Here we are in a new reality. The Corona-virus is hitting us hard. All of a sudden most of us are working from home. We are having different situations; You might be alone, with your partner, with a whole family or other housemates. You might have children; a new born baby, young kids that need to be entertained or older children with a lot of questions and maybe fears. You may have a separate working room that makes it easier to structure and maybe there is just no way for you to be by yourself. You might really like your house and feel comfortable where in another case you might question yourself how you are possibly gonna prevent yourself from flying to the walls these coming weeks…
Work content wise things can vary as well; maybe things are going slow for you and it is hard to know where to focus on. Or maybe there is a very clear focus now and lot’s to do, so you need to be full on. You might have a manager that clearly communicates or be that manager, or you might notice that you need more clarity or need to be more clear.
Whatever your situation is, some facts cannot be changed and some can. You can however always choose to focus on the positives and explore how you can make working from home more fun and effective. In this blog I want to help you by making 11 suggestions:
1. Create Your Best Possible Workspace
What is the best place in your home? Where can you be most quiet and undisturbed?
Where do you feel comfortable? Where do you have good light and minor distractions? What is the best chair to sit on? Try to have a clear space, have the things you need closeby, and something you really like on your desk that helps you focus. Maybe some flowers to keep you company, your favorite cup for tea or the pen you enjoy writing with.
2. Have Clarity Around The Most Essential Things
Make sure that you know what is expected of you. What does working from home mean for you? Does that mean that you can set your own hours? Who do you need to report to, how and when? What is the goal you should focus on right now? Which online meetings are essential to be part of? Be the manager that communicates clearly around these essentials or be the one to ask your manager for clarity. Also get clear on what it is that you need in this very special situation. What is essential for you?
3. Make Fundamental Agreements With The People In Your Space
Have a conversation with the people that you share your space with. What are the essentials that you need to work with? What are the essentials that they need to work with? What is important for them? What is important for you? How can you find solutions that work best for all of you? Who is taking care of the kids when? What clear agreements can you make with your children on being there for them and their understanding for your situation and allowing you to do some work too?
4. Create A Plan
Depending on your space, essentials and agreements you can create a plan. For example, taking general biorhythm in account. You could create a morning ritual. What would you enjoy before switching on your computer? Is this a time where you can work creative and strategically by yourself in the morning and plan meetings and telephone calls in the afternoon?
5. Team Up With A Buddy/ Accountability Partner
It can be really helpful to team up with somebody that you really appreciate and agree to support each other to make the best of this time. You can share with each other what your plans and goals are for the day and keep each other accountable. It works very motivational if you know that you are going to share your results with someone at the end of the day.
6. Make A Good Start Every Day
A good start is half the job done. Clear your space every end of the day or just before you begin your work. Set a good intention before you start and keep it with you during the day. Know what your most important goals or to do’s are for this day and make a time and energy planning that is realistic for you to achieve this day.
7. Take Good Care Of Yourself
For example by honoring your breaks. Breaks are really important to stay clear and focused. You need to recharge yourself with drinks and food and moments that you unplug. Have a good lunch and have a clear end of your working day. By taking care of yourself you boost your immune system. And with Corona flying around everywhere, this has never been more important.
8. Use Technology To Stay Connected
We are social beings. We need connection to feel good and thrive. This is a time where connection is more important than ever. As a leader make sure that you organize regular online team meetings. Give importance to one on one time for everybody too. If you can not make all those calls yourself, delegate this to your most senior team members. Also think of online chat boxes, motivate people to support each other and virtually hang-out together. As an employee, take digital initiatives yourself too.
9. Keep Moving
We are in an unusual situation, the gym is closed and we do not even get our walk to the car or to the office. We need to keep moving. Emphasize for yourself how important this is and get creative. There are many 7-minute work-outs on Youtube, yogaschools and personal trainers are offering online sessions, or you can put your favorite music on and show your moves to your housemates or just get into the groove yourself. Dance like everyone is watching or like no one is watching.
10. Create Confetti Moments
Fun and joy are super important, so make sure that you have your confetti moments. Celebrate your successes. Even the very small ones. Be proud of yourself for figuring out all this digital stuff all of a sudden, a deadline you achieve, a creative idea you think of, the fact that the sun is shining today, you staying positive. Whatever it is that creates confetti in your life, create just that and celebrate.
11. Stay Positive And Ask For What You Need
It is very normal to feel stress and anxiety in times like this, and it is important that these emotions get attention without getting entangled in the emotion. Express what you need to your team members, manager or friends. Stay positive as much as possible, even though there is a lot of discomfort in the unknowingness that we are all facing. We need everybody’s best right now to make our way through this. Your team, manager and organization need you, just as much as you need them. Stay connected and do it together!
If you like my suggestions you might want to remind yourself of them. Here is a template you can download to make that easy. You can also share this with your team.
Remember, we are in this together
Keep your head cool and your heart warm
Let me know if I can do anything else to help you!