Organizing Tips for Anyone Working From Home Due to COVID-19

Home office desk and chair

Are you working from home because of COVID-19? Working from home could be a shock to the system. It’s an entirely different environment with different distractions and no one keeping you on task. If you’re concerned about working from home here are some tips to help you stay focused and keep momentum at work.

Create a Home Office or Tidy Up the Office You Have
If you don’t already have a home office, create one. Find a designated corner, set up a desk, like this space-saving option, and get a chair. Organize a space to replicate your office at work. We don’t advise working from the couch but it will be tempting. If you must, use a desk like this.

Keep the Same Schedule
Wake up at the same time. Get dressed in clothing you would wear to work and put on your shoes. Take lunch when you would typically take lunch and eat what you would typically eat. Remember this is only temporary and when you return to work you’ll feel less disoriented if you maintain your usual schedule.

Keep Work-Life Separate From Home-Life
You don’t want to get into the habit of leaving work-related paperwork lying around the house. Keep it contained. If you have a home office it will be easier to shut the door and step away when the workday is over. But if you need to create office space in a common area of the house you’ll want to file paperwork and pack up supplies each day so you aren’t cluttering up the house. Keep it simple and find a desktop filing bin for files or a bin with a lid for the supplies you use when at work. Unpack your supplies each morning and pack your supplies each night.

If Staying Focused is a Challenge, Use Your Resources
You may find at work that staying focused is easier because of the background noise, or a co-worker works alongside you (it’s called body doubling), or you like working with other people around. Play music, take frequent quick breaks to regain energy, or even ask a coworker to call you periodically just to check-in. Maintain communication with your coworkers virtually as needed. Or if you feel safe enough work together in person. Body doubling is a proven way to help maintain focus. You don’t even need to be working on the same task. Just having another person sitting near you and quietly working is all it takes. Try it!

Timers can also be helpful. Set it for intervals of 1 hour or 30 min. When it goes off ask yourself, “am I doing what I am supposed to be doing?” The timer helps snap you back into work mode. Here is a timer we recommend.

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