Work from home - Corona Virus - Shaheen Rajan

I have been working from home for almost 2 years, but this Corona home office situation threw me off the routine wagon. It had been a Sunday every day, for first 7 days of social distancing. I slept after sunrise, woke up close to sunset. Partied like it was 1990. Acted like a rogue teenager.

But like all addictions, this debauchery-infused lifestyle needed to come to an end. Like Mother India says, days are to work and nights are to rest. I have been doing the opposite every now and then since I was a teenager, so she has had more than a few opportunities to remind me.

Anyway. The idea was to bring routine back to the day, and be productive while the sunshines. The challenge here is that there are now two people working from home, and that blurred lines for me. I tried a few things around, and sharing the ones that worked for me for those who are new to WFH situation and feeling less than productive.

1. So, the first step was to set a routine. A time to wake up and a time to be on my desk, regardless of what time I got to bed. 9PM to get up, and 10 to report to my desk, about 20m away from my bedroom. This actually made all the difference.

2. I never could dress to work from home like I did when I would work from an office. But changing into ANYTHING else helped. It could be jeans, trousers, even PJs – as long as it was something other than what I slept in. Comfort is prime. And wash my face, put on some moisturiser and kajal. And lip gloss.

3. Boundaries are important, so laptops stay out of bedroom. That does not mean that I always work from my desk. Couch is fair game as well. Just not bedroom.

4. I make to-do lists first thing in the morning. It is my salvation and saviour. When you know what lies ahead, you can manage time and downtime both.

5. Lunch. I love a food break. The only two rules I have here is to not eat at my desk and take a break from work.

Working from home can be hard if you are a sucker for structure like me. But when you add good ol’ routine to the mix, it works out just fine.