5 Tips for Working Remotely… for the newly Inducted Coronavirus Crew

  1. Expect/Accept a Learning Curve: You might think, “How different can it be? I’ll have my laptop and that’s that.” Wrong! It is very different. If you think you’re going into week one producing at the same rate as usual, you’re in for a surprise. It might take a little while to get fully adjusted to this new way of life so be patient and give yourself room to fall into a stride. If you have a lot of external pressure to dive right in and get right to it, see #2 through #5. That should help.
  2. Take Off Your Pajamas: Sure, they’re super comfy and what’s the point anyway? You no longer have to snooze seven times, take a three and a half minute shower, or rush out the door wearing two different socks. Do NOT be seduced by this seemingly carefree luxurious labor force! Try to keep your normal routine as much as possible! Your brain needs to know that you still need to be in work mode. If you just roll out of bed and onto your laptop, the next thing you know you’ll be trapped in a YouTube rabbit hole and three hours later, you’ll just be opening up your morning to do list. Take a shower and get dressed like you normally would, take a 10-minute walk outside and then head back home to begin working. And for the love of all that is virus-free in the world, create a clean and welcoming work space! Speaking of work spaces…
  3. Create a Dope Work Space: Yup, you need one. Nope, your couch doesn’t count! (Maybe year 2 but definitely not day 2) You don’t need a home office or desk. (If you have one, great- make sure you hook it up!) A kitchen table or cushion against a wall will do. Just make sure it’s well lit, you can sit up right, and you equip it with a water bottle, snacks, and something soothing but not distracting like a candle, incense, light music, or a family photo. The goal is to make it inviting enough so you’ll actually stay sitting at it and be productive. It probably goes without saying but, to the extent possible, you should avoid placing it in a high-traffic area in your home, especially if you have any other quarantined companions floating about.
  4. Carve Out Play Time: This will mean different things to different people. When I first started working from home, “playing” (read: shiny object that throws me off my game) meant snacking, choosing just the right desktop background, or organizing my closet. Whatever your distraction of choice, be it Netflix, yoga, or scrubbing your tub (anybody?) — carve out time for it. Trust me. You WILL succumb to the temptation. Set aside an hour a day or schedule a few short breaks to indulge in whatever your thing is and it’ll make it that much easier to get into a realistic daily flow.
  5. Take Care of Yourself: This might sound cheesy but it will be essential during this unusual time of corona. While sticking to a routine will be important, pretending that this is not strange and stressful could lead to suppressed anxiety that could manifest in all kinds of derailing ways- mood swings, depression, sickness or other issues. Be sure that you carve out a routine that involves something that feeds your soul, whatever that may mean to you; meditation, prayer, working out, journaling, watching a comedy special, or calling a loved one. During this particularly frenzied time of transition, making time for self-care is especially critical to your success and more importantly, your wellbeing.

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Cecilia Ramirez

Cecilia Ramirez

— Writer | Speaker | Activist | Mom — My life has been a rollercoaster ride. I write about what I’ve seen and learned in hopes of helping others.