Over the past 6 months, the phrase WORK FROM HOME has taken on an entirely new meaning.
Pre-Pandemic, working from home often provided a break or respite from the daily grind of travel or in-person meetings.
What was once perceived as a bonus, a treat, or luxury, has turned into what many describe as Groundhogs Day.
There is no denying the impact that the pandemic has had on our economy, but what about the toll it’s taken to our productivity?
For some, it’s a struggle to stay on task with so many people in the house ALL OF THE TIME.
Others have the opposite problem.
Perhaps you are home alone and miss the energy and camaraderie of being surrounded by your peers in an office.
Our current reality might prohibit us from changing our physical space, but that doesn’t limit us from influencing our mindset.
Young, Old, Single, or Married-The effects of quarantine have created roadblocks we are left to navigate. From daily tasks like making the bed and getting dressed, to finding the energy and motivation to focus on work, home, and life goals.
Regardless of what season of life you’re in, below are 5 things you can do to help increase your productivity while stuck at home.
FOR THE WORKING PARENTS AT HOME WITH KIDS:
- COMMUNICATE. If you are co-parenting under the same roof, it’s imperative that you have a conversation and get on the same page about division of labor and time. Too many people fall into the trap of expecting our partners to be mind readers. If you feel as though you are carrying the majority of the load, ask for help. Remember you’re a team, so let’s work together.
- WRITE IT DOWN. Establish a schedule where each parent can work uninterrupted for a block and then hand the baton to the other parent. Make sure to share your schedule with your boss and team members too, so everyone is on the same page.
- IT’S A TEAM EFFORT.Communicate the schedule with your kids. Print out the schedule so everyone can see “who’s on duty” at certain times. Empower younger kids to take on more responsibility for things like snacks. Teach them to try first, and ask second.
- LOWER THE BAR. Holding yourself to impossible standards during times of a global crisis serves no one. Plus, there’s no award for going out for perfection. Instead, set realistic expectations and short-term goals that will allow you to achieve results and feel a sense of accomplishment. Small wins matter!
- FIND GRATITUDE. When you are in the weeds, it’s hard to look at the big picture. We are so wrapped up in what is immediately in front of us, that we can’t think or see past it. “This too shall pass” is one of my favorite sayings. I know it’s a bit cliche, but it rings true. When you wake up, and once again before bed, find something or someone you are grateful for that day. Creating a habit of acknowledging gratitude, creates a shift in our mindset, forcing the “not-so-great-stuff” to stop weighing us down.
FOR THE LONE SOLDIER AT HOME ALONE:
- STAY CONNECTED. If you can’t physically be around friends or co-workers, set up recurring zoom happy hours, lunch dates or virtual meetups. Physical distancing doesn’t have to equal social distancing.
- TAKE BREAKS. Often, when people are home alone they find themselves working non-stop, which leads to burnout. Build in time for exercise, taking a walk, reading, or watching tv.
- SET A GOAL. Every day can seem like groundhogs day when life seems like it’s on repeat. Challenge yourself to learn something new: whether it’s a new language, a new instrument, or a new skill. Goals (especially fun ones) helps to keep us motivated.
- SHOWER, CHANGE, REPEAT. We don’t always think about the impact that “dressing the part” has on our productivity, but studies show that getting up and “going to work” (even if it’s from the kitchen table) allows our brains to recognize that we are moving from a state of rest to a state of doing.
- FIND GRATITUDE. Feelings of isolation or boredom can easily lead to depression. We often need to dig deep within ourselves to find nuggets of joy in the mundane. “This too shall pass” is one of my favorite sayings. I know it’s a bit cliche, but it rings true. When you wake up, and once again before bed, find something or someone you are grateful for that day. Creating a habit of acknowledging gratitude, creates a shift in our mindset, forcing the “not-so-great-stuff” to stop weighing us down.
ONE FINAL BONUS TIP FOR EVERYONE: When all else fails, declutter! Reclaiming control of a space that has gotten away from you is empowering. Start small with a junk drawer, cabinet or counter. Getting rid of unwanted clutter is known to reduce anxiety, increase energy and burn calories!
Laurie Palau is the author of the book HOT MESS: A Practical Guide to Getting Organized and hosts the popular weekly podcast This ORGANIZED Life. She speaks, writes, and works with clients on how to live simply & work smarter. For additional information visit www.simplyBorganized.com