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The Art of Working from Home – What I’ve learned to Survive

Like of many of you, I’ve been forced work from home this past week and will be for at least the next few weeks.  During these days I’ve learned five lessons about surviving these new working conditions.  My hope is that they may help you as you try to survive this extraordinary moment in our history.

  1. Plan your work, work your plan:
    • Have a daily plan and make it as specific as possible. Time block (meaning block out time on your calendar) for the specific tasks you want to tackle for the day.
    • Set personal deadlines for each task – i.e. “I’m giving myself 30 minutes to get this task done”. Make it a game, a competition
    • Then follow your plan, adjust your plan and work till you get your plan done for the day
    • Plan a reward for yourself at the end of the day when you’ve completed your work – have a great meal, watch your favorite movie, eat chocolate, put extra butter on popcorn – you get the idea
  2. “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”
    • Get out, take a walk, do some prep for dinner, play a short game with your kids, call a family member or friend. Do this once an hour
    • Don’t look at your computer screen for 8 hours straight.
    • Spend a few minutes in the morning and then in the afternoon reading something inspiring – the Scriptures, a biography, a great novel. Or read something that promotes your learning, challenges your brain.
    • Start a journal – capture your experiences during this unprecedented time.
  3. Physical Distancing not Social Distancing:
    • We need each other during these moments, stay connected.
      Do as many calls as you can via video – see people’s faces.
    • Have a conversation with people outside your home, when you’re out – keep your physical distance, but don’t cut out your social interactions.
    • Make the extra effort to connect, to engage with people digitally and physically.
  4. Don’t let distractions become the main attractions:
    • Don’t look at the news or cruise the web any more than twice a day – once in the morning, once at night. If something really crazy happens you can be assured someone you know will be glued to the web and will be compelled to text you with the latest news
    • Check emails no more than once an hour and answer them twice a day, unless urgent.
    • Find a quiet place in your house to do your work, but come out of hiding regularly, it will cut down on interruptions.
  5. “Laughter is the best medicine”
    • Don’t be afraid to laugh, be lighthearted, research shows that in the most stressful and dire circumstances, people who can and do laugh do a better job coping and surviving
    • Find joy in the moment – watch the sun rise or set, listen to children play outside, look at the stars tonight, appreciate the gift of life God’s given you.

For a laugh or two watch this video about conference calls – https://youtu.be/DYu_bGbZiiQ

Good Luck – this too shall pass!

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