We’re a month into this thing now. Many of us are spending countless hours of extra-extra quality time with our pets, kids, significant others, roommates, or just ourselves.
How are you finding a new work-from-home balance? What’s working? Any new habits or routines that you’re discovering?
Work-from-home life isn't new for me, but the social distancing is. We moved our couch to face the windows in our apartment to create a faux porch, and it has been very relaxing. Refocusing our living space on the outside and not the television has been great for our mental health and has encouraged more reading time.
as an introvert who’s worked from home for 20 yrs I feel like I got a head start. main difference is I think I’ve lost my dog’s daytime affection to the new stay-at-home members of our tribe
I think the best thing is making a schedule of things that bring you peace and happiness. For me, that's getting outside once a day. I also think its completely ok to have time alone and separate from your quarantine mates.
Couple of things that's been helpful:
* Changing out of "house" clothes into (comfy) "work" clothes in the morning creates a mental shift to start a work day
* I don't have a dedicated work desk, but I set up and dismantle my work station on our kitchen table everyday. It's my equivalent of commuting to work?!
* Instead of doing 1:1s over my laptop, I've done it over my phone and do laps around my neighborhood. It forces me to get sunshine and get some steps in!
* I also bought a pair of blue light glasses to help me sleep better
* I end my work day with a run or a yoga session at home just to force myself to stop
* I've been reading so much more...and finally started my substack account! :D
Before the stay at home movement, I was already working from home so the transition hasn't been too difficult. But the fact that I can't go out on the weekends and hang out with my friends is a bit of a struggle because I'm a big extrovert.
In regards to new habits, one thing that has helped me to be more productive at home is to separate my workspace from my bedroom.
On the one hand, I am freelance and have a lovely garden shed I can retreat to and work remotely from. On the other, I have four children under seven, including a four-month-old baby, so the juggling is very real and my wife is a hero. On my imaginary third hand, every time I think this is tough I thank my lucky stars for everything I have.
A new habit I started developing actually is writing on substack. :)
For the first couple of weeks, I kind of wallowed around. Now, I try to be more organized. I make a list each day of tasks to accomplish. I’m trying to talk to someone every day, rather than just email or text. I’m also trying to eat a little better, rather than junk food, although I am baking pretty regularly.
Thanks for asking, Nadia. Things in my life are flowing along nicely, like a fine glass of wine. My sweetheart and I have grown extremely close from our experience of working at home together. We’ve have a good rhythm in terms of our respective work commitments. And I have been cooking and baking A LOT! In terms of productivity, I just received my 2020 Passion Planner, albeit a bit late. I had decided to go completely digital the beginning of the year (i.e. Google Calendar, DayOne Journaling app) but have since reversed course. Having the old traditional paper calendar book feels much better to me. And of course, Substack ROCKS! I’m all in baby. — Diamond-Michael Scott
Well I wish I was working from home. Going to work daily as an essential worker. But we too have our couch facing the window. Really nice.
I've got no balance - just 25 more hours per week of childcare to my 3-under-4 than before. I have a hard time making use of my evenings because I'm so fried from constantly being "on" for them all day.
Took me like 3 weeks but I finally got a blog post out a few days ago, would love to get back to weeklyish and it's not strictly impossible.
Using the same habits/routines from deployments. A lot of similarities actually. https://radigan.substack.com/p/tips-on-isolation-after-living-in
Every day, I take out all the money I make from my newsletter and throw it into a vault, where I then dive into it and swim around.
Its actually doing more good than harm to me because i started writing again @constance.substack.com after many years of procastination.
I got to rest a lot and i got to sleep a lot.
Off topic but have others found subscribers tightening the belt (very understandably) lately or did I just start sucking?
As for the set up, I worked from home before this but we had to move house a couple weeks ago and it was...not an ideal time to do so. It has admittedly been a bit harder to write depressing newsletters while my wife is teaching third grade on the computer in the other room however.
The floor is my desk, work table, best friend 🤗
Lots... new schedule, learning online, walking, wonderful things actually....and mainly sharing with old friends, reconnecting and long moments in reflection. Thanks
I've worked at home for years but this feels different. Lately, I have focused on creating a time of day when I won't let any distractions in. I don't even check phone or email until the writing is done and I've asked my mate to say anything more engaging than "good morning." No politics. No news. Nothing until later when I am in better shape to handle it and have some pages under my belt. The dog, though, misses our afternoon trips to the dog park and has been letting me know.
I write about running in my newsletter so this isn't a huge stretch for me, but I've begun a 5K-a-day running streak and I'm finding it helps a lot. I know that, every single day, I get out in the fresh air for a few miles, and it helps me segment my day. I'm up to 29 days in a row now, so who knows how long it'll last?
Other than that, my wife and I are trading off teaching elementary school to our 6-year-old, which is probably the biggest challenge -- while also doing our day jobs at the same time. If you have any ideas, I'd love to hear them!
My partner and I are now doing yoga in the morning before I get into writing for wfhtimes.substack.com. And of course lots of cooking, but we did that even before quarantine.
