How To Stay Productive While Working From Home

The world has been flipped upside down and we’re all here to watch. With music venues and museums shutting down and opting to stream online, international travel coming to a halt, and people being asked to stay indoors for the sake of their and everyone’s health, it seems more and more like life as we knew it doesn’t exist anymore.

  • 1. TIP 1: Find a quiet place to concentrate
  • 2. TIP 2: Make arrangements with your roommates
  • 3. TIP 3: Set deadlines for yourself
  • 4. TIP 4: Take a break from all the screens
  • 5. The future of remote work...

The same can be said for your work life. Since most companies have been forced to shut their doors while the pandemic passes, employees from all walks of life – reporters, artists, lawyers, and writers, to name a few – have been relegated to their apartments to try and muster up the courage to get sh*t done in the midst of the chaos.

You May Also Like
Five Ways to Practice Wellness At Home During the Coronavirus Quarantine
How to Travel Safely Post-COVID-19

But how, exactly, can they do that? What once seemed like a safe space, free from office-related drama and unticked to-do lists, has become just that. The lines have blurred. How on earth are you going to manage all the stress, on top of what’s going on outside? Great news! It’s easier than you think.

Did you suddenly find yourself having to balance Zoom meetings, two roommates, a pet, and an endless array of distractions? Here are four expert ways to stay productive while working from home.

TIP 1: Find a quiet place to concentrate

The first thing you need to do is scour your house for a comfortable and quiet place to set up shop while working from home. Whether that’s the dining room table, the couch, or your kitchen counter- it’s up to you! Hopefully, it’s somewhere presentable in case you have to show up to a Zoom meeting, but the only thing that matters, in the end, is that the chosen space is yours and that you feel happy there. Try and find a home office spot with a comfortable seat and – if you can – pick somewhere with good, natural lighting that will keep you feeling lively. Once you’ve found your spot, adapt it as much as you can to suit your working needs. Whether it’s taping a calendar to the table or the wall so you stay up to date with important assignments and meetings or keeping your headphones handy in case of any last-minute calls or much-needed music motivation – the possibilities are endless!

However, you must never (and I cannot stress this enough), ever work from bed. Never. I know it seems tempting, I know you’re overwhelmed, I know the covers are warm and it’s your happy place, but that’s exactly why you shouldn’t do it. Don’t mix business and pleasure while working from home, kids. Once you start working from bed, the line between rest and “get-it-done” will have disappeared completely, and it will throw your brain into overdrive having to discern between the two when you’re curling up with a good book.

 

If you’re lucky, try to choose a room inside the house that isn’t a hotspot for social activity for working from home. Say, if your roommates love chilling in the living room, it’s probably best to scratch that off as a possible work spot. You’re all stuck inside, after all, and the rules of the game (i.e. living together in harmony) can’t suddenly change because you need them to. Which brings me to…

TIP 2: Make arrangements with your roommates

Living with someone, or multiple “someones”, is already hard enough. Now, throw in spending 24/7 inside the house, a group of people trying to get their job done, and you have a recipe for disaster.

Another one of my tips for working remotely, and also the first thing you need to do before setting up a home office around the house, is to have a sit-down chat with your roommates – or family – and talk about some basic working day ground rules. Is the guest room off-limits from 9 am to 12 pm while you have meetings? Let them know. Is there a “no music” rule in place? Does the TV have to be off until a certain time? Who’s in charge of the chores for the day? What about cooking? There are so many little details that need to be openly discussed in order to avoid an argument later on. Set aside an hour, or two, or three, to discuss basic rules with everyone and you’ll be much better off than if you decide to continuously tip-toe around the people you live with.

TIP 3: Set deadlines for yourself

Much like those uncrossed office to-do lists, it’s important to set deadlines for yourself while working from home. The world might seem like it’s on hold at the moment, and those deadlines might seem insignificant for now, but once we all get back into life (because we will, and we’ll be stronger than ever for it) all the little things you forgot to do during lockdown will look even more menacing than before.

Create a schedule you can stick to and make it your bible. While waking up at 6 am for a workout seems implausible, getting up at 9 am to make breakfast doesn’t seem all that bad. Choose a routine you can actually accomplish and cross items off every day when you’ve finished a task. It can be something as simple as “touch base with the team” or as big as “finish proposal due this week”. What matters most is that you’re out there doing it, despite the stress and the anxiety.

