Hello World. I hope everyone is staying healthy and safe during these VERY tough times. It’s amazing how much I was looking forward to 2020. I had so many plans for this year. I was going to take my first cruise, I was going to take lots of road trips, and I was finally going to finish my first novel after 20 years of saying I was going to. In January, I had hit the ground running with designing my merchandise to promote my book. I had formalized a workout plan so I can look good in a bikini during my cruise to celebrate turning 40.
Now, we are heading into April, and I am literally living life minute to minute. For the first time, life is crazy, and nothing makes sense. It’s amazing how one day, you can be so sure of everything around, and the next day you’re scared to simply walk into a store. My heart goes out to the people that work in healthcare, supply chain, and even fashion. These people are taking care of patients, supplying much needed supplies, and even designing and making masks. Thank you so much for your efforts, and you’re definitely in my prayers.
My company has allowed us to work from home for now, and I’m heading towards week 3. I didn’t post anything on this blog in the past few weeks because frankly I didn’t know how stressful working from home would be. My brain was fried the first week I worked from home. The first obstacle was getting access to all of the systems I needed in order to do my job. That whole process took 5 days before I found my groove. Then, I had to stay motivated and happy when it was cloudy and raining everyday. I had to force myself to stay positive which was a big undertaking. Finally, I had to tune out all of the chaos going on in the world. Being a former journalism major, I’ve become accustomed to being glued to every major news outlet watching the updates on COVID-19. I’m praying to get news a vaccine or cure has been discovered. Unfortunately, there’s been more bad news everyday.
I’ve dreamed of working from home my entire life. I always thought it was the ultimate life not having to leave the house to earn a living. I’ve worked in a corporate environment for most of my life, so dressing up and doing hair and makeup has gotten old over the years. I’ve wanted to roll out of bed, pour myself a cup of coffee, and sit down at my computer in pajamas.
Now that my dream has turned into a reality, it’s very different than I imagined. People have their own processes when it comes to working from home, and they do what works for them. I’ve found I can’t work in my pajamas. I have to shower and at least put on some yoga pants. I also do my hair. I can’t just throw on a hat, and call it a day. Also, I have to go outside at least once everyday. I have to breathe fresh air, and let the sun (when there is sun) touch my skin. When you’re working from home, there are so many things to get used to. You are in charge of how your day is constructed. If you are normally under the watchful eye of supervisors, there is no one around making sure your work gets completed and your deadlines are met. You are the CEO of your own world. When you’re suddenly working from home, here are a few tips on making it productive and ensuring you still keep a work/life balance from a fellow worker from home.
Accept the place you’re in right now
I’m limited on the things I can do as far as visits to the eye doctor, dentist, post office, and DMV. I can’t run any of those errands now, and I’ve accepted that. Post offices, utility companies, and DMV’s are open with limited hours, but you need to be realistic and smart when it comes to being in public places right now. It may be best to make payments or communicate online or through customer service if at all possible.
Manage your time
I still use the same mentality while working from home as I do in the office. I tackle the hardest tasks early in the morning and the beginning of each week. I’m more alert in the mornings, so I like to reserve the projects that require a lot of mind power for earlier in the day. I work well until the evening each day, and I like to leave the latter part of the day for minor tasks. If I have to complete any reports for any upcoming meetings, I work on them each day until the meeting. I never leave anything to the last minute. There are connectivity and system issues that can occur sometimes when working from home. I try to get logged into my computer at least 10 minutes before the start of my shift to make sure everything is working properly.
Take breaks and go outside
Working from home can be isolating and stifling if you don’t take frequent breaks. Get up and walk around during your breaks. It’s easier to turn on or turn up your television, and sit and watch during your down time. I have to walk around, stretch my legs and get some air. It’s also good for the psyche to go out into your neighborhood. Although we all should be social distancing right now, it’s good to be reminded you’re not the only person on the planet by seeing other people.
Block out annoyances
Your home environment is a big factor in your success in working from home. If you have small children, it can be a struggle creating a separation from your work and living space. Try to create games and activities your children can enjoy during times where you’re on the phone with clients or tackling tasks that can’t wait until nap times. Doing tasks that require concentration may need to be done after hours while your kids are sleeping, or during early mornings before your kids wake up. Personally, I live in an apartment. Unfortunately, my upstairs neighbors have been a constant annoyance since I moved in. It doesn’t matter the time of day. My heavy footed neighbors stomp back and forth in all areas of their apartment from sunrise to sunset and beyond until the wee hours of the morning. There are rare times of silence and peace. I had been able to endure it because I’ve never had to sit for extended periods of time listening to it. I was away from my place for 12 hours out of each day, so it was a lot more tolerable – until now. I think the flooring upstairs is really old and in need of repair, so I have no choice, but to move. I’ve found a nicer apartment, and it’s on the TOP FLOOR. I will have no upstairs neighbors! Yay! I realize this is a crazy time to actually be moving, but who knows when I will be requested to come back to the office, and I need a much quieter environment. The tension headaches from listening to slamming against walls, or stomping on the floors at all hours of the day and night has gotten to be too much.
Divide your work time and passion projects evenly
Working from home can be very liberating because it enables a good work/life balance. I divide my time evenly. When work is over – it’s over. I don’t log on to my work laptop until it’s time to work. I blog and work on my novel whenever all of the things going on with my full-time job are out of mind. I never break out my personal laptop while I’m working my full-time job because those times I know my creativity will be lacking.
Think of the future and where it’s heading
These are uncertain times right now. These times are unlike any I’ve ever seen. There is talk of recession if we’re not there already. Being away from distractions helps you focus 100% on yourself and where you’re going in life. The last recession really hit me HARD. I was going through a divorce. I had small children. I couldn’t get and keep a job because my kids were always getting germs from other kids so I would always have to go pick them up from daycare. Also, at the time, I was living in my hometown which is very small and there are limited career opportunities there. I’ve done everything from working in factories and getting 2nd degree burns, cuts, and bad scraps to working in kitchens of restaurants. I did it all during the recession. I made a vow to myself and my family that I would never let those things happen again. I did research on fields that can weather the storm of a recession, and that’s how I ended up in the supply chain field. That was the best decision I ever made. Supply chain is limitless as far as opportunity, and I absolutely love the work that I do. I moved to a much larger city where there are more opportunities. I began self study courses in project management, and completed 24 hours of college credit. If a recession happens, I am more prepared for it. I know what to expect, so now I’m using this time to enhance my skill level even more. I’m looking into more courses, and doing more Internet research to make myself even more attractive to the workforce.
Working from home has been a challenging and humbling experience. My co-workers used to get on my nerves at times, but I’m missing them. look forward to being able to give them hugs when it’s safe to do so. Also, working from home has taught me that I don’t want to work from home for the rest of my life. It’s not for me for long periods of time. I prefer to interact with people in an office setting, and dressing up isn’t so bad. I couldn’t be more thrilled this is only temporary.
Welp, that’s all I have for you folks. May you all continue to be safe and practice social distancing. Take care of yourselves.