Decades in a home-based office have taught me some valuable lessons on keeping both sane and productive.

As a public service, and in light of the current work environment, we’d like to share these thoughts to help anyone suddenly tossed into working from home.

1) Dress for work.

2) Follow a regular routine for waking up, drinking coffee, and being at your desk.

3) Work regular hours, but be flexible. If you start early, stop early.

4) Have a dedicated work space with work-related equipment and supplies.

5) Set ground rules when kids or others can interrupt you.

6) Establish an organizational structure so nothing important escapes your notice.

7) Learn about new projects, software, and industry trends.

8) Communicate regularly with co-workers, clients, and supervisors. Let them know when important tasks are finished or you’re available for new projects.

9) Attend and participate in online meetings.

10) Don’t just communicate via phone or email. Zoom meetings keep your face in front of people.

11) Take a full hour for lunch. Don’t eat at your desk.

12) Take breaks from your desk every few hours for a walk, nap, or to do laundry.

13) If you’re sick, take sick time…or you’re no good to anyone.

14) We’re all in the same boat, so take time to talk with friends.

15) Get out occasionally. While we’re supposed to self-quarantine, walking around the block will help clear the cobwebs.

16) Stay positive. People can hear a smile on the phone. A good attitude makes others want to communicate with you, and will improve your overall efficiency.

17) Take advantage of being home. Do some baking, organize a closet…something for YOU.

18) Now’s a good time to catch up on paperwork or phone calls you’ve been postponing for volunteer projects.

19) RELAX! It’s a stressful time for everyone. Do your work, but forgive yourself for staring into space periodically. You probably did it at the office, too.

20) End the day with a regular routine telling your brain it’s time to shut down. Walk the dog, drink some wine, or hug your kids.

Determine what works best for you; then turn to others for support and insight. Nobody knows how long this will last, so make the best of it with minimal stress.
Written by Rob Weinberg, San Diego speaker, author, and marketing consultant.