Whether voluntarily or involuntarily, many of us don’t find ourselves at our places of work right now. Those of us who have the ability are working from home. (This can be a blessing as well as a curse in several ways). For those of you being thrust into the world of working from home now out of the blue, I have some tips to help you along.
Find your Quiet Space
As a disclaimer, I have to mention that throughout my years in academia, I was never one who could study, write, or work from home. You could find me in a coffee shop, library, or park. These functioned as my “Quiet Places.” When at home in college, I found it often difficult to jot notes on Beowulf while the sweet sounds of my roommates not doing any work radiated through the apartment. I had to get out of there to be somewhere boring, somewhere quiet, somewhere that work can actually be done.
If you’re anything like me, home comes with about 10 things that you’d rather be doing. It’s tough to straighten up that spreadsheet with an Xbox staring at you from across the living room. Meanwhile, Call of Duty doesn’t pay the bills (for most of us). Since coffee shops, libraries, and parks are out of the question for the time-being, where can your Quiet Space be?
I’ve found the best methods for eliminating home distractions to be replicating your workplace experience at your home.
Okay, that’s great, but how?
By replicating your workplace experience, I don’t necessarily mean to microwave a pound of salmon and let that smell sit in the air like your break room at the office. Here’s what I mean:
Do you wear headphones and listen to music at work?
How do you dress at work?
When do you eat lunch?
How do you typically communicate with co-workers/employees/bosses?
These are just some questions to think about when you’re wanting to get the most out of these quarantined work days. If you typically throw on headphones and crank out 9 hours of ambient airplane noise, go ahead and keep that process. Are you finding it rough to work in your pajamas? It could be because your pajamas usually signify sleep and relaxation. Put some actual clothes on. Half the battle here is simply convincing your brain that it’s time to work, not time bundle up with your old buddies Netflix and Hulu.