Lot of these articles going around these days due to COVID-19, but I felt like giving my two cents since I’ve been a freelancer in the past, mostly working from home, so I know how it feels like.
Despite what everyone thinks about the awesomeness of working from the comfort of your couch, it’s definitely not easy. Αfter a while, no matter how many tips you are going to read, it’s up to you to try and achieve mental toughness.
The following is a small list of what works for me, and might work for you as well, but in the end everyone does their own thing to stay focused.
Although it sounds tempting to be in your PJs all day long, it is bad for your mentality since it will make you feel and act lazy. You need to maintain a routine as if you were going to a workspace outside your home.
Change your clothes. No need to dress in something formal but do not stay in your PJs. Follow your morning routine, make a small breakfast and some coffee or whatever else you usually do and start working. Persuade that brain of yours that you are not on vacation and try to be productive even if that [insert procrastination reason here] looks tempting.
If you live with other people make it clear to them that they need to act like you are not there. They should not annoy you even for the slightest thing, because, you are not really there.
Don’t overdo it with work or else you will burn out very fast and the endgame here is the long run, not a few days in overdrive. Do not skip lunch breaks. Spend 45 minutes – 1 hour to it and use it as a chance to relax a bit. In the afternoon, go out for a short walk/running and empty your mind. I understand that there will be days which extra work is required but in order to have that extra energy you need to take good care of yourself and respect your limits.
The important thing here is to use a different space for work and a different one for relaxing in order for you to associate it with different mind states. If you have a separate room, then that’s great. If not, it’s still ok. Like I said, it’s about mind states. Find the spot in your house that helps you get “in the zone” and keep it clean and tidy.
Remote work can create a distance between you and your colleagues, making it hard to be “in the loop” for things that might be happening in the office. It’s lucky for us that nowadays there are a lot of tools to help us communicate with other people in a more direct and live manner. Use these tools and if your company does not already have them then request from the person in charge to choose one for your organization. Keep in touch with your team every day and even try to make time for small talk.
And remember, consider yourself lucky during this crisis that you can work for your company from home. A lot of people cannot, since their physical presence is required.