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7 ways to make working from home easier

We’ve had a LOT of practice

Home Working During Coronavirus Photo by Romy Arroyo Fernandez/NurPhoto via Getty Images

With more and more people deciding to implement self isolation and work from home during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, a lot will be looking for the best advice and guidance on how to be the most productive. That’s where SB Nation can help! A large number of our writers and staffers work remotely, so we asked them for tips on how to survive at home.

Change your clothes

Yes, that sounds pretty straight forward, but you can easily fall into the trap of just staying in pajamas all day. Not remotely saying you need to put on a prom dress, or even real pants, but don’t just walk straight from bed to your computer (especially if you sleep in the buff). Even if you just change into other athleisure clothes, put on that fresh pair of sweats.

Pro tip: keep a sweater nearby to dress up your tee shirt if you have to get on a video call.

— Caroline Darney

Ration that Disney+

Listen, I’m not here to judge if you occasionally need Mickey Mