When you’re new to working from home, there are some changes you might find hard to get used to. There are good changes, of course, such as you not having to brave the traffic at rush hour anymore. There are neutral changes, such as when you need to rely on your home WiFi instead of the office connection. And then there are negative changes, such as when you feel like work is encroaching on your personal life.
It’s important to separate the two abstract spaces even when they occupy the same physical space. One way to condition yourself to be on work or personal mode is by dressing the part. Here’s a guide that can help:
For the weekdays: Set a schedule
During workdays, it’s important that you have a semblance of normalcy to follow. If your work-from-home setup is pretty lax, a schedule is even more important. Even when no one is checking on you, it’s important that you stick to it so that you can work within the number of hours advised. This way, you’ll have time left for your personal affairs once your “shift” is over.
One recommendation is to act as if you’re going to work. Wake up two hours before the start of your job, do some exercise, and prepare a hearty breakfast. Take a shower and dress up. Follow your Korean skincare routine. And make sure your workstation is not on your bed.
For the weekends: Get off the couch
You’re in the same house, but because it’s the weekend, you don’t want to do anything resembling work. You might not even feel inclined to get out of your pajamas. You think this is the best way to spend your rest days, but the truth is, this will only make it more apparent that you’re in the same space you’ve been in the whole week and not much has changed. Rather than spend the whole day on the couch watching your favorite shows, work on chores around the house that will make the space more inviting and cozy. Wash the dishes. Dust the home decor. Do your laundry. Prepare your meals in advance. All of these can be done while you’re watching your favorite shows, so you won’t have to feel like you’re missing something.
Bonus: Look in the mirror
Because you’re not leaving the house, and when you do, your face is mostly covered, you may not be paying that much attention to your looks. You don’t realize how important it is to feel good about yourself until you’re at your lowest point and have lost every ounce of confidence you used to have. Online meetings now make you feel anxious, and talking with your peers is not enough. You want to have fun, but for now, the next best thing is to hype yourself up and remind yourself that you are okay. Whenever you’re feeling down, look in the mirror and give yourself encouraging messages. If you’re feeling particularly anxious about something, that’s when you should be your own strength.
Whether you’re new to working from home or you’ve gotten used to it, it’s still important to remind yourself of the good things in life. Get out of your personal space, do something productive, and hype yourself up.