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Working from Home

I had to resist placing Working from Home in inverted commas. I can't even say it without raising my hands and doing the finger thing! The reality is that people are home, but how much work is really being done?

Ignoring the slackers, those that are putting in the effort are faced with two challenges:

1. Change

2. Distraction

Working from home does require a particular mindset, and that mindset is supported by structure and routine. Without it, you'll simply become one of the slackers. Here's how you do it:

Stick with the familiar

If a particular routine and structure used to support you, continue it, within reason. If you are used to waking up at 5am and doing exercise, do that. If you are used to taking a break every 40 minutes, do that.

Create new/modified versions of what you know

The reality is that you can't visit the gym, so fill some bottles with water and use them as dumbbells. If you used to go on a date night once a week, put the kids to sleep and set up a TV room picnic. Changes in circumstances are opportunities to be creative and try new things.

Be flexible and adaptable

If you have children, especially if they're under 5 years of age, your attention will be required regularly and frequently. If you used to work an 8-hour day, you'll have to adjust your schedule to incorporate a new way of doing things, which is what you would have to do at the office anyway if a big, new project came on board. Create a roster, take shifts, share responsibility, work after hours, get focused on output and not process.

We're now 7 days into the lockdown, with 14 days to go and no absolute knowledge of what's to come. The psychological effects are yet to be felt, so don't go into it blind. Plan and execute, as one would with any crisis.

Refer to my last blog post, Surviving the Insanity of Lockdown, for a useful exercise on how to create new ways of doing old things.

Be safe. And sane.

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