Dear Dr. Jim,
Working from home can get monotonous. How can I spice it up for the New Year?
I’ve been working remotely for about 20 years, and it’s certainly different now than it was a year ago before COVID hit. So, there’s that to consider.
First of all, find your comfort level. Set up your area so it’s as comfortable as you can make it for yourself.
The next thing is focus on priority setting, not time management. Every day or week, whichever is your preference, decide what the first item on your list is that you want to get done, what’s the second, the third, and try to work through those items throughout the day or week.
Something else that I do every day, all day, is I make sure to take breaks at least every 30 or 40 minutes. I go somewhere, I get away from my computer, I do something else. I may call or Zoom with a friend or colleague to have some interactions with people, to just have a chat.
Make sure that you feed yourself well. Stay away from the junk food, it’s not a good thing — you start to feel crappy after a while. Also, every day I try to do some kind of exercise. I get out of the office, go outside, walk around safely (i.e., social distancing), to bring in some variety.
Another thing is to make sure that you set up times when you’re going to work. And, whenever you stop, make sure you turn off your computer, the displays, the whole thing to help disciplining yourself to stay away from the computer. Because what we’re finding with people who are working remotely is that once you start getting bored you go back to your computer and start doing more work.
Finally, make sure you get enough sleep. It’s really important in terms of making sure you keep your energy up.
These are some of the things I do on a regular basis and it seems to be working.
Hopefully this is helpful!
– Dr. Jim
*names have been changed