Having worked as a translator full-time at home since 1979, even during my children’s very long French school holidays, I am probably not suffering from the constraints of lockdown as much as other people.
1/ Get dressed immediately when you get up (this became a rule right at the beginning when I had a client turn up unexpectedly at my doorstep and I was still in my nightgear).
2/ Set up a dedicated work space, even if you do not have a lot of room. Avoid working in the bedroom if you possibly can (you’ll sleep better at night!).
3/ Make yourself work for an hour at a time WITHOUT ANY DISTRACTION and then allow 10 to 15 minutes break (I have software called WorkPace that locks my keyboard every hour and gives me exercises to do but you can override it if necessary).
4/ If you’re having trouble getting started, begin with the easiest task. Break tasks into doable segments if necessary.
5/ Take a morning tea/coffee break, a proper lunchbreak and an afternoon tea break and NEVER EVER eat at the computer. If you want a snack, run up and down the steps, skip rope or clean the bath first. You probably won’t feel like it any more. The idea is to dissociate eating from working.
6/ Do at least ½ hour of exercise inside or outside each day. During our miserable winter, I do the “Happy Walk”.
7/ If you are used to a lot of light as I am (I lived in tropical North Queensland for 22 years), use a daylight lamp for 4 hours a day. You would be surprised how effective it is.
8/ Make sure you talk to someone at least once a day if you are living alone. If you are used to having a lot of people around you at work, you should talk to at least three people a day! Texting is not a substitute. Maybe you can call someone during your lunch break. That’s what my daughter does because she hates eating by herself. Use headphones to make it easier. There are lots of home tasks you can do while talking on the phone such as cooking, hanging out the washing, ironing and gardening.
9/ Take the evening off if you can but sometimes it may be better to take time off during the day and work after dinner instead. However, you will need to leave at least an hour between working and sleeping if you want a restful night.
10/ Take off at least one full day a week – it doesn’t have to be Sunday!
Lockdown won’t last forever and we need to preserve our resources to deal with the aftermath!
Do you have any suggestions about working at home?