Many of us have been sheltering (working) at home for at least two weeks now. It’s important that we all do our part to “flatten the curve” we’ve all heard about related to COVID-19. It is a challenge for most people – to be “cooped up” in their homes. Human beings are social, so only seeing and interacting with the same people day after day can become challenging – no matter how much you love them.
We’ve all heard the complaints about how difficult it is to work from home or how irritating a spouse is (try having three college aged children back at home with your wife and 12 year old starting to go through puberty if you want to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes).
We’ve also heard the funny stories about people forgetting they didn’t put pants on during their Zoom call and standing up to reveal their boxers (or worse).
I thought it would be good to share some thoughts about how to have a successful work from home day while under “shelter”. DISCLAIMER: These are things that work for me and may not work for everyone. If you have other tips that are working for you – or just want to share a funny story, please feel free to add them.
Work from Home Tips
Have a routine and stick with it
Have an area of the house that is your work area and do all your work there – just as if you were at your office
Don’t sit for more than one hour at a time – get up and walk around the house, stretch your legs, take a “brain break” (But make it short…you don’t need more than a few minutes)
Eat healthy food in small quantities several times per day
Even if dressed more casually than if you were at your office, dress completely
Make sure you spend some time for yourself (reading, exercising, thinking, listening to podcasts or music) at least four times daily. HINT: I choose to spread this time out throughout the day – reading when I wake up and just before bed, walking right after breakfast, exercising around Noon.
Make sure you spend time each day doing something fun or relaxing together as a family. (Play games, read, watch tv, take walks, etc…) You are all stuck in the house together and it is easy to skip the “fun things together” part – DON’T!
Remember some-day this will all be over. When it is, don’t just go back to the same old ways – keep some of the new habits you’ve created that are healthy, good and help you be more productive and happier.
My Typical Day
4 am. Wake up and read the latest news about COVID-19. If possible, go back to sleep until 5 am.
5 am. Read more news about COVID-19. Read news and other publications about government assistance programs for small businesses. Scan the Wall Street Journal. Read emails from overnight. Read daily Bible story. Feed the dog and make breakfast (two or three fried eggs, Ezekial bread toast and sausage). Walk the dog.
8:30 – 11:30 am. Review daily plan. Adjust as necessary based on readings and emails. Video conference call meetings; approve various communications; work on projects.
11:30 am – 1 pm. Workout, eat lunch, shower.
1 pm – 5 pm. More video conference calls; work on projects and tasks assigned to today. Eat at least two small, healthy snacks between 2 and 5 pm.
5 pm. Enter time for the day; Review plan for tomorrow; Empty email inbox.
6 pm. Shoot hoops in driveway with children; play ping pong with family; walk the dog; assist with dinner preparation; eat dinner and clean up
8 pm. Play games with family. Dominos, Psych, Head’s Up, Talk about what we learned today (the college aged children especially like this)