Due to the COVID-19, many of you may be working from home for the first time in your career. Having worked out of my home on and off for the past 30 years, I have a few tips to share.
Although you may be tempted to sit at your desk for hours on end to catch up on work – and maybe also visit social media channels for companionship – be sure to get up and walk around every 30 minutes or so. You can also take short breaks to vacuum, run the dishwasher, water your plants, or refill your water bottle. Keep up your exercise routine and get outside for a walk, or run every day.
Once you get the hang of it, you’ll start feeling and being more productive. You don’t have the countless interruptions you experience in an office setting. You’ll get more done in less time. There is a caveat, if you are at home working while others are also home (your partner, your roommate, your kids, your pets), you’ll need to work out a block of time to get your work done and find a place in your house that is conducive to work (the kitchen table is probably not the best spot). You may also want to consider a stand-up desk and even alternate between sitting (on a comfy chair or exercise ball) and standing.
Since you aren’t having the day-to-day interaction with your co-workers in person, use Apple’s FaceTime, Zoom, Skype, or Google Hangouts to connect. You can also just chat on the phone, something that I find is a dying art just like writing personal thank you letters. Get back to some basics and hone your skills of communicating outside the texting platform.
One of the best tips is to create a to-do list every day. Not a honey to-do list, but a work list. Make little boxes by each entry and check them off when complete. You need to take control of your time and have something to show after a day at your “new” office. We’re all competitive right? With this in mind, you can keep your lists and compare how many entries you checked off each day. Look at this exercise like tasks per day and week as compared to miles per day and week.
It does take motivation and structure to work from home. But, we’re all fairly self-motivated or we wouldn’t be as successful as we are as athletes. We set goals and go after them. Do the same in your work-from-home environment. This tip really piggy backs well with the list making. Results inspire and motivate us to do more, to do better.
At the end of the day, walk away from the office. This means physically and mentally. Shift gears and do things not related to work. This can be hard when your work is always present in a home office, but you need to strike a healthy balance.
PRO TIPS: Be safe as we continue to navigate the uncertainty around the COVID-19 pandemic. In the meantime, continue to follow the recommendations and updates from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), including proper hygiene practices. Also consider reading iRunFar’s COVID-19: A Trail Running and Ultrarunning Community Guide.