By Mary Sharp Emerson April 1, 2020
1. Establish Healthy Self-Care Habits
Taking care of yourself—both physically and mentally—will not only help you stay healthy. It will also make it easier to maintain a positive attitude and stick to a regular routine.
When working or studying from home on a regular basis, a key first step to staying productive is to act as if you were still heading out for a typical day.
That means resisting the temptation to lounge in your PJs all day. Instead, get up at the usual time, take a shower, and dress in everyday clothes for the duration of your work day.
Practicing good self-care also means:
- Eating regular, healthy meals
- Staying hydrated with lots of water
- Exercising regularly
- Going outside for a little bit every day (while practicing appropriate social distancing)
- Taking time to relax and unwind
- Getting lots and lots (and lots) of sleep
Self-care means taking care of your mental health as well. Social distancing and self-quarantine can be isolating and lonely.
While you might not be able to visit with friends and family in person, be sure to make time every day to check in (virtually) with loved ones and friends. Start a text chat, for example, or suggest a virtual happy hour over Zoom or Google Hangouts.
2. Plan Your Day
Right now, it can be difficult to differentiate between work, school, and personal time. You may find yourself waiting a little too long to start that assignment. Or you may continue to work on a project long past the point where you should have taken a break or eaten a meal.
The solution? Every morning (after you have showered and gotten dressed), outline your goals and priorities for the day.
An organized to-do list will keep you focused on the specific tasks you need to complete. And there’s an added bonus: checking items off the list always provides a great sense of accomplishment.
Once you’ve written down your goals, make a schedule for the day that will enable you to achieve those goals. Your schedule should include blocks of time dedicated to certain tasks. Don’t forget to include meal times and study breaks as well.
And once you have created your schedule, be sure to stick to it as much as possible.
3. Start the Day with a House or Family Meeting
Sharing a space with family members or roommates? Coordinate schedules to ensure that you have access to the things you need to get your work done and avoid potential conflicts.
A daily meeting over the breakfast table is a great time to share plans for the day and manage everyone’s expectations.
For instance, maybe both you and a spouse, partner, or roommate are working from home. You can identify times when each of you can use WiFi, a quiet home office, or the TV in a common room.
If you have children at home, incorporate their schedule into the family meeting as well. This will help ensure you have the quiet time you need while providing structure for your kids.
They’ll understand when they should be reading or doing schoolwork, handling household chores (as appropriate), enjoying screen time, or playing XBox with friends. They’ll also know when you will be available to entertain them or help them with their schoolwork.