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Congratulations! You have officially been “social distancing” for a week and in our extra-social culture, that is truly an accomplishment. Working from home might have felt fun at first, sitting on the couch in your sweatpants and catching up on Netflix over lunch. But now? Your energy is low. Your dog is still not talking back to you. You haven’t driven a car in a week and feel like you might have forgotten how. Or, maybe you’re struggling to balance it all with the entire family at home. Regardless of your current circumstance, we get it. And, we are right there with you. To help, here are six practical tips for working from home:
1. Get ready for the day.
Just because your commute is shorter doesn’t mean your normal routine should suffer. Wake up at your usual hour rather than hitting snooze. Get dressed rather than staying in your pajamas. Most importantly, spend time reading the Bible rather than putting it off to later in the day. You cannot forget the importance of your time with the Lord. This reminder of truth is vital, especially in times like these. If you need help getting in the Word, jump in with us through Join the Journey. Essentially, when starting your day, do the things you normally would do.
2. Take breaks to connect with friends or family.
Don’t kid yourself. When you go into the office you are not locked down working for 10 hours with no social interaction. Chances are, you walk past your co-workers’ desk and catch up on their weekend. You might find a friend to join you for lunch. Over and over again, you have conversations that are not work related. It’s these short social breaks that can fall through the cracks when at home. To remedy this, try Facetiming a friend for a quick chat or make your meetings a video conference rather than a phone call. Avoid eating lunch at your desk. Instead, eat with your family or your roommates, and see if you can avoid the words, “coronavirus” and “COVID-19.” Don’t neglect your work or mismanage your time, but make sure you are connecting with people throughout your day.
3. Don’t work from your bed. Just don’t do it.
We know it is soft and inviting. We know it is calling your name. Just trust us. Don’t do it. Instead of settling into the comfiest place in your home for the next 8 hours, create a designated workspace. Whether it is repurposing your kitchen table or finally using that desk in your spare bedroom, make it your own. Set up your monitor, plug in your charger, and treat it as your new office.
4. Make sure you are moving.
When your workspace shrinks to your one-bedroom apartment, it is all too easy to accidently remain sedentary. The day passes and you suddenly realize you have done nothing more than walk to the bathroom. Being active can uplift your mood and reset your mind during a long workday. Set an hourly timer, or finally use that Apple Watch, to help you remember to take a break between work tasks! Take a walk or jog around the neighborhood. Find an exercise video on YouTube. Stretch in between meetings. Take recess outside with your kids. Do anything that gets your blood moving.
5. Create structure in your day.
Open, unending hours of time can feel overwhelming. To help, here is a suggested work schedule as you bunker down at home for the long haul.
- 6 AM – Wake up, Coffee, and Quiet time.
- 7 AM – Walk or run around the neighborhood.
- 8 AM – Get working!
- 10 AM – 15-minute virtual coffee break with a friend.
- 12 PM – “Meet” for lunch via Facetime with your community group or sit around the table with your roommates/family.
- 3PM – 15-minute exercise video
- 5PM – Call it quits! Though you are not technically “leaving the office” you still get to shut off after a hard day’s work! Take another walk, call a friend, watch a movie, or read a book. Remember to rest well in this season of forced slowing.
6. Lastly, no matter what, lean on Jesus. Every moment of every day.
This is not going to be easy. Not just your workspace changing, but the drastic changes you have experienced in your normal, everyday life. And it may not end quickly. So, pray. Engage with your Savior. Stop the anxious thoughts in your mind and choose to trust Him. Make the conscious decision to not check the news every twenty minutes and instead talk to Him.
Remain steadfast. Remember, Jesus is with you. And He is enough, even in midst of the chaos that has so quickly consumed our world.