A week before this all kicked off I joked with a media owner that we surely couldn't experience the same delays and replans we had painstakingly worked through the year before. Enter COVID-19. As penance for jinxing us all, I have four quick tips for making it through the next little while. Some from personal experience, shared wisdom from others, or from my Twitter feed that has already become monstrous as cabin fever begins to set in.

Statement of Intent 

Make it clear to yourself when your workday begins. A colleague shared this tip and it’s worked for me so far. You’re going to spend a lot of time in your home and it might be difficult to get into that work mindset. It may be down to the loss of the commute. I’ve replaced it with a short walk around the street before I start work. It’s helping to kick start my day.

Separation 

Things can get hazy when working from home, so it’s important to draw a line between work and your personal life. Draw that line with a ‘work’ pen while sitting on a ‘work’ chair. Do you have a few pairs of shoes you used to wear to the office? Keep wearing those. Avoid the sight of your bed at all costs. Use music to define your work shifts – is Classic FM your new workday music? Don’t dare sit on your work chair after hours. Put the monitor you lugged home from the office out of sight until the next day.

Dialogue 

We’re on top of this one already with daily calls and Teams catch-ups, but ensure you have an ongoing dialogue with your colleagues. It’s easy to blow a problem out of proportion or miss some important info when you aren’t connected, so keep that line open. Of course, this applies to client communication too.

Ending Your Day 

At the end of the day, I turn off my work computer and then go for a walk. This might be a run for you or a short drive to wherever you like (lockdown rules permitting), but the point is to continue the separation from the working day.

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