Working From Home during a crisis | 9 Tips to stay motivated

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totoro bed with laptop and flowers
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Hey everyone, hope everyone is staying safe and healthy during these difficult times. I know many small businesses, restaurants, artists, beauticians, hair stylists, and so much more are affected at this time and I encourage anyone who is able, to help support your local businesses. I'm thankful to be able to have a job that allows me to work from home and I wanted to share today's post in hope that it helps or provides inspiration to at least one person out there. Since I have been working exclusively from home for the past few weeks due to COVID-19 and being in quarantine, I've noticed a few things that I wanted to share to maybe help you get through your typical work week and what helps me stay motivated.

1. Get ready for the day, wash your hands and face (and if you're usually morning shower person, incorporate that as well). Change for the day, whether it's something comfy and cute or actually dressing up as if you would be going to work, this can help you get into the work mindset. Even though you won't be going out to work in an office, or meeting people in-person, you may have calls or even just create some normalcy for yourself. It's easy to get stuck in your PJs right when you wake up and for me, this definitely helps me feel more motivated and productive. Sometimes, this also never happens and that's okay! On the days where I have less calls that others, I'm in sweats all day long.

2. Set up a space dedicated to working. If you have a home office, you have this covered, but maybe if you haven't organized it, now's the time to clean it up so you can use it in its full function instead of having an additional storage room. If you don't have a separate room for an office, create a small dedicated area in your room or space. If your spacing is limited and you have to use your dining table or even your bed, try to add something to it while you work so it feels like a working space.
totoro bed with spring flowers working from home

3. Stick to a schedule, continue a routine. It's easy to get up right away and log on to your computer and start working, and sometimes you are spending more time than what is probably healthy for you both mentally as well as physically (eye strain, etc.). Especially those with kids (I do not have children but have friends and coworkers who do), this is important to balance out your day, more so if you are handling everything on your own. Try to change it up so you don't get too bored with the same routine every day. Maybe workout on Monday and Wednesday mornings in your living room, and on Tuesday and Thursday evenings go for a walk around the neighborhood after you log off, and Friday lunch calls with your besties. Whatever it may be, try to stick to it as much as you would any other time just to keep things feeling as normal as possible. This can change weekly or even daily. It's just something I found that helped me not lose track of my days/time. But of course, sometimes schedules just don't work and you just have to take it one day at a time. Things happen and it's okay to let yourself not be in sync on the daily.
Image of a daily schedule for working from home

4. Don't forget to breaks/lunch when you need, even reminders to get up and walk around and stretch. There's no next meeting to walk to, or time to consider to for commuting so it's easy to get stuck inside at home and let the day pass by without getting up. If you do decide to venture for a break/lunch, remember to practice social distancing and be as efficient, quick, and contact-free to get what you need.

5. Log off completely during your breaks. Ideally, try not to bring your phone with you or at least un-sync notifications, and put your Away/BRB status on so you can have that time for yourself. It's a bad habit of mine to be 'online' all the time, and takes time to work on, but you'll still be on later to see what you may miss. If your job however requires different availability or urgency, this won't apply to you, or maybe only be completely off for shorter breaks.

6. Organize your inbox and desktop. I don't know about you, but both my personal and work laptops/inboxes aren't the most organized. If you are in a lull during work or in a holding pattern, now is the perfect time to organize your inbox, desktops, hard drives, etc. Whether it's deleting files you don't need, organizing your folders, or moving files from you desktop into hard drives, this will help for when things will eventually pick back up and that will help you stay on top of things.

7. Sharpen up one or more skills. Depending on your field of work, I truly believe there is always something new to learn. Whether it is honing your skills in Photoshop/InDesign, or even becoming a pivot table master in Excel, there are many of free tutorials online that can help you sharpen what you already know and potentially grow your own skillset by learning something new. This is not a necessity and some people don't have the time to do so. But for those with that extra time, no kids or family to take care, this a positive that can come from this negative period.

8. Snack when you can, but try to lessen the sweets and snack on healthy items like vegetables, nuts, yogurt, and really anything with less sugar. It's easy to just munch away while your stuck at home ( I admit, I tend to snack a lot when I have extra time on my hand.)

9. Schedule calls with colleagues to keep in touch, even if it isn't completely work related and try to take calls with your webcam. Since we are all at home, its important to have human interaction, especially if you have no room/house mates or pets. Lunch calls are perfect for this.
totoro bed with spring flowers drinking tea
I hope these tips help you work from home, especially as most of us are bunkered down for a long while. As always, take breaks when you can and be sure to keep yourself safe and healthy! Remember to be kind to yourself. These times are unprecedented and you can follow as many or none of these. At the end of the day, you do what you need to do that's best for yourself and your family.

Much love to you all =)

- Kirstie

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