26th March 2020
This isn’t a normal blogpost, but we aren’t living in normal times right now. The vast majority of us find ourselves in self isolation.
Staying indoors for the biggest part of the day can be a real stretch if you are not used to it. Passing the hours away can be an arduous task. Being allowed out once a day for a walk or exercise can stretch your patience to the max. BUT, it’s something we have to get used to and live with for the foreseeable future.
So that’s why I have decided to write this blogpost. For the better part of 20 years I have worked from home and have, from the very onset had a set of guidelines I’ve adhered to which help me cope with the ‘self isolation’ I live my daily working life by.
Now I appreciate that most of you who will read this are not actually at work, you are off, and that gives you plenty of time to relax and recharge your batteries, but believe me, you will very quickly become bored if you don’t set some rules for yourselves to work (and play) to.
What do I do?
Well, I’m actually still working so my day to day working routine hasn’t changed much, apart from the fact that my other half is here with me …. that immediately throws a spanner in the works as it’s much easier to just sit down and chat about nothing rather than getting on with the task at hand. But, I’m trying very hard not to do that!
I wake up and make myself a coffee…. nothing happens before that first cup, even though I’m now drinking decaf! This allows me to browse my social pages and check all is okay first and foremost. The coffee wakes me up and sets the brain into gear. Then I go for my shower and get myself dressed for work. No matter what I’m doing at home lounging around in joggers or pyjamas is a BIG NO GO.
If there is washing to do I throw a load into the machine and then turn on the laptop. Whilst the Mac kicks into gear I check on the notes I’ve left myself from the previous day and PRIORITISE them.
My usual start time for social media posting is about 8.30am, and that usually takes about 90 – 120 minutes to look after my clients daily posts. Then it’s time for another coffee.
After that I make sure any comments that have popped up are dealt with and responded to accordingly. The next couple of hours are dedicated to research and creating materials for the day that follows.
Lunchtime is normally me and Martha going for a walk somewhere.
This has changed because the other half is walking her at this moment in time! So I’m spending this time checking up on the news, as it’s of critical importance right now.
The afternoon…. whatever time I resume work is dedicated to catching up on training plans and materials that might be in development, answering emails and double checking all posts that have gone out through the day have any comments answered and responded to.
Normally I start winding down about 4.30pm unless there is anything specific that needs my attention from one of my clients. This is the time I’d start doing prep for dinner, but that task has been taken away from me now so its walkies with Martha, her early evening stroll before she has her dinner.
PC goes OFF at 6.00pm no matter what, however I still have my phone at hand incase anything pops up and needs my attention for any social media platforms I look after.
Dinner is followed by an hour or so reading, currently it’s the final part of Hilary Mantels’ epic Cromwell story, ‘The mirror and the light’, it’s a big read but. it’s fascinating.
Time for another shower and then it’s veg-out time in front of the tv. Depending on what day it is, I may have a G&T but that’s restricted to Friday Saturday and Sunday, and even in these extraordinary times that’s not changing.
SO WHAT CAN YOU DO?
The biggest advice I can give you whilst self isolating is to set a routine, a strict routines that you follow on what would be your normal working days. Set yourself goals, read that book, learn a new skill, watch some self educating tutorials, but do it all as if you were physically ‘at work’, otherwise you will become bored and irritated very quickly.
Working from home can be a challenge even when you are used to it, so not working will be very difficult. We all know what it’s like when we are on holiday and at home, how quickly we sink into a state of nothingness and lounging about, so just try and set yourself some goals that take up big parts of the day, but regularly take breaks and recharge.
We are probably in this situation for a long time, here we are on day 4 and what I see on social media is people having lots of fun with crazy posts, parents trying to keep ‘schooling’ as normal as possible but giving up and letting the kids run riot, and a general unstructured approach to the time spent daily. of course not everyone is like this and some of you are already settled into a new kind of lifestyle, well done to you all!
But take it from me, as a man who has worked from home for almost 20 years, ROUTINE AND STRUCTURE is what works best, so whatever you plan to do, do it logically and do it repetitively, like you do when you are at work!
#StaySafe #StayHome #StayFocussed #StayPositive
By the way, the first image, that’s most definitely not my home haha!