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Livia Lima
Livia Lima

Posted on • Originally published at blog.livialima.net on

Working from Home : Essential Tips

(Or how to deconstruct the Working From Home model)

You can check out other basic WFH tips here and here.

DISCLAIMER: this article was written at the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic, so a few things may sound dated.

Don't get sucked by the news

"The more we value things outside our control, the less control we have." - Epictetus

It's easy to give in to refreshing a news page or keeping the TV on. Don't do that. To be well informed does not mean to obsess over the last update of infected/death rate of COVID-19. Or political scandals. Or who is going to win the next reality show of your choice.

Look at what you have control over and focus on that. Everything else is a distraction and a potential waste of time.

So turn off the TV and shut-off social media for a few hours. There are several apps that can do that for you. Some recommendations:

Get dressed

Actually, don't.

Every "coach" or "remote work specialist" is telling you this because of the new rise of WFH (Work From Home). They say it makes you in the right mood for work.

It doesn't. You most likely will never wear trousers again.

But we must note one thing in particular. Don't be ready to fall asleep during your productive hours. If being in your pajamas makes your mind setup for sleep, try changing clothes.

The point is, you can wear whatever you feel comfortable with at your own home. But have a decent shirt handy whenever a video call comes up.

Use video calls, with caution

Talking about video calls... *sigh*

Video communication is a great way to build personal relationships. After all, you can see the other person's facial expression. Yet, video is also the most intrusive form of communication. Please be mindful of a few things:

  • Don't video-call out of the blue. Give people time to prepare or no one will answer your call.
  • Don't use video for every single call. Not everyone is in the right mind to show their face but would be OK with a phone chat.
  • Don't make a video call for things that could've been something else. Respect yours and everybody's time. Don't make people drop whatever they are doing to discuss a topic that could've been sorted out by email/text.

Follow the two-minute rule

This is excellent to stop procrastinating and stick to good habits.

These principles help you get momentum and keep the day flowing:

  • If it takes less than two minutes, then do it now. That exercises you ability to measure tasks and make decisions. That to the point you can chop larger projects into mini-tasks. Smaller tasks means you're more likely to complete them.
  • When you start a new habit, it should take less than two minutes to do. This is the longer definition of "start small". Yes, it should be that small. Habit is a consistent action. It is easier to do something everyday for 2 minutes than it is for 1 hour.

Exercise

Exercise is one of the greatest productivity tools in the world. It's good to handle stress, improves mood, focus and energy.

Walk.

Lift weights.

Do yoga.

Get fit like Madonna.

What you do doesn't really matter. Get into your best physical condition! That will create energy to tackle whatever your job throws at you.

Start small, do a little bit everyday. When it becomes a habit you will no longer need to feel motivated to do it. You just do.

Everybodys mental health took a huge blow during the lockdowns and other direct consequences of the pandemic. Always consider exercising not only to keep your body in shape, but also your mind.

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