Right now, we’re living in a state of uncertainty. We’re getting used to unfamiliar concepts like shelter-in-place and social distancing, We’re anxiously waiting for news notifications to get the latest scoop on what’s coming next. And, for most of us, we’re working from home for what is likely the very first time.
Because the whole concept is new, you might not be your most productive self, and that’s okay. While it may seem like we should use any and all free time to further our careers or devise a side hustle, a lot of us are navigating complex living situations, balancing work and family in the same environment, or simply just stressing over what the future holds. The fact of the matter is there should be no guilt involved in how you’re spending your downtime, but sometimes we can’t help but feel unproductive.
There are many benefits to following a routine during times like these, and we’ve seen a few examples making their rounds on the internet, but it’s important to create one that involves flexibility and leaves room for mistakes. Right now, it’s all about the little things. We’ve gathered up a list of things you can incorporate into your day to make working from home easier.
Consider Your Typical Work Day As a Whole
Bring a favorite part of your work routine back home with you – this can help to create structure, or simply just a sense of normalcy. No, we’re not going to tell you to sit at a table or get fully dressed for the day, but hone in on the smaller bits of office life that brighten your day. Listen to your go-to commute podcast in bed. Recreate your favorite meal from the cafe near the office at home. Facetime your work wife/husband to catch up the way you did during coffee breaks. Incorporating parts of your work day that you wouldn’t initially think to may be the spark you need to keep going.
Take Uncertainty Into Your Own Hands
Having endless freedom in your workspace can be great, but it can also be overwhelming and even distracting. If you feel like you’re stuck in a rut, try to shake up whatever you’re able to by trying something new. If you have tasks that don’t need to be done at a set time, switch up the times you complete them from day-to-day. Switch up your home office setup, even if it just means sitting on the opposite side of the bed.
A Loose Menu For You
Reframing your routine as a menu to select options from instead of a rigid schedule can help build the adaptability you need to handle your new work situation. Instead of planning out your day in chronological order, try thinking of it in time blocks. We gathered up a few options to try out.
Pamper yourself with the most extra version of your skincare routine. Bonus points for talking it out to an imaginary Youtube audience.
Prepare your favorite snack and set aside time to eat it with no distractions. Focus on the flavors and texture and ground yourself in the moment.
Use social distancing as an opportunity to spend extra time with yourself—on paper. Journal thoughts, feelings, ideas, aspirations, or whatever else feels right.
Carve out some time to connect with your physical being. Listen to what your body needs at the moment, whether it’s going on a run, doing a HIIT workout, or light yoga and meditation.
Cook a recipe you’ve been meaning to try and have fun with it. Play some music or put on your favorite podcast and sing or laugh along.
Switch things up in your home. Whether this means organizing or rearranging, adding variety to your space can help make sheltering-in-place a little more bearable.
Set aside some time to get work done. Power through series of calls or Zoom meetings, complete a list of tasks, or make a dent in a larger project.
If you have extra time in your day, revisit a passion project. Immerse yourself in something that makes you truly happy.
Or, just do you. Binge watch your favorite show, browse your favorite social media app, or simply lay in bed and relax. Allow yourself to go along with what you want with no expectations.
Feature Image via Emma Craft