This pandemic has changed our lives so much.
A week before I was sitting in the office and working with my colleagues. And a week later I had to rush home because of the lockdown.
WFH was not the problematic part, the main problem was that it happened so quickly. And when things move quickly, there is no time to think and plan. Things just happen on autopilot.
People faced so many problems. Some of them didn’t have the machines at home, some clients were not willing to allow people to work outside of the secure VPN network. Some were simply unwilling to go home because of the family distractions.
But if you will ask me, I would say WFH is the best thing that has happened after so many years. Just think about the environment and the extra load it takes off your shoulder.
When I look around, I find that people are facing difficulty getting used to the WFH model. It was quite easy and natural for me. Probably because I have a good work station at home and my company (Thoughtworks) have been following the remote approach for a long time.
In other words, I was prepared for such a pandemic.
In this article, I would like to share 5 tips that work best for me and hopefully, it will work well for you too.
1. Set A Routine
The above quote is so powerful if you really understand the crux of it.
If you want to achieve any success in this materialistic world then you need to understand the laws that drive it. It is only by understanding the law you get the power to change and mould it in your favour.
Routine plays an important role in this.
One major difference that you experience working from home is that a routine is missing.
In-office most of the things are set. You start your day at a fixed time, you travel to the office in a routine way, you meet your team at a fixed time and then have breakfast, lunch and snacks at a definite time.
This helps your mind and body to come in sync with your daily routine and works starts to feel a part of your life. The same thing is missing at home.
So, if you are facing difficulty putting your mind into work then chances are that you do not have a fixed routine.
Try to create a routine and follow it every day. Once you have a fixed routine in place then it starts to feel normal. For me, it was even better than the office,
2. Separate Work From Home
This is a big factor.
I’ve asked my friends about their problem and one thing that is common among all is that they are distracted by their family all the time.
When you work at home, you are bound to hear the sound of the television playing. Then your mom would come in every 30 minutes and ask you if you want something to eat. Your younger sibling will come to you asking for your time.
If you are married then the problem multiplies for you many folds.
Being a parent is a full-time job in itself and to handle your work along with it is something I don’t even want to imagine. I’m a happy bachelor 🙂
So if you have so many distractions around you, how will you concentrate on your work.
The first thing that I did was to set up my workstation. When I was in college, it was used to be my study room and now it is serving as a workstation.
I’ve made it a habit that if I have to do anything related to work, I will work in that room. This makes me focussed and concentrated.
The idea is that once you associate a room or thing with a particular definite action (in this case work) your mind automatically gets tuned to that behaviour. And every time you enter into that room, your mind will know what state is best suited for you and shall work accordingly.
So make sure you dedicate a room for your work. And even if you have to make a simple phone call that involves work, you should do that in that room.
3. Get Out Of The House
Another thing that I noticed when I started working from home. I was sitting in one place for an extended period of time.
When I use to work from the office, I use to play table tennis, fuze ball etc… this kept my body moving. Not only that I had to travel my way to the office and I use to do that on my bicycle. So, there was a lot of movement and space around me.
Here are some of my compilations:
I use to move a lot and move quickly. But all of a sudden this part of me was taken away from me. And believe it or not, it affects so badly in all phase of my life. And it doesn’t show immediately, it comes after some time.
The effect of this stuck me after a month of working from home. It was so hard to concentrate and I was feeling so lethargic and boring and no myself.
And it was pretty clear that all of that was happening because me staying packed inside the four walls all the time. My body automatically started asking me to go out. It was such a strong feeling that cannot be suppressed.
So, after that, I started going out in the morning regularly. Around 5 AM, and also the lockdown was over. And I feel so good every day. Even better than the old days. After all, the air is much cleaner here and there are fewer vehicles.
So if you are stuck at your home then its obvious you will feel bad and depressing. So, my advice to you – Please go outside in the morning and don’t forget to wear your masks.
And for some reason, if it is not possible for you to go out or it’s unsafe in your area then your terrace is all that you need. Turn towards YOGA ð§ââï¸
4. Stay Connected
This really depends on your personality.
I’m a gamer, I’m always connected to people. I do not need people to be physically present around me to make me comfortable.
But that might not be the case for you. And if you like to talk to people and perform better when they are around you then it is very important for you to stay connected to them.
It may be your best friend, your parents, your colleagues. I understand the physical presence is not practical in these times, but hey the entire world is on the tip of your fingers.
Video call, voice call, talk talk talk. Share share share. Just don’t let this situation feel you alone and left out.
Try to adapt to this situation and it will only make you stronger.
And if you are facing any problem that is not resolved then comment below, maybe we can talk it out 🙂
5. Recognize Distractions
Well, this is something which is common in both scenarios. Even if you are working from the office, you need to identify distractions and figure out a way to isolate yourself from it.
The only difference it creates at your home is that it is hard to understand what is a distraction and what is not.
For example – if you are a parent and your child wants your time, then it becomes hard to put it in a distraction bucket. Even though it is a distraction but it’s your priority as well.
And that is why I say to people that it is okay if your children want to be a part of your work. It is okay if they ask you questions in the middle of your meeting. A few minutes wouldn’t impact your business but those few seconds could definitely make a difference for your children in his life. Just be available.
This pandemic is our reality and you will have to find a way to live with it. This is going to stay with us for the coming years. And as you might already know, the new normal is not going to be us migrating to the workplace, rather making our place work.
I hope the above tips will help you get back in form 🙂
Let me know in the comments how you are coping up with this pandemic.