TIP 4: Take a break from all the screens

Sometimes the best way to get your work done is by stepping away from it.

We’re all experiencing trying times, and our minds have kicked into survival mode, making it difficult to concentrate on the menial things. When all this starts to happen, the only wise thing to do is to step away from the noise and take a breather. A few breathing exercises, a peek out the window, a short stroll around the block…all these are quick and easy escapes that will clear your mind and hit the reset button. The great thing about remote work is that you’re allowed to do that without fear of looking like a slacker. While taking a coffee break working from an office might have seemed like a no-no, taking a yoga break while working from home online is up there with the things you should be doing, especially at a time like this.

The future of remote work…

With all the negative news coming from outside, I personally believe that there’s a silver lining to what has happened, especially in terms of remote work and digital nomadism.

With so many offices shutting down worldwide, a lot of local and international companies have taken to the idea of having their employees work from home. What once seemed like a crazy idea – “Let them do WHAT?!” – has become the norm for most people, and it’s creating a noticeable change in how businesses operate, how employees work, and how team management doesn’t necessarily require someone constantly peeking over your shoulder.

Out of the many benefits of working from home, those that stand out the most are employee well-being and happiness and overall team productivity. While working from home, people have the chance to spend more time with their family (which tends to bring a greater sense of joy), exercise regularly (because they’re not constricted by working hours), enjoy healthier meals (because they have the opportunity to cook more), and stick to hobbies they enjoy (because they can take breaks without the fear of being told off). It’s also extremely cost-effective for the employer: it would save companies thousands – if not millions – in rent, utilities, and office equipment.

 

A rise in remote work has also led to the creation of specially designed coworking spaces all around the globe and when it comes to this, Selina’s been leading the pack. With state of the art coworking spaces dotted around the globe – from sunny Antigua to artsy Porto – they’ve created the perfect ecosystem for digital nomads who believe that a work-play balance comes hand in hand with productivity and creativity. Built around the idea of community and shared ideals, Selina’s locations all over the world prove that life on the road – one that involves working, connecting, wellness and learning – is absolutely essential and possible

 

These unprecedented times, then, are here to show more company leaders that a team of remote workers is not just a real possibility but, at the same time, a more effective and happy one. Don’t be surprised if, after this is all over, companies become more lenient to the idea of allowing employees to choose where they work from. Who knows, you might be part of a new generation of digital nomads about to hit the road.

Five Ways to Practice Wellness At Home During the Coronavirus Quarantine

These are trying times and there’s no doubt about it. During the past few weeks, we’ve all been bombarded with information about the global coronavirus pandemic. Life changes by the minute, and with everything that’s happening from your living room to the furthest corner of the earth, these problems don’t seem to be slowing down enough for us to play catch-up. 

  • 1. Keep your body moving...
  • 2. ...But also find a moment to sit still
  • 3. Practice physical distancing, not social distancing
  • 4. Break out the cookbooks!
  • 5. Disconnect to reconnect

Times like these can be especially tough when it comes to managing stress and anxiety. Whether you’re still working from home, recently lost your job, or have even an ounce of doubt about what’s come, staying healthy at home – both physically and mentally – looks like another tough task to cross off the to-do list. But it shouldn’t be.

No matter what you see on social media from friends and influencers worldwide, the coronavirus quarantine doesn’t necessarily have to be about being an all-around powerhouse. Nonetheless, it should be about taking care of yourself. After all, you’re all you have at the moment.

If the chaos of today has left you reeling, here are a few self-care activities you can try to keep yourself healthy at home while looking forward to a better outcome because, and let this be your good news of the day, there will be one.

Keep your body moving…

Exercise has long been lauded as the perfect cure for stress and negative emotions. Endorphins, the “happy hormones” released after a workout, are to blame for the spike in energy, and they’re also said to bring about an overall feeling of happiness and well-being.

With so much happening around the world, it might seem tough to find a glimmer of hope. But, thankfully, there are tons of at-home workouts popping up all over social media to at least trick your brain into thinking you’re doing alright. Gyms and fitness centers all around the world might have closed down, but the need for movement is still there.