The major change for me (apart from all the surreal changes that everyone is going through) is establishing a new routine for the entire family. Everyone used to have their own routines that had little overlap: school, work, sports, etc. Now this is all happening within the confines of the same home. The adjustment period is not over yet, but things are definitely going smoother now than a few weeks ago.
- coffee in the morning while looking through the window
- taking many short pauses boosts creativity
- the feeling of creating something is present, instead of the formality of the office space
- you can walk more without a formal desk
- you feel empowered because people trust you to work remotely; one of the reason people are brought together in an office is because they are not trusted to work remotely
Best new habit has been doubling down on my newsletter as I’m using it to highlight psychology research to get through these strange times. I’ve found this to be productive AND therapeutic. Findyourway.substack.com
I have gone "back to basics" and am enjoying more routine, and a healthier one, in my life. e.g. morning prayer/journalling, an afternoon walk, family time in the evening... all stuff I should be doing *anyway*, but it feels like this whole lockdown situation has caused me to be more intentional. I've actually been reasonably "productive" at home, work-wise (I thought I'd miss the cafe I sometimes work from), but maintaining that wider "balance" is key to everything, for me.
I tried doing this before but now doing a better job of it: Turning off all electronics at least an hour before bed. Living alone, I tend to fill up more of my time with electronics (laptop, Netflix, phone, etc), but making a point to turn off and read a physical book helps a lot to end each day on a calm note.
No specific set up but something I've found especially resourceful is controlling what I hear & see. E.g. I avoid the news, have phone notifications off, ignore negative things I can't control. That way, I maximize the quality of my inputs and in turn quality of my outputs.
Me and my husband are sheltering-in-place with my in-laws in their house which, after years of living mostly alone and mostly in small apartments is a pretty big change. I am both teaching and writing and taking meetings from our shared living room table and occasionally hiding in the basement when I really need some peace and quiet. I am also taking more breaks to cook (for all of us) and finding that my distractions are much more about necessity (like going to the grocery store instead of the more elderly in my household) than boredom (which used to be the case). It's been interesting to see my family get more of an insight in what I do however, and being in a more home-y environment than when I was going to my office everyday has somehow translated into me doing more personal writing (including for my newsletter) than before.
I left my full-time newsroom job In September, and the new adjustment to remote work was welcome. I absolutely loved it and would wake up at 5am eager to write or edit or what-have-you. I didn’t know how the current situation would really affect my habits, but definitely didn’t expect to have all my energy suddenly depleted. Can’t wake up in the morning, can’t sleep at night. That’s on top of the financial hit as an independent writer. I’ve restarted therapy to help me in and out of these often debilitating funks, and that’s been helping so much. Spending time in the sun—even if it means just staring out the window—turn some of the worst days around. I also either keep my phone in a drawer or turn it off for approximately 5 hours per day, which helps me unplug and read/work without distraction.
Not big on cooking, but I’m picking it up right now! Making homemade pastas and sloppy joes and all things Mexican and Indian. Learning has always helped rejuvenate me, so I’m grateful for the kitchen I have.
Overall, I’m not sure there’s a routine I’ve adopted during all this. I’m taking it day by day, and forgiving myself more often than I usually do for missing a deadline or responding late to emails. It’s new territory. One day at a time.
I find that taking virtual classes fulfills my extrovert need to interact with strangers; that's the biggest change since I already worked from home when the pandemic started.
Routines are key for me.
I’m up early(4:30am) every day so I can curate & get my daily email roundup full the cool shit(coolshit.substack.com) I came across into everyones inbox by the time they wake up 😬
Then it’s our typical family morning routine - breakfast, news, get dressed.
Then we get into our productive time. My wife and I are normally rotating between kids & calls - when one has a call, the other has the kids. The kids can be doing anything from coloring, playing in the backyard or playing productive iPad games.
Lunch. Naps - which gives me and my wife another block to work.
At about 4PM, we basically start “free play”. TV goes back on as we get ready for dinner and just wind down.
The last part of our day is usually spent with friends & family (FaceTime, Zoom, Duo, Houseparty) and several glasses of wine.
I was originally going to comment on this post just to plug my email (which I’ll do again just in case 😬 coolshit.substack.com) but as I was writing I realized how important it is for us all to collectively share the different things that we’re doing to get through these LONG DAYS ...
Working from home isn't new to me, but social distancing is a challenge that I'm starting to feel right now. Working at a coworking space was something I loved to do for human interaction, but now, it's tough as we can't really go outside. I'm managing, but giving myself some grace is super important right now.
Going to work everyday (on the weekday). After coming home, take time to spend quality time with family which include setting up dinners, playing board games, having fun and hearty conversations.
I'm breaking up my day. Working earlier in the morning, taking a break mid-afternoon (some times to exercise, some times not), and tying up loose ends in the evening. The breaks give me room to breathe ,and I don't feel as exhausted at the end of the day.
