Are you waiting for this damn Pandemic to end?  Are you screaming enough! enough! I want my life back?  I can’t give you that but I  can give you survival tips to greet a new reality

Last newsletter I gave 10 tips to business success.  žMany of us have been working from home for the last 11 months. Some love it some hate it but for those of you who are dealing with a brand new world; there are ways to make it better, maintain sanity, reduce procrastination, and increase motivation.  This is a new world that offers new opportunities. I offer some tried and true tips to ease your way through, to adapt and perhaps to enjoy the journey.

Create your space
žMakeshift doesn’t work.  You need a designated area. Staples has created work stations that are inexpensive so has IKEA. Find a spot, preferably not in your bedroom unless you have a separate sitting area.  Some work areas are like Murphy beds and fold up and away
žYour space should also be welcoming, by a window or in front of a nice picture. žThere needs to be convenient storage for your printer, paper, files and whatever else you need.  Ideally there is a nearby closet, if not there are great storage baskets.žThe key is to make it convenient and easy to work.

Not everyone has a home office. You need to create something that is just yours  and not the kitchen table. This allows you to have your things in your space. In addition doing work in bed or sitting incorrectly causes pain and decreases performance As an aside you may want to provide a workspace for your kids. The portable desks are inexpensive and gives them a sense of ownership as well

Set Boundaries

žIf you live with other people especially children they need to know what can not be touched  and when you can not be disturbed. Some people have used fold able screens or drapes to separate themselves physically. ž
Boundaries also cover when you will and won’t work.
What hours are dedicated to work and what hours are for family  or exercise or just R&R?
žThis is where planning and schedules are crucial
žNegotiate with family to identify when you are available and when not. Be flexible
žSome people put up signs others wear headphones to say they can’t be disturbed.
žEmpower children to be responsible and when you can help. It gives them a sense of pride as well and keeps you from being a helicopter parent
žSet a schedule that is posted. Identify what can be changed and what can’t.
žCreate task lists that can be checked off. A great app for tasks is ž

Be more productive

žThis means work smarter not harder productivity does not equal hours worked.
What time of day are you most energized? I am not a morning person so I do “busy” work then in preparation for more in depth later
žUse the Eisenhower model.It helps you prioritize and clarify tasks  žDelegate as much as you can.
žTake breaks  go for a walk or whatever clears your mind Ideally once every 60-90 minutes
žEstimate how long tasks will take and group accordingly

Get connected

žCreate weekly brainstorms with co-workers or colleagues
žGet an accountability partner
žMissing office sounds? 
žTalk to neighbors
žHave a weekly lunch with colleagues using zoom but focus on the same conversation you would have face to face.

Avoid Zoom burnout

žReduce the number of video meetings. For quick questions use the phone or send a text.
žSet an agenda and stick to it If need be continue a conversation off line by phone
žBe prepared, whether you are leading or a member; know why you are there and what you contribute
žIf you are zoning out take notes or ask questions using active listening
žAs a leader end with a summary that includes proposed tasks and dates.

Remember this is new to many people we are all trying to figure out what we like and where we are going.  Be kind to yourself. You may like where all of this goes