As a homeschool student with nearly a year at my bedroom desk under my belt, I’ve had a very interesting ropes course of a senior year to navigate. Add a work-from-home dad into the mix, and you’d think everything would be running smoothly–scheduled plans of each day and homework help right down the hall whenever I hit stormy waters. Right? Wrong.
Going from a lifetime of public school (and in my dad’s case, office work) to being at home all day is a huge change with a lot of weird factors, and even though I’m far from perfect, I’ve devised a few ways to make working from home easier, happier, healthier, and a lot more productive.
1. Set an alarm for the morning, even if you don’t have to.
It may sound like a drag, but it’s not as bad as you may think. I’m not going to sit here and tell you to wake up at 5 AM every day, but nobody can afford to let themselves snooze until 3 in the afternoon. Waking up at a steady time each day helps get much more done in those morning hours, makes for a healthier sleep schedule, and gives us a sense of routine.
2. Make a schedule.
This one only really applies if your job (or school situation, in the case of virtual classes) doesn’t already have a schedule you have to work with. If it’s all up to you, then try to devise certain times for certain tasks. This helps avoid slacking off or overworking.
3. Eat your meals.
Working at home (especially by yourself) can throw your eating habits out of whack in the blink of an eye. Some people tend to graze all day, whereas some forget to eat altogether. An easy way to avoid this happening is including times to eat your meals when you devise your daily schedule.
4. Establish a private space.
This one’s especially important if you’re a parent. Whether you’re in your office or your bedroom, work time is work time. Once the kids are home from school (or siblings or parents or whoever else) they may have a tendency to barge in and start chatting. While they probably mean no harm, it’s not helping you get work done. Set up a “keep out” policy where you’re available for emergencies only, and if they really need to tell you something, they can text you or call you like you’re off at “real” work/ school.
5. Get dressed every day.
Even though an all-day every-day pajama party may sound tempting, it can make you feel like a bit of a slob after a while. While there’s no need for a suit or a pair of heels and makeup, it can help you feel more refreshed, awake, and confident to shower and throw on a pair of jeans and a t-shirt.
6. Go outside at least once a day.
Even if it’s just to get the mail. A bit of fresh air is sometimes all we need to feel a part of the world around us.