Selina, for example, is sharing the love on their social media channels. With daily playlists especially designed to suit every occasion, and a kickass, groovy, get-that-body-moving live music line-up thanks to the Selina International Music Summit, they’re making sure you stay moving even on the days where you don’t feel like leaving the couch. Plus, they’re also live streaming a very special wellness program for anyone and everyone who’s already missing their signature early morning yoga sessions and evening meditation classes. Open the window and feel the cool breeze as you bend and stretch your way to happiness. It might not be the same as a session by Lake Atitlan, but you’ll be glad you left your bed for it.

Or, if you’re starting to feel like me and an actual workout with dumbbells and mats sounds like too much, choreographer Ryan Heffington is teaching free dance classes on Instagram to anyone and everyone looking to add some spring to their step. They’re fun, they’re not physically demanding, and they’re the perfect way to brighten up these dark times. At a time like this, dancing in your living room to old school pop is the perfect form of self-care.

…But also find a moment to sit still

Staying healthy at home doesn’t just mean working out your body. Self-care comes in many shapes and sizes, and they don’t all involve movement.

Managing stress and anxiety can also start with a deep look within yourself, and a quiet 5-minute meditation session from the comfort of your living room. There are plenty of meditation exercises out there to help you cope with what’s happening around the world. Whether you’re looking for a new way to remain grounded in the present or you’re desperate to give thanks for what you have at a time like this, practicing mindfulness is a wonderful way to shake off any unwanted negative energy and practice self-care at home.

Practice physical distancing, not social distancing

Human connection is essential for our well-being. We’re naturally social creatures, and when we’re taken out of our comfort zone, the most normal thing to happen is for despair to quietly creep in and take over. But don’t let these days of quarantine and self-isolation trick your mind into thinking you’re alone. You’re definitely not. We’re all in this together – literally, the whole world is fighting back. That’s one sure thing to be comfortable about.

If you’re one of the millions of people doing the right thing by staying home, it’s essential that you don’t just shut yourself out completely. Sometimes, self-care is a game of two (or three, or four…or ten!), and being locked inside your house shouldn’t rule that out completely. There are so many tools available for you to keep in touch with people who make you feel the most like yourself. From Zoom happy hour to nightly “pub quizzes” and virtual book clubs, there are still ways to stay close from afar.

Break out the cookbooks!

Staying fit and happy doesn’t necessarily involve just working up a sweat. If you’re looking for another way to stay healthy at home, why not try preparing a warm and hearty home cooked meal?

Getting your hands dirty and making yourself a meal from scratch is a great form of self-care in that it relaxes you, takes your mind off what’s happening, and, at the same time, it serves the purpose of fueling your body with all the necessary nutrients and proteins it needs.

If you don’t have any actual cookbooks at home, jump on social media and browse through the many accounts that are sharing recipes and tips online. From specialized food magazines to community-led groups on Facebook, the flavors and options are endless.

Keep in mind it might be challenging to find certain ingredients. So, in order to avoid any unnecessary stress, stick to simple recipes or look for easy substitutes.

 

Disconnect to reconnect

Let’s start with a fact: social media has made news way too easily accessible. And, while that might seem like a good thing in most cases, chances are, with what’s happening at the moment, you’re feeling overwhelmed from simply scrolling through your news feed.

You May Also Like
Coliving in Tulum: a digital nomad’s dream
¿Por qué Costa Rica es el destino ideal para nómadas digitales?
The thing is, it doesn’t matter where we look, more and more information about the coronavirus pandemic continues to pop up from literally everywhere. My dad is sharing information, my friends are writing thought pieces…heck, even my dog’s daycare has been sending me weekly briefings and cleaning tips. Meanwhile, I’m sitting at my laptop trying to stay sane and texting my friends back and forth that everything will be OK in the end.

And when this information overload happens, my ideal self-care exercise is to just…shut it down. I close my apps, I put my phone on silent, and I sit on the couch with my knees to my chest for a minute – or thirty – of just being. Sometimes, the best thing you can do is to just disconnect from life in order to reconnect with yourself again and find your center. Nothing good comes out of reading 47 articles a day if all they’re doing is stressing you out. Nothing good comes out of watching curves and lines go up and down if all they’re doing is making you feel anxious about the future. Managing stress and anxiety is already hard enough, so there really is no need to keep feeling the beast that’s thumping inside your chest.

Wellness – much like happiness and tranquility – is a state of mind. Whether you find your inner peace from cooking a meal or breaking a sweat, all that matters is that you find it and hold on to it. Because we’ll all be walking out the door again soon, and you’ll need all the energy and joy to make it possible.