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11 Tips for Staying Sane While Working From Home

How to create an environment that's productive at home.

As of last week, our team is officially working from home for the health and safety* of both ourselves and others, but that doesn't mean working from home is always easy, especially when we're all used to working from an extremely collaborative office. We've rounded up our best practices for keeping our team on track and operating as happy and efficient as ever (all things considered): 

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This is essential to feeling and staying productive. Even if you're just changing into leggings and a sweatshirt, the act of getting out of your "rest clothes" will signify a change in the day, from off-work to working hours. 

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Stay on top of your day so it feels more routine. Each morning, set aside time to look at your to-do list and plot out your time accordingly. Designate times for meetings, calls, and heads-down work hours. Even though your boss and team aren't there, you'll feel confident and accountable for what you have to tackle at any given moment. 

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Instead of taking the traditional hour for lunch, try to do two separate 30-minute activities to break up the day and get active. You won't be walking around the office as normal, so a quick walk or home exercise will keep you from feeling lethargic. 

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Because many of us are spending a lot more time at home than usual, make it a beautiful place where you want to spend time, with a relaxed vibe in the evening and a clean and clear space during the day to keep you motivated. Light candles, keep the place tidy, and even buy flowers for yourself if you're able to get to the store. 

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Offices are more than just a place for work. They're also an important part of our daily dose of social interaction and a source of many friendships. Continue using your inner-office communications tools, like Slack or Zoom, text your friends, and keep conversations open in order to inspire creativity and keep a sense of normalcy. Even planning on a quick 10-minute chat after a video meeting can instill a sense of community and togetherness. 

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Meetings are often the first things to go when it comes to working from home, since conference calls just aren't as enjoyable as in-person meetings and email can be a perfectly fine replacement. However, it's important to stick to the set times and be an active participant in the meeting. At first, it may feel chaotic, especially if you're with a talkative group (this is definitely our office!), but you'll eventually find your groove and be glad you took the time to bounce ideas off of one another. 

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Just as the bedroom should only be used for sleeping if you're suffering from insomnia, it should also be reserved for non-work hours when you're working from home so that it remains a sanctuary and possibly the only place in your house or apartment where work doesn't exist.

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Working from home shouldn't change anything about how you spend your time outside of the 9 to 5 schedule. If you usually work out in the morning or get up and read before work, keep doing so! Changing these elements of your day will affect you more than working from home will. 

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There never seems to be enough time in the day for all the things we have to do. Now, there's just a little more. Between meetings and calls, throw a load of laundry in or run the dishwasher. You'll feel more productive and get key chores done. It's a win, win situation. 

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Building off from chores, there are a lot of activities that you can now do while you're working. Whereas you normally might've grabbed instant coffee and a granola bar, you can now indulge in a luxurious coffee routine and fry up some eggs, or actually cook yourself lunch! 

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Lastly, don't forget to take breaks! While breaks are a natural part of being at an office, you can easily work the entire day at home without stopping once, since there are fewer distractions. Remind yourself to get up once every hour (at least!) and enjoy something not work-related, whether that's playing with a pet or even popping up to grab the mail. You may actually find yourself more productive and inspired when you do so. 

*It should go without saying that we recognize our privilege in working for a company that enables us to work from home during this time, but also recognize that's not true for everyone! You're going to be seeing a lot of—but not exclusively—home posts here for the foreseeable future since that's our reality right now. At the same time, we recognize that’s not true for everyone – and for those of you who are struggling or are unable to social distance, know we’re thinking of you and appreciate the tough circumstances you’re in. For anyone who *is* fortunate enough to be able to work from home, please do. It's our collective social responsibility to stay in.

Hero via Food52. 

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