge.
Domestic distractions can be powerful temptations to engage in more entertaining activities. Or, if you have one of those OCD genes, domestic tasks can draw you away from the employment work at hand. Here are a few suggestions to remain work-focused and driven, even in your PJ’s.
Step One: Create a dedicated workstation.
If the couch and your lap support the work computer, chances are, reruns of The Office will divert your attention. Surely, we agree that Michael Scott captivates any audience far more than an employment task. Excel spreadsheets versus the “Dundee’s”.
Duh. No competition! Trust me, I’ve likely watched the entire series 4-5 times… on the low side. I assert confidently, that I am not alone. Moral of Step One: Secure the likelihood of successful productivity and create a proper workstation …. Mega-desk included. The couch is for respite, not work.
Step Two: Set Work Schedule Hours.
Prepare to go to work as normal on a commute that is steps away instead of miles. Establish a routine start time, break time and lunch period.
List these times on your daily calendar and share with your supervisor and/or associates to provide clarity and accountability in your daily schedule for all and especially, you! A solid schedule avoids detours created by household distractions. Without it you’ll find tasks you would otherwise overlook.
Human nature is weak. Minimize barriers and fortify yourself mentally, to focus and execute!
Step Three: Abide by your Work Schedule.
If you set it, don’t forget it! As mentioned, there are countless potential distractions. For example, there are two – 12 week-old puppies curled up at my feet.
Imagine fighting the challenge to play with them in a moment of writers’ block! They are the cutest enticements ever! To self-govern, I set incremental goals to complete before a distraction is allowed to overrule: write one more paragraph, send one more email, call my boss for task guidance or motivation, etc.
Step Four: Plan meetings and “Happy Hours” as usual !
In this magnificent and sometimes, overwhelming, world of technology, Skype meetings or Skype Happy Hours are very convenient to create! Priorities rule and Work remains the priority thanks to the work schedule in place (See Step Two!).
This includes Work Meetings. Simultaneously, don’t restrict yourself from the outside world. There are numerous avenues to communicate besides phone calls and emails. Initiate connection with variety.
The comforting aspect, literally comforting, is that you can rock business on top and loungewear on the bottom! Yes, wear your business-collared shirt with the cute (or handsome) blazer and sport PJ bottoms and slippers under the table!
Similarly, consider “Happy Hour” encounters where you can easily break into a bottle of wine or make that ‘corona-tini’ for an employee exchange and unwind in this resourceful means of connection in a world gone crazy. Do not allow the virus to interfere with, or compromise work relationships! It remains an opportunity to vent and share common experiences, lessons and victories in life and work. An added upside, no concern for the drive home.
Step Five: At the end of today, layout tomorrow’s itinerary.
It’s wise to keep work flowin’, when you’re goin! You’re in a groove by the end of the day and more focused, so keep it rolling! Write task lists for the next days’ calendar and designate importance with bullet points, so you can dive right in when you ‘arrive’ at the office.
It is the perfect distraction-buster for what lies around every household corner and key to a strong start that secures a solid finish of another productive day.