I’m sure we’re all very busy adjusting to life as it is now and trying to figure out the best ways in which to do things in these unpredictable and ever-changing times. If you’re lucky enough to already have a home office, then well done you for forward planning. We hope you’re happy in your luxury castles! However, many of us must have been caught some what off guard and are having to make the most out of what we’ve got and pull together a makeshift area to try work as best we can.
There are bound to be lots of blogs popping up about how to make your space really work for you, and the importance of the environment around you, which is all true and very informative. But another unavoidable aspect of working from home is a slight… or rather big sense of boredom and getting distracted. So instead of suggesting you spend hours feng-shuing all the furniture, we’ve come up with a few fun ways of entertaining yourself and using what you have around you. Because we could all do with keeping it on the light side and if you’re having fun in your designated work space you are less likely to wander off for no reason.
So, what do we have around us that we could get creative with?
Perhaps you could see how many place mats you can stack on top of each other to raise your laptop so it’s at a better level to you. If you have an exercise ball it is a fun idea to have sporadic periods where you swap out your normal chair and see how long you can balance with your feet off the floor, whilst also typing an email. This is also a good exercise for your core so win win!
For the braver ones, if you have a lot of meetings via Zoom, you and another colleague could set up a competition where you must mention as many pre-arranged silly words as possible in the next meeting. You could increase the difficulty each time and have a score board going. Careful not to get caught out or you lose!
Another idea to keep the motivation up is to set yourself goals, either time wise or number of tasks completed, and give yourself little treats once you finish these. But try to be inventive with your treats, don’t just go straight for the snack cupboard. If you’re in the house with someone else working from home, you can set a time period then your treat can be who can go collect a specific number of items as quickly as possible and then the winner gets a coffee or tea made for them. Having fun things to look forward to will make you a lot more focused, incorporating a silly exercise activity like running around the house gets the blood pumping and you’ll be ready to dive back into the next chunk of work time. If you’re on your own you’ll have to think of other things to do by yourself, or you can race against yourself throughout the day and try achieving a personal best. We know these all sound a bit ridiculous and most of us have serious business to be doing but give it a try! Doing silly things increases one’s happiness and anything to safeguard our mental health during this time is a good thing.
A big distraction for a lot of people will be having kids in the house who want attention and don’t understand that you still have a job to do and it’s not suddenly an all week weekend. So, you might need to get a bit inventive with barricading yourself in for a few hours. An actual barricade isn’t the worst idea in the world either! You could build one for yourself and see how long it takes the little rascals to demolish it, you get some time to work depending on how elaborate it is and the kids have something to do trying to tear it down, everyone’s happy. You’re welcome.
Another idea is to get the kids involved and set up a pretend office.
You can tell the kids each morning that they have to get dressed in their office outfits, which they can choose for themselves, pack their office bag and all ‘commute’ to work. You can all go the same way to work, or maybe one of them knows a secret shortcut and wants to go to the office a different way. These are only examples, but you can take the fake office idea as far as you want; get the little ones doing some filing or scanning (real or pretend scanning), get them to make fake laptops out of cardboard and ask them to write up a report while you get on with your own work. We’d love to know what scenarios you come up with in your own homes!
One we used to do, having an architect in the family, was to have some Lego in a different room, and that would count as going on a ‘site visit’. In the morning meeting where everyone discussed their days, you would announce that from 10-11 you would be on a very important site visit! It might be fun to tailor some activities like that to whatever job you do so they feel included.
We hope everyone is keeping safe and sane. Every day we are moving forward, stay strong everyone!