Working from home during the pandemic is proving to be a challenge for many employees. Working from home comes with its own brand of interruptions; here are some ways to take control.

  • A space of your own – While it’s ideal to have your own home office, staking out your own workspace, even a corner of the kitchen table, is a way to enter “business mode.”
  • Alternate child supervision – If both parents are working at home alongside the kids, take turns supervising them so that each of you has time to work undisturbed.
  • Implement a self-care morning routine – Turn the time that you would be commuting to the office into time to exercise, journal, meditate or read a book. Even setting 15 to 20 minutes of your morning to do some sort of self-care routine can be beneficial.
  • Manage email and text overload – Casual conversation at the office has been replaced by emails and texts. While maintaining constant communication with your co-workers is important, that comes with hundreds of emails and texts, often interrupting the work day. Instead of constantly checking emails, make it a point to check your messages for five minutes every half hour.
  • Limit distractions in workspace – Try to distance yourself from the tv and cell phone while working.  Arrange your work area so that you’re not staring at the dirty dishes or unwashed laundry competing for your time.
  • Manage your personal phone – it’s easy to pick up your phone and open Facebook or scroll through Instagram, but before you know it, 15 minutes have gone by. Put your phone on Do Not Disturb, put it on vibrate and turn it face-down, or shut it off for a specific period of time.
  • Schedule office check-ins – Managers sometimes worry about the at-home productivity of staff. Touching base on a scheduled basis is not an interruption. A group Zoom call can make workers feel less isolated and more accountable.
  • Tackle similar tasks – Do you have calls to return or emails to sent out? do them all at the same time instead of doing a few and waiting to do the rest later.
  • Take breaks – Sometimes, taking a break when you are distracted can help refocus you. Ensuring that breaks are part of your schedule is a good idea because they are helpful to ensure that you can work efficiently without getting exhausted.
  • Pet distractions – does it seem that your dog waits for you to begin a phone or zoom call before it starts to bark? Make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise and consider giving him a toy to distract him or put him in a crate or in another room for the duration of your meeting.

Being shared with permission from the Special Needs Alliance