Tips on how to work well from home

Ruairi Carberry

As the coronavirus outbreak places a stranglehold around society, thousands of employees across the world are beginning to settle into working remotely in their homes. Unless you are used to working in the household normally, it can be difficult to get the most from your day with so many distractions to take your focus elsewhere. So, how do we retain our discipline while studying and working from home?

Firstly, a good practice to maintain during the quarantine is to write a list of work items each evening from most important to least consequential. This means when you wake up the following morning there is a clear sense of what needs to be done by the end of the working day. 

Try and rise early each morning. Studies have shown that people are at their productive peak, before lunchtime. So make a conscious effort to set the alarm early, get up, eat a good breakfast, and attack the day. In conversation with the Paris Review, Ernest Hemingway admitted he began writing each day at 6 AM to squeeze the most from the morning.

Hemingway was also accused of taking up arms and leading a group of Resistance fighters while working as a war correspondent during the Second World War, so maybe it is best to take his advice with a pinch of salt.

Treat your bedroom as a place of rest, and do not work from your bed under any circumstances. You will be lying in the fetal position binge watching “Friends” and comfort eating in next to no time.

In between working hours, make sure you eat healthy foods and drink plenty of water to help you concentrate on the tasks at hand. Be mindful that you should take regular breaks during the day to recharge the batteries and avoid burnout. When you are taking these breaks, listen to a podcast, or cook to truly take your brain away from the workload.

I tend to drink 2-3 cups of coffee per day. This helps me in the mornings especially when I am usually dragging my feet like a zombie. This has also been described by others as insane so like our friend Ernest, follow this tip liberally.

Many people are in a situation where they are forced to work or study at home, while other family members, roommates or spouses are doing so at the same time. For this reason, it’s important to be patient with others. If you maintain a good relationship with those around you, it will be easier to ask for quiet or for privacy as you complete tasks throughout the day.

The pandemic is ongoing, and the working situation is likely to remain the same for a long period, so you mustn’t tell your family that you hate them after week one, because one of them (Da) is giving his best Kenny Rogers impression outside the study. May Kenny rest in peace.

Reward yourself after a day of hard work. Drink that beer or wine, play some video games or watch that series you’ve meant to get to for the past few weeks.

Most importantly, if you follow the above and it helps… Great. If you don’t and end up lying in bed, stuffing your face and ending up with Cheetos stuck in your hair, who cares? Don’t beat yourself up, tomorrow is another day.

Ruairi Carberry

Image Credit: PxHere