For those thrust into at-home work environments due to the pandemic, managing distractions during business hours has never been more challenging.
The backdrop to workers’ days are filled with worries about the pandemic, social unrest, joblessness, health issues, childcare, virtual learning, isolation, caring remotely for extended family, pet care, and much more.
CREATE (SOME) STRUCTURE
Stick to a self-care morning routine by using what would typically be your commute time to shower, dress, exercise, journal, meditate or listen to music.
Create a schedule for your housemates (school-aged kids, adults, pets).
Work during specific hours, and only stop for scheduled self-care or caregiving breaks.
Jot down a weekly priority list. Cross off the completed items as a way to acknowledge your progress.
COMMUNICATING WITH COWORKERS
Create a system for checking your messages … try checking for five minutes every half hour. Keep responses clear and brief.
Have a morning, or weekly, online check-in where coworkers offer a quick rundown of what they’re working on to minimize message interruptions.
Cut back on meetings and the number of people that need to be involved in any decision.
LESSEN “OFFICE” DISTRACTIONS
Organize a designated work area and keep clutter to a minimum.
Temporarily relocate to a quiet or creative space (when possible).
Tidy up your desk and your files at day’s end.
Remove devices and online notifications to dive into “deep work.”
Avoid household chores and media during your designated work hours.