How To Get Shit Done While WFH

How To Get Shit Done While WFH

We’ve all seen the memes – if Shakespeare wrote King Lear during the plague, surely you can find some time to finally work on your badly neglected passion project?

Yeah, maybe not.

It’s a strange time we’re living in, and for some of us who have been lucky enough to retain our jobs, and work from home – it’s also been a pretty busy time.

While working from home removes the distractions that come with an open-plan office, it would seem some colleagues may feel entitled to more of your time and attention at the click of a button, between 9–5 and beyond. That doesn’t leave much time for working on doing the dishes, much less working on your passion project.

We’ve put together a few ideas to help you find your rhythm as you work and live from home.

And by the way, we checked – there’s no hard-hitting evidence that Shakespeare wrote King Lear while in quarantine, so let’s chill on that one.

Finding your rhythm

The high levels of anxiety we’re experiencing at the moment are quite likely to reduce your productivity levels. If you’re prone to falling into thoughts of existential dread, articles encouraging you to make the best of this time may make you even less productive.

So first things, first, please remember that this is an unprecedented situation riddled with uncertainty, so don’t beat yourself up if you’re feeling down.

Secondly, don’t lose hope – humans were made to adapt! This may be a new normal, but it’s up to you to make sure it suits you.

Not sure where to begin? These are our best tips:

What’s your morning ritual?

Start as you mean to go on. If you start your day glued to your work inbox, that’s likely how you’ll end it too. Make your bed every morning and that way you’ll have started the day with an accomplishment already. And yes, even if you aren’t meeting anyone today, you need to shower. Maybe try to start your day with a walk, or take some time to enjoy your morning tea or coffee completely offline.

Set boundaries

Working from home can be quite liberating – unless your boss expects you to be tied to your desk from 9–5, day in, day out. Same goes for friends and family who may be a little overzealous with their video calls. It’s important to set boundaries for yourself and the ones around you – whether it’s how long you work, or times when you are happy to be contacted.

Communicate mindfully

Now that you’ve carved out time for communication, take a step further and think about how you communicate. As you can well imagine, emotions are running high. People are either stressed about working too much or not enough. It can be frustrating if you’re restricted to living in isolation with just your plants for company, and doubly so if you’re confined at home with family. Keep this in mind when speaking to others.

We are all struggling to adapt in one way or another and that should be taken into account when communicating. Plus – about 93% of communication is non-verbal, so we’re missing a lot of cues when reading emails or taking calls. You know how the saying goes – be kind.

Plan ahead

Try to set an agenda for each day so that you’re better able to handle your workload – this includes everything, not just work! Now that you’re at home more, your chores list is likely to grow in size as you make more use of your home commodities.

So while you’re adding project milestones to your to-do list, keep tasks like washing dishes, putting on a load, or personal admin top of mind too.

Getting down to it

You’ve come to terms with the situation and you’re ready to face your mission head-on. Great! Now if only you knew what your mission was.

No fear, we have a list of ideas built around reducing anxiety, keeping your environment clear and in turn increasing productivity!

Home upkeep

This may sound like an obvious one, but the fact is that the last thing anyone feels like doing after a day of work is household chores. Take a quick break from your workday and give yourself 10 minutes to relax while you load the dishwasher. Start your day by starting up the washing machine with the sweatpants you lived in last week. These are small tasks that can be done in between other tasks, giving you a quick break and a leg up on your to-do list.

Home cleaning and repairs

Clean your oven, fix that wobbly door handle. The internet is your oyster, with how-tos and manuals readily available online to help you cross a few items off your to-do list.

Try new recipes and meal prepping

Another great way to manage your time when you’re working from home? Meal prepping. This will give you more time to enjoy a proper break in the middle of the day, and will also give you the opportunity to brush up on your cooking skills and try new recipes.

Play

Now more than ever, it’s crucial to keep your brain ticking. Pick up a jigsaw puzzle, an old lego set or some crafts. This is a great time to tap into our creative side away from technology. Or if you must keep looking at a screen, Sony is giving away Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection and Journey until May 5.

Gardening at home

Don’t have an outdoor space? There are plenty of small plants that you can fit into your space without feeling like your front room has become a greenhouse.

Learn a new skill or brush up old ones

The key to learning a new skill is time, patience and perseverance. Take a look at your bucket list and use YouTube to help you find some tutorials to get you started.

Practice mindfulness

Let’s circle back to mindfulness – take a few minutes each day to stop and breathe. Step outside and catch some sun while you let go of your thoughts for a while. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in everyday anxieties, taking a break every so often will help you get through the day.

Exercise

One thing this virus hasn’t disrupted is Malta’s love for fitness. Whether it’s an online yoga or HIIT class, you’re spoilt for choice. If you’re not interested in classes but just want to keep active at home you can set yourself a challenge like doing 200 pushups in one day. Hint – don’t aim for 200 at one go, break it up 50 every half hour.

No pressure

This outbreak has caused a big upset to our realities, that’s a fact. We all have our own way to cope – with our altered schedules, with our grief for missed plans, and with a new way of life. Shifting gears from overdrive to doing things at our own pace may be a shock but it’s one that needs to happen, so don’t fight it. The first point of order on your list of ‘shit I need to do’ should be looking after yourself. Hopefully, with some inspiration, the rest will follow. Keep well and stay safe!