Five months ago, everyone had plans, some had wedding plans, some had vacation plans, and some people just got up and went to work like they do every day. Five months, later, vacations and weddings are canceled, but a lot of us still need to work, not necessarily GO to work, but we need to work regardless. Luckily for those of us who fall into this category, we live in an age where remote working is easier and more accessible than ever. As lockdowns and restrictions grow and extend, I hope that the tips below can help maximize your productivity while working remotely from home.

The first big thing you should do is ensure that you don’t change your routine too much. Many may think that because they are working from home, they don’t need to worry about cleaning up in the morning, you may want to skip that morning shower for a few extra z’s. Don’t do this, keeping as much of your work routine while you’re at home will help keep you productive and keep your mindset on the work at hand. Try to keep your habits the same, obviously you can’t do everything the same exact way you do at work but the more you recreate it at home, the less likely you are to fall into the main pitfall of working at home; distraction.

Distraction is the single largest production halter while you’re working from home. The office environment is nice for minimizing distractions throughout your day, but you do not have that luxury while at home, you have to manage it yourself. Self-discipline is your biggest ally in combating distractions while at home, but there are some other things you can do to help with that. First: KEEP YOUR WORK AREA CLEAN! This is the single biggest thing you can to help your concentration while you’re working, a dirty work area makes for a distracted day. If you keep your office space clean you can keep your area for work at home just as clean if not cleaner given you live there.

Another question you may have is ‘what should I wear?’, you may not be going outside of your house but that does not mean you should just park in front of your computer wearing PJ’s. Going back to the previous point of recreating your routine as much as possible, wear clothes similar to what you would wear to work, as this will again help your mind keep itself oriented to work while at home.

Another thing to consider is the isolation and effects it can have on one’s mental state. While some may be fine with little contact for days or weeks at a time, humans crave contact with others, phone calls are one thing but video chatting apps like Zoom or Facetime can help alleviate some of the loneliness one feels while being cooped up inside. Come up with activities such as reading or learning new things to help keep yourself engaged and stave off boredom.

Staving off the boredom serves a second purpose besides just general entertainment, as this pandemic worsens and lockdowns extend, keeping one’s head up may become more difficult than usual. Remember that you are not alone in dealing with this, even if there is no one physically with you where you live, we live in a day and age where people are merely a phone or video call away. Take advantage of the technology we have to help keep your spirits up. And above all else, wash your hands!