With the kiddo home from daycare my wife and I need to alternate working hours for a few hours at a time so we can give our full attention to our son. Luckily our employers are cool with this and we're fortunate to still be working from home. So far so good, thankfully.
For me it's a start, and I think I will like it
I am a consultant and WFH/remote was the norm for me... my new “co-workers” not so much. My coaching and scheduling is helping them; walks for sure are part of the program (even through the groans). For me, I decided in quarantine to get serious about my side gig. Just so happens it’s related to clean food eating/making/recipes/menu planning ... something to be said for timing! Oh, and while I would LOVE to move to a paid model, my free and open start up approach is growing leaps and bounds!
It's been a really beautiful experience for me, actually, aside from the financial hardships. Creatively it has done wonders. I've got the time and space to relax and create. I'm reading and writing more, and am prouder of my work than I ever have been before. It's like I dove into creation and writing with more vigor now that there is the time and space to do that. It's also a bit more introspective - because it's not so hurried - which has led to an uptick in quality.
Also started here on Substack, after meaning to for A WHILE. Link here --> https://kyle469.substack.com/
Feedback is generously welcomed. :) <3
Been doing this on and off for 10 years, and working 100% remotely for the past 5 years. It's working fine.
* Scheduling everything (professional and personal) on my daily calendar
* Making time to work out first thing every morning
* Setting aside some space to work in solitude (even if it's facing a blank wall)
* Video conferencing to stay connected to my community and clients
* Noise-cancelling headphones are a gift that keeps on giving
* Zoom cocktail hour every Friday night
* Having a hard stop to quit work at night to relax with my family
Haven't worked in an office in a decade, so no changes there. We set up Jira, so I'm a lot more focused on production, less time on R&D stuff. Walking much less, due to social distancing, and my waistline is already starting to show it :-(
Posted about this about a month ago here - https://benlefkowitz.substack.com/p/322-recap-living-in-iso. The best advice I have with WFH is write down tomorrow today. As you're winding down your day write down everything you have to accomplish tomorrow today
Both my wife and I are retired so we were used to being home most of the time other than the summer months which were used for traveling. I teach a seminary class but that was always online. I teach a Bible study for seniors once a week and this class has been moved online. I spend about 4 hours a day reading but that is pretty routine. What we both miss is not being able to be in the same physical space as our grandchildren.
Im spending more time writing and reading. Sharing with family.
From a writing perspective, I'm (almost) loving the work from home balance. My newsletter is about remote work and remote entrepreneurship (https://remotelyinclined.substack.com/), so it's timely to be writing about this.
My setup is similar to what it was, since I've been running my business remotely since Jan 2019.
BUT, a new habit is that I am trying to learn from other people in creative industries. I got a masterclass subscription and have already taken Usher's / RuPaul's / Anna Wintour's. Doing what I can to absorb their creative energy and bring it into my writing and other endeavors on SS
Jill Conner here from as|mag - my set-up isn't too different from before since I write quite a lot. But the necessity to remain in one place has been a bit challenging. I've been taking the time to clean out my workspace and update www.artists-studios.com .
(hello I'm new to Substack) Working from home hasn't seemed to deviate much from my lifestyle of an introvert. But it has forced me into a morning ritual of tea, exercise and a fresh start to the day - in contrast to the semi-blob life of weekends sleeping in till 3 pm.
I (luckily) decided to try an electric standing desk right before the pandemic began, and it has been amazing.
Any yes, now I am one of those people evangelizing standing desks! haha
I've been working at home for a long time so this is not new to me, but I did sometimes go to a coffee shop or other public place to write (which I no longer do).
I already have a weakened immune system, so not much has changed (I was always very health conscious).
I am basically focused on writing (both on Substack and trying to do some guest posts on new sites) and focusing on maintaining my health.
On a positive note, I've begun exercising more. But otherwise, not much of a change in my daily routine.
I've found having a "daily close" routine is super helpful to prep for the next day as well as make the transition out of work for the day. If you've ever worked a retail job and had to "close shop", there is a list of things you do (e.g. close register, take out the trash, etc.). This makes it easy for the opening shift to get going as well as closes the day out. Similarly, I have a list of things like processing emails, creating tasks for the next day, etc., that help me get ready for the next day.
I have a “timer” chrome extension that I set to go off every 20 minutes to remind me to just stand up, stretch and walk around the apartment a little. I’ve found that it really helps with back pain/leg pain from sitting around all day, which is exacerbated by exercising and then coming back to a really stagnant position for 8 hours
I'm struggling a lot with staying focused on any one thing (work, exercise, reading a book, writing my newsletter). I know I need a routine but I can't seem to stay motivated enough to sustain it longer than a couple of days. Also still trying to find a new balance with my extroverted roommate.
A bright spot though has been having my morning coffee out on my fire escape (I'm nyc-based). My neighbor across the street has started waving at me.
For me, having a routine helps. I start the day by journaling. I try to make sure I log off by a certain time of the day. After work, I go jogging, which is relaxing because sitting all day gets tiring. I've definitely started journaling more regularly since this pandemic started.