7 Tips to Survive Working From Home During the Pandemic

With the coronavirus sweeping the world, more people than ever before have found themselves working from home. It’s a new situation, and it’s going to take time to adjust. In a way, everyone is in the same boat, but everyone is also different. We are all having unique experiences, even though we’re going through the same thing.

The important thing is to have compassion and understanding for yourself and others. What you’re going through is a challenge, but it is one that can strengthen you if you let it. Changing how you approach work can create positive outcomes for you. It’s only by being put in a completely new situation like this that you can rethink things in new ways.

Here are seven tips for surviving working from home during the pandemic.

1. Have a Designated Workspace

Set aside space in the house to use as your workspace. Sitting down at your desk is a clear sign to your brain that you need to focus on work. Take it a step further by avoiding your home office when you aren’t working. This also means resisting the urge to complete professional obligations at the end of your working day. It’s harder to talk yourself out of doing work when you work from home, but you need to do it to stay sane and keep work and home life separate.

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2. Move Around More

Why not set up several spaces for work if having a mobile workspace makes it easier for you to focus? Working in different spots of the house can also improve your posture because it forces you to change how you sit. Spending a set amount of time in each location also helps with time management.

The important thing is to have an ergonomic workspace environment. This eliminates risk factors for musculoskeletal injuries and improves your productivity. Working from your bed or couch sounds nice and comfy, but using your laptop for an extended period of time on your sofa is going to strain your neck and back.

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3. Prepare for the Working Day

Working from home is no excuse not to have a morning routine. Have breakfast, take a shower, and dress in appropriate clothing. If you usually hit the gym on the way to work, then why not do some strength training and bodyweight exercises at home instead? Try to keep your routine as close to your regular one as possible.

Set aside some clothes to use as “work clothes” and change in to them. Don’t forget to fix up your hair and make-up if you usually do, even if you’re the only person who is going to see you.

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4. Have a Schedule

Put together a proper daily schedule and have it written down. Create a digital plan on your phone or computer or write it down on paper and put it where you can see it. Create a to-do list broken down into different categories sorted by how important they are.

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5. Have an Eating Plan

Having a schedule means planning your meals ahead of time. Try to plan out the meals you want at the start of the week or even at the beginning of the day. Knowing what you want to eat will prevent you from working until you are so hungry you eat anything you can get. Focus on good foods that boost concentration and memory like eggs and dark chocolate. Avoid foods that are bad for you like refined carbs and processed foods.

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6. Create a Pop-Up Office

Not everyone has a desk or an office and need to improvise. Pop a cushion on the floor and work on your coffee table. Find a folding table and move it around the house during the day. Create a makeshift desk with a basket or by resting your computer on a table or your bed. The important thing is to listen to your body and adjust yourself if you start feeling pain.

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7. Clear the Clutter

Whether you have a proper desk or not, you want to work in a calm atmosphere. That means clearing out the clutter in your work area. Add a touch of luxury with a diffuser or incense to boost brain function and energy levels.

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The Bottom Line

Even if you didn’t plan to be working from home right now, nothing is stopping you from making the most of it. Humans are highly adaptable, so believe in your ability to adapt and make the changes you need to thrive right now. Who knows, you might never want to go back to the office again!

Freelance graphic designer; I've been working from home since I left University 12 years ago.

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