5 Tips for Working at Home During COVID-19

Published on May 29, 2020

The world is living in a time of unprecedented measures as a pandemic has swept the globe. Social distancing is being practiced throughout the United States, and a large portion of the workforce is now earning a salary from their living rooms for the time being.

You may not be used to working from home, and the adjustment can be uncomfortable. Distractions and interruptions might be preventing you from being as efficient as you are at the office.

What are some ways you can make the best of your work at home situation during COVID-19? Here are some tips:

1. Ditch the smartphone

According to an analysis done by eMarketer, the average US adult spends around three hours per day on a smartphone. The act of constantly picking up your phone and briefly browsing social media or other time-wasting sites is enough to derail your workday.

Keep your cell in another room or at the very least, somewhere you can’t reach it without getting up. Allow yourself to check your phone at certain times during the day, and don’t deviate from those times. If you’re worried about missing a call or text, utilize a smart watch for that purpose only.

2. Have a designated spot for working

The nice thing about setting up shop at home is the ability to work just about anywhere, right? Well, that may not be the best idea. Moving back and forth from the bed to the kitchen table ten times isn’t exactly the best case scenario for a productive day.

If you don’t have a home office, set up a makeshift desk anywhere you can have some privacy — a den, guest room, or basement are all good options. Keep your home workspace as organized as possible and try to avoid moving to another space.

3. Distract the kids

Along with working at home, your kids are most likely doing their schoolwork just a few feet away due to COVID-19 shutting down schools. As tempting as it might be to hang with the kids, it’s essential to establish some structure so that you can get your tasks accomplished. Set up a loose schedule your kids can follow with minimal intervention during the day.

Fortunately, a wide variety of resources exist online for families during the COVID-19 crisis.
Actionforhealthkids.org is a fantastic site with useful links for parents with kids at home during this pandemic.

4. Avoid your home “to do” list

A major distraction you’re probably facing at home is the endless list of chores that need to be done. Getting up to do a load of laundry or making headway on a quick project may not seem like a big deal, but you’ll be far less effective with frequent interruptions.

Try to save the “to do” list for after you finish work for the day, then you can solely focus on that.

5. Create an action plan

Staying organized and attentive at home is crucial to work productivity. When you’re in the office, it’s a bit easier to plan your day and stay focused. In your new home work setting, you may find staying on task more challenging.

Utilize a planner or app to plan out your day, with specific deadlines written out for certain times. Don’t allow yourself to deviate from your plan. Prioritize tasks based on importance and target those responsibilities first.

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