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As we continue working from home, here are my handy hints on how to get the most out of it. This is the new temporary normal, but it’s far from normal. What even is normal?

  1. Get a good chair. There’s a reason this is top of the list. I can’t stress it enough. It’s amazing how much more you can get done if you’re sitting correctly. You’ll probably sleep better too.
  2. Get up and dressed. Even if you are in casual clothes, it will be better for your mindset to differentiate between work time and personal time. Just be careful in case you receive an impromptu video call.
  3. Take regular breaks (not to the fridge). This will help your eyes adjust and stretch your legs.
  4. If you’re struggling with motivation, try to stay in a routine. Maybe not chocolate for breakfast every day, but stick to consistent working hours where possible and try not to let work eat too much into your personal time. Binge-watching boxsets til 5am, sleeping til midday and clocking on at 2pm sounds like a great idea, but probably not sustainable…particularly when we’re all back in our offices doing the daily 9-5!
  5. Plan your day in advance. Just like when the Christmas TV Times comes out, you wouldn’t want to miss or overlook anything!
  6. Don’t worry if you can’t get everything done. You might be home-schooling at the same time and fighting over the use of computers and WiFi. My home-school would be unofficially rated as inadequate at best (teaching fractions to an 8 year old is not going well). Tomorrow is another day.
  7. Success, objectives and KPIs will not be measured in the same way. The people who are evaluating you are also being evaluated differently.
  8. Stay connected with other humans. Contact colleagues, friends and family by phone, web cam, IM, postcard, messenger pigeon, whatever. Just try not to feel isolated, particularly if you’re on your own at home.
  9. Exercise. Use your one hour a day wisely. I’m not a regular exerciser and from first-hand experience, if you decide to do the Joe Wicks PE workout (other exercise regimes are of course available) don’t be surprised if you’re in agony the following day, and require assistance to get out of bed.
  10. Don’t overlook your mental health. Once this crisis passes – and it will pass – you’ll need to be ready to jump back in. Be kind to yourself and others – you don’t know how it is affecting friends, family and colleagues.

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