Many – if not most – people are working from home right now. For those who aren’t used to it, this can be a rude awakening and a rough transition, especially if you have a partner or children. (Check out this blog post we did on working from home if you have kids). While it can be a little rocky in the beginning, there are things you can do to help stay organized when working from home.
Set regular hours. If your schedule has shifted to a more flexible one, it’s tempting to just “work when you can,” which can lead to lots of late nights catching up or frantic days panicking over things that aren’t done. It’s also easy to work all the time since the “office” is now with you 24/7. Don’t do either of these. If you have the flexibility to set your own hours, set regular hours for work. Let your partner and kids know that every day during the week, this is when you’re “at work.” After your work day is done, put away your computer, log out of your company email, and make a concerted effort to stop working and focus on your larger life. That being said, recognize that you will need to be flexible at times – putting in extra work here and there, or sleeping in other times. But a regular schedule will be helpful.
Ground rules are your friends. Yes, you’re home. Yes, you’re there, physically. But before the week begins, let your children know the ground rules that need to be followed with regards to what can and cannot be done during the work day, what the expectations are for schooling, ways in which your family can help each other, and what needs to be done by everyone to keep things running smoothly. If you have a partner, talk with them about how you’ll each handle the children’s schooling and assistance with work, errands, and household obligations.
Create a workspace for yourself. Just because you can work from your bed or couch, doesn’t mean you should. Find a space just for you and your work, that is conducive to productivity. Maybe it’s your own office; maybe it’s a corner in the basement with a desk and chair; it might be a section of the dining room table or the desk in your room. Whatever it is, it needs to be your space that is only for work, and nothing else. A space where you can take phone calls, work on your computer, and organize your papers. When you’re in this space, it’s work time.
Use a planner. Paper planner, electronic – heck, even use the notes function on your phone. Make lists of what you need to do every day. This will help keep you organized and on track for what you need to accomplish each day. Having a written list (or typed) will help remind you if you forget, and also help keep you accountable.
Get dressed. We know, we know. It’s tempting to dress in sweats or athleisurewear every day. But don’t do it. Even if you don’t have video calls, getting dressed every day, even in business casual wear or nice and presentable clothes, can help shift your mindset into a professional work mode.
Get fresh air. If you can, leave the house during lunch or on a short 10-minute walk (using social distancing and wearing a mask, of course). If you have a backyard or porch, get some fresh air for a few minutes throughout the day. You’d be surprised at what a quick recharge nature and fresh air can be.
All of these can help you stay on track and stay organized with work, even during this pandemic. Here at Dissertation Editor, we get it. We know what it’s like to work from home, and we know the challenges of suddenly not having the support and guidance you might have in a physical office space. Here at DE, we offer a range of services that can help you with not only academic work, but also professional projects. Contact us today to learn more!< Coping Strategies During COVID-19 The Benefits of Joining a Book Club >