Weary of Working from Home?
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As the time of social distancing, uncertainty, and quarantine (for some) continues, your home may feel like a safe, peaceful haven or like a cluttered, messy vortex of non-productivity. If you are still working from home, you may be feeling disconnected, displaced, burnt out, and just plain tired of being homebound. We understand: these are unprecedented, difficult times. People simply weren’t made to sit at home or keep their distance all the time, but it’s what we are called to do for the foreseeable future. Even though WFH (Working From Home) is not an ideal situation, we can still get creative and adapt to our new normal by taking charge of our surroundings and creating a WFH haven. Here a few tips to help you get started:
1. Create a Designated Workplace that Works for You
Separating your living space from your workspace will help you psychologically separate ‘chill’ time from working hours. Your WFH haven should reflect your own professional needs and preferences. In a pre-COVID world, you worked in someone else’s space. Now, you call the shots! Do you need a quiet corner with ambient lighting and a comfy floor pillow? Do you need a desk by a window in a room filled with natural light? Do you live with your children and need to convert a closet into a maximum security zone of professionalism? Ask yourself what you need, and remember: nobody is asking you to make it perfect. Your WFH haven is all about you. If fun decorations and mood lighting make you need to get the job done, then start decluttering. This is your space. Examine your professionals needs, take an inventory of the space you have, and be gentle with as you do the best you can.
2. Minimize Clutter in your WFH Haven
Our surroundings reflect and influence our mental state. Working in a messy space may be making you feel mentally cluttered and professionally burnt out. Before you begin working, take a few minutes every day to remove any clutter from your space. Clean out your waste bin, organize any necessary papers, and wipe down your work area. Be sure to remove clutter before you start video conferencing with coworkers or supervisors, so that your clean space reflects your dedication to your work. If you commit yourself to decluttering just a little bit every day, you will begin to regain control of your WFH environment. Again, you do not need to Marie Kondo your entire house (unless you want to, that is). Don’t aim for perfection; instead, make manageable organization your WFH goal.
3. Incorporate at Least One Article of Inspiration into your WFH Haven
Do you have a concept poster that evokes memories of a simpler, more unified time? Do you have a photo that makes you smile? Can you think of a quote or verse that reminds you to give your best every day? Hang up that poster, print and frame that photo, and write that quote down on some fancy paper! Find an ‘article of inspiration’ that can serve as the centerpiece of your WFH haven. Your article of inspiration should bring you joy and remind you that this period in your life is only temporary. Find something that gives you hope, and make that object the center of your WFH space. Hopefully people–people with a vision for a life after COVID–are going to have an easier time getting through this season of working from home. So, cultivate little hope in your physical space!
Overall, WFH affords us all a unique opportunity to take control of our own schedules and environments, if we can reframe our WFH spaces, we might just find a little extra peace of mind in the midst of a trying time. What kind of WFH haven can you create?