I know the spread of COVID-19 has impacted our lives in more ways than we can count, especially with respect to how we work. Do you find yourself struggling with all the free time? Or are you wishing for more days like this? Personally, I am learning quite a few lessons about how to survive working from home that I hope to continue when my life becomes “normal” again.
Setting Healthy Boundaries to Survive Working at Home
One of those lessons includes how to work from home effectively. At Wellview Counseling, we are now providing all of our counseling services online through a HIPAA compliant video platform to meet with clients. In my current living situation, I was not prepared with a home office! So, I will walk you through some of the steps I took in order to prepare my mind to work with clients from home. Setting clear boundaries between work and home will help you have a healthy mindset while working from home. Here are some ways to do that:
1. Have a designated workplace
Only do “work” from this space. If you work from everywhere in your house, chances are when it is time to wrap up your day, you may still feel like you are at the office! I found a piece of furniture I can use as a desk and moved it to an appropriate location for hosting video sessions with a professional background. Don’t be afraid to get creative here! A friend I know is limited in space, and she set a workplace up in her closet! She has aptly named it her “office”. Additionally, I stopped answering work email from anywhere else outside this space. Sometimes I have to fight with myself to get out of bed first before I start responding to emails! However, this separation is the key to creating a productive workspace.
2. Go to work and leave work
What I mean by this is to set up a ritual that signals the beginning and end of day. When I begin work every day, I turn on my essential oil diffuser (with 3 drops of peppermint and 1 drop of lavender, if you are curious). It helps to remind me that this is the space I have created to work and focus. At the end of the day I clean up my workspace and leave it ready to go for the next day. Therefore, I have continued to create those boundaries between work and home life that were usually created during my commute (does anyone miss that? I know I don’t!).
3. Use a schedule, and take breaks!
Time blocking has been a great tool for me, as I thrive under structure and routine, which is not readily available right now. I have found time blocking allows me the opportunity to create structure, while giving me the freedom to choose what tasks to accomplish during each block. Also, do not forget to give yourself frequent breaks! Use the bathroom, check in with a colleague, or do a short burst exercise. By planning frequent breaks, it gives you the determination to complete the tasks on my list. Watch this short video to learn more about time blocking.
BONUS TIP: Put your phone out of reach and limit the frequency that you check it! With technology being the only way to connect right now, I found my phone usage going up. Putting it out of reach reduces the need to respond right away and prevents me from mindlessly scrolling through social media!
Lastly, many children now have to complete school work from home. Try out some of these tactics with them! Allow them to get creative with their workspaces. Both of you can create “Do Not Disturb” signs to prevent interruptions while you are on video calls.
At the end of the day, if you are struggling to create a workspace that works, give yourself a little grace. We are all trying to figure this out together. And while you are frustrated with creating your space, offer thanks and gratitude that you have a way to provide for yourself and your family. We are part of the lucky ones.
Online Counseling: Support you need when working from home
If this new environment just seems like too much to manage, you may need some support. We are here to help you survive working at home–whether you need help setting boundaries/routines or just a shoulder to lean on. Wellview Counseling offers counseling services in Atlanta but can offer virtual support anywhere in the state of Georgia. We offer flexible scheduling throughout the day, evening and weekend to suit your new routine. We’ve been offering online counseling even before the coro
Send us an email today or give us a call to get started.
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