You received work from home (WFH) schedule from your company and your inner introvert jumps for joy. No more having to spend money on travelling back and forth from work. You dream of all the money saved from those pesky expensive CBD lunches and not having to see that manager that seems always to be looming over your shoulder. You’re ecstatic at the thought of all the free time you’ll have simply from just staying home.
Fast forward to today and suddenly, it’s week two of working from home, and you’re lethargic from your odd bedtimes. Productivity is at an all-time low because the bed seems way too comfortable whenever you start doing work. You thought you’re more self-disciplined than this. Not to mention, you’re slowly going insane from the lack of human interaction.
I completely understand, enough is enough. You’re slowly losing your marbles from isolation and don’t know what to do. Fear not, for I have eight ways to ensure your sanity stays intact in these times of social distancing.
The office exists for a reason—to have a clear distinction between work and the rest of your life. But in these times of the coronavirus, we do not have the luxury of working in an office, so we make do with what we have at home.
Now, if you know that your bed is one hell of a temptress, learn to fight temptation and take matters into your own hands by having a workplace set-up somewhere else in the house. I’ve taken refuge at the dining table, clear of all possible distractions, allowing me to work productively. We are, after all still paid, the least we can do is respect our employment.
An excellent way to motivate yourself to work is to do it in tandem with a colleague. As a writer, I would often bounce off ideas or questions with my table mates, and check if my sentence structure is logical. But that’s not possible when you’re working from home.
So my colleague and I would FaceTime for the majority of the workday, which resulted in high levels of productivity for both of us. We remind each other not to get distracted and have each other’s company while taking breaks.
Humans are creatures of habit and control. When something is out of our control, we seek replacement behaviours or otherwise get stressed and anxious. One thing you can do to stay sane while working from home is to come up with a basic routine.
Wake up at the same time you would if you were headed to the office, apply your makeup, and dress in your office clothes if it helps. Segregating office hours and after-hours can genuinely help in your productivity and sanity. When the clock strikes six, exit your work files, take a shower and relax as you would on any regular day after returning from the office.
I’m looking at you fellow workaholics. Perhaps you’re one to get lost entirely in work when you start—the sun has set, and you look at your clock only to realise that you’ve been working non-stop for 15 hours.
On a typical working day, you would leave the office just in time to catch the last bus home. At least then you were able to take some kind of break during your commute home. Taking breaks is essential for your brain to rest and reset. Lest you burn out, drink some water or do some stretches every few hours.
If you’re one to be consumed by your thoughts if left to your own devices, fear not, writing down what you feel in a diary, journal or even a piece of paper will help. Trust me; I’m a writer. The act of allowing yourself to write down what you feel during this worrisome time of COVID-19 is cathartic as it is a tangible act of release. Those crippling thoughts will exist somewhere else other than being stuck in your head, with nowhere to go.
Oversleeping is when you sleep for more than nine hours at a time. Doing so will result in lethargy, which would affect your productivity levels for the day. While it might be tempting to sleep in just a little bit more because you’ll be confident in completing your work tasks efficiently, know that this lethargy would eventually catch up to you and cause you to feel like a zombie in the day, resulting in lower levels of productivity and frustration.
So for the sake of maintaining your sanity, set that alarm to ring as if you’re getting ready to go out to work.
Now, other than loving what I do, I enjoy the act of travelling and doing work at the office because of the solace I get, away from home, away from a loving but overbearing mother. Don’t get me wrong, I love my mother, but due to clashing personalities, I simply do not get along with her.
And, if you’re also broke like me, and cannot seek asylum in a cafe, that’s okay. Should you find yourself bothered by your mom standing behind your shoulder and asking what you’re doing, catch yourself and take a deep breath before you snap at her for the obvious.
Say you’ve followed the steps mentioned above and have managed to stay sane and is more productive than ever, good on you! Now you have time to catch up on the hobbies that you previously left on the back burner.
May it be finishing up that Netflix shows that you’ve stopped mid-season or that book that you’ve only finished half-way, now’s the perfect time to practice some self-love and do the things that make you happy. If not now, then when, right?