UX Designer, Host of ‘Creator’s Block’ Podcast, Designer for 50+ Sites on HubSpot
April 18th, 2020
Over the last few weeks, life as we know it has been turned on its head by the coronavirus crisis.
Some of us are lucky enough to be able to telecommute, but with so much additional stress it is sometimes hard to feel “lucky” at all.
Parents are now working full time and teaching their children.
Roommates and partners are now learning to be coworkers too.
Hobbies and other social gatherings critical to our mental well-being are postponed indefinitely.
Not to mention facing the daily news cycle on the global health crisis.
It is almost impossible not to feel overwhelmed these days.
The mantra that has been saving my sanity lately is “focus on what I can control and let go of what I can not.”
I cannot control what people choose to do with toilet paper, but I can control how much time I spend on social media (worrying about what people are doing with toilet paper).
Though I cannot control the crazy world outside of my home, I CAN control my work or my relationship with my work.
This infographic from the folks over at NetCredit compiles some science-backed ways you can take control and reduce your incoming stress from work.
Working remote comes with unique challenges.
Some sources estimate that 56% of the U.S. workforce holds a job that is at least partially compatible with remote work with only 3% previously working at home at least half the time.
That’s about 183 million people who are newly remote employees in the US alone.
I have been a fully-remote worker for a few years now, so I’m no rookie to the game, but I remember what it felt like adjusting to #WFH life.
Days blended into nights. It felt like I was always thinking about work and always “on,” and I checked my computer way more than I should have.
None of that is good for your work-life balance or your mental health.
Though not specifically geared towards working from home, NetCredit’s tips will help you unpack your job stress regardless of where you are logging on from these days.
Some tips that will particularly helpful for new “remotees” are:
Ignore your notifications for a while. Though you will probably feel the urge to be available all the time it is a good idea to set boundaries with your working hours. Within your working hours, you may also want to carve out chunks of time to go silent (let your team no how to reach you for emergencies) but your best work gets done with less distractions.
Take lunch with a coworker. This picture might look a little different from a normal lunch, but it’s still a good idea to take a break away from work. Whether it’s having a zoom lunch date or taking a break with your at-home “coworkers,” stepping away can help reset your focus and energy.
Get some exercise. This is especially important remote because many of us are no longer able to get our usual dose of fitness. Physical activity is as important for your mind as it is for your body, and actually helps battle that fatigue and exhaustion you’ve been feeling from sitting around all day. Try doing a 15-minute yoga video to start your day or going for a walk (extra credit for getting some sunlight!).
Write your to-do list before bed. I prefer doing this at the close of the workday so I don’t pull my brain back into work-mode, but whenever floats your boat, write up your list of to-dos for the coming day, including any tasks and meetings. This will help you clear your head of the running narrative if things you have to do. If it helps you can have a “work” and “home” list to keep you from worrying about finishing up that laundry when you’re in that conference call.
Most importantly, remember we are in uncertain times, adjusting to a new temporary schedule and lifestyle. Be forgiving.
There will be lots of mistakes. Forgive those around you. Forgive those you work with. Forgive yourself.
There’s no rule book for this and we’re all going to figure it out together. 💖