Everyone’s working from home these days, and it’s quite the lifestyle change. Lucky for you, not only are you not alone, but there are plenty of us who have been working from home for years. In fact, about 4.7 million Americans already worked from home at least half the week prior to this global pandemic and lockdown.
I’m one of them – in fact, I’ve been a full-time virtual worker since December 2010.
However, even my daily routines and lifestyle has been affected, despite what you heard from Facebook memes. Events I normally attend are shut down and delivery services are more dangerous. There are the six things I do as part of my daily routine to avoid going stir crazy while stuck at home.
1. Practice Self-care
Self-care is the most important part of your day. If you’re a parent, instilling self-care in your children trumps your own, but the concept itself stands. You are not in control of a lot that’s going on right now, but skipping your commute doesn’t mean you should slack off on getting proper hygiene, exercise, and positive reinforcement throughout your day.
Make sure you set aside time for yourself at least every morning when you wake up and evening before going to bed. You’re still in this for the long run, so here are a few self-care apps.
2. Get Dressed for Work
The hardest part of working from home is finding that balance between work and play. It used to be obvious – if you’re sitting in a cubicle listening to Karen talk about her TPS reports, you’re at work. Then you drove home (after happy hour socializing, of course) to the place where you sleep, eat, and live your best life. Removing that commute gave you more time, so why do the days feel shorter?
Dressing up when working from home is an easy way to train your brain to prioritize business over home needs. It also gives the rest of your family a signal that you’re busy and to proceed with caution.
3. Take a Hike
Stores and work may be shut down, but that doesn’t mean you can’t go outside. Some of you have yards (or acreages), but I live in a top-floor apartment with a balcony. I still find time to get out of the house and get fresh air. According to the EPA, indoor air can be more polluted than outdoor air, even in the most industrialized cities.
Focus on air circulation in your home and get outside to breath it in when you can. Fresh air and sunshine are two keys to living a long, healthy life, so don’t stay indoors with the windows closed and curtains drawn all day.
4. Control Your Network
If this is your first time working from home and you’re not technically savvy, you may be interested in knowing you can prioritize your computer’s bandwidth over the rest of your family. Major streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video are already reducing UHD video quality in an effort to slow streaming and keep the infrastructure running.
You may also learn from looking into your router that someone in your family was already hogging the bandwidth. Whoever controls this vital communication line wins the war.
5. Keep Your Home Clean
Luckily, we should all be spring cleaning right now anyway. There’s no better time to be working at home, because you get to stress test everything you’ve been preparing for your entire life. Cleaning, decluttering, and even redecorating can have a transformative effect on your entire family.
Also, with toilet paper shortages reported around the country, you may want to focus on all the doorknobs, switches, and other things you touch with your hands regularly.
6. Stay Social
The term “social distancing” doesn’t mean you should be anti-social. When you work from home for a long time, you start to realize the value in those trophies and doodads they give away in Corporate America to make you feel like part of the team.
While your home itself is a product of your work, you underestimate the recognition and positive reinforcement received at work until you’re disconnected.
At this point, there’s no denying the change COVID-19 made to everyone alive today, whether you felt sick or not. Working from home can make you feel isolated and alone, but you’re not. There’s always someone who’s been doing it longer.
About the Author
I'm a veteran ghostwriter with over 10 years experience. Prior to becoming a writer, I spent 10 years working in Corporate America in middle management. I understand technology, business, money, marketing, and a variety of niche topics, such as cannabis, cryptocurrency, virtual reality, and more. I never miss a deadline.
Brian P is a freelance writer who writes about business.