It’s unprecedented, but it’s the new reality. With COVID-19 causing mass lockdowns of cities across the globe, home and work routines have upended and washing your hands while humming Happy Birthday (twice) is the new norm. During these uncertain times it’s hard to remain focused and productive in your role, not to mention on your business.The team at Desk Space are here to run you through our top tips on how to stay motivated and connected during the coronavirus pandemic.
Stick to a Schedule
Working from home full time, or in the office a few days a week, can put added pressures on your ability to follow a schedule – but we believe in you! If you previously woke up early to go to the gym, use this time to try a home workout; having a coffee at your local cafe might need to be a freshly home-ground AeroPress; and your lunch break – you can support the local businesses in your area by ordering take-away or delivery! This is the time to lean on your calendar apps heavily, and use a strict reminder-based workflow that will lead to a more directed and goal-oriented day.
Remove all Distractions
Utilise your time to assess what non-essential components are around you. In your home office, on your desk, or on your kitchen table, you should isolate yourself from the unnecessary clutter. This could include paperwork, bills, books, mail, having the TV or radio on, or even the notifications from your phone or other devices. Keep work hours for work, and after hours for Netflix. Set a reminder to check important news announcements perhaps once in the morning and once in the afternoon – with all the pandemic drenched news out there it can be quite overwhelming. Limit your exposure! It’s too distracting!
Reach out to your colleagues
Setting up regular drop-ins with your team, or even a work colleague or partner, is integral to keeping your mind stimulated and focused on the tasks at hand. It’s incredible what bouncing ideas off someone else can do for your creativity and productivity. Whether it be over Zoom, Slack or Facetime, make it an important part of your new schedule to hold a WIP, or perhaps daily catch-ups at 3pm during these more difficult times.
Face the music
Getting into a rhythm at work seems easier when you are physically present in an office space, right? There may be invisible powers at play that you haven’t realised are missing from your day – the tunes! Grab some headphones and put on your favourite playlist on Spotify – something chilled out or lo-fi to blend into the background, and see what can happen when you start easing into your work. Taking a moment to breathe and listen to something could even be allocated for a midmorning tea break – get your task list done and then relax with some early Kanye tracks, or some classic 80s perhaps? Just remember the important lesson that came out of Sweden: You can dance, you can jive. Having the time of your life…(in isolation!)
Stay in sync with other home tasks
Being at home can be a challenge, especially with a heap of laundry piling up next to you, a sink full of dirty dishes, or a living room that needs tidying. Use these household tasks to break up your day, or even time your tasks. Put the washing on, then use the next hour to get through your work responsibilities. Stack the dishwasher, pop the tablet in, then it’s a race to see if you can finish that report before the chimes! Having a clean house is important for not only your mental health but also your work ethic, so at the end of each day you should make sure your space is set up with productivity in mind – the focus is lightness and ease, you’ll thank yourself in the morning!
Take these tips and apply them to your new circumstances. Although we are all in this together, it’s hard to see this experience as unifying and the sentiment comforting, when you may be faced with days alone at home trying to get your work done. So here lies the key – focus on the tasks at hand. When you feel overwhelmed, breathe. When you feel alone, reach out. This is the new norm, but it’s not forever.