All of us around the world, in our different phases of staying at home, have been working from home. While the idea sounds very idyllic, I must tell you that it does come with its own set of unique challenges. As many of you know, I have had ample experience of working from home, as I needed the flexibility when I started my family. And last year, I had an experience of working from the hospital(also WFH), when my husband was battling cancer. So when the stay at home orders started, I had a few ideas of what works for me, and what does not, when it comes to working from home.

A few weeks ago, I had written a post about "Things to do while you are staying home: Self-care edition." If you haven't yet read that, then Click Here.

So here are some ideas of how I work from home, specially designed with the quarantine situation:

Plan your workday and child care needs: 
Just like every other person, every evening, I like taking a look at my calendar for the next day. I am not working from along. I have my husband, who is also working from home, our first-grader who is home from school, and my 75 lb puppy. While we are fortunate for all the online work, which the school district has been sending us, let us face it, there is time, we have to devote, to make sure it is done. So I plan out my daughter's day with a mix of online school work, some written worksheets, some playtime in her room, to name a few. The puppy needs his meals and walks. And my husband also has his share of Zoom calls. As long as the other partner is aware of your video conference/office call times, then you can plan for better child care, in my books.

Sort out your technology needs:
It sounds basic, but let me tell you, how important it is. For instance, the internet isn't the best, in all corners of our house. And with all of us doing our share of Zoom calls every weekday, we have to make sure, all three of us had connectivity in our designated workspaces in the house.

Make your bed: 
When you are home for good, you need some routines, to let your mind thinking in the right mode. As funny as it may sound, the simple act of making my bed in the morning, really helps my mind to create that idea, that I am ready for work.
Dress up:
Not telling you to cake your face with makeup and work in a ball gown by any means. While it is very tempting to stay in PJs, I have seen that it helps me, when I take the time to get dressed for the day. Both I and my husband, and our daughter does our share of Zoom calls every day, so being dressed professionally, doing our hair, for instance, really helps. While most days I am make up free, some days, I will just apply some eyeliner, mascara and some lipstick.

Create the right ambiance: 
Yes, you have a laptop, and yes, you can work from bed. But it doesn't work for me, honestly. While my husband works out of our kitchen table, I have created a desk space in our guest bedroom. It does have doors, which means I can have privacy when I have my Zoom calls. The technology works well, in that corner, ensuring my bandwidth for the calls. And it helps me in creating the distinction between workspace and lounging space.

Another thing which has really helped me is listening to some calming music while I work. One cannot deny, that stress levels are at the highest for all of us. So playing some soft music, helps me relax and yet, be productive. I love the app called Calm, ad their music selection.

Enjoy breakfast together: 
When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade, right. So now that w have all this extra time together, we make sure that we spend some extra time, bonding over breakfast. On a normal workday, breakfast is rushed, with daycare and work runs.
Take breaks:
I am a workaholic if you didn't know that already, so for me its very important that I take breaks. To give my eyes and my mind a break. Even if it means, just going downstairs to the kitchen to get a snack or some coffee. We do complete digital detox when we have lunch together as a family. It really helps us focus better when we get back to work.

Maintain regular hours:
Being a workaholic, it can be very tempting to work at all hours, since I am not rushing to the daycare now. I have realized that I need to stick to regular hours. Very often than not, I forget, and I will either have my co-workers or my husband, to remind me, that I am again working late.

Have an evening routine with your family: 
Last but not the least, enjoy the evening with your family. If the weather is good, go out for a walk, while painting social distancing. We enjoy working in our garden together. Cook dinner together. Plan something which brings all of you together, and all of you can alleviate the stress of the day together. If it involves making a tub of popcorn, and watching cute puppy/kitten videos on tv, and snuggling under a blanket, do it!

I hope you enjoyed going through my list of what works for me while working from home. Hoping we emerge from this global pandemic healthy and happy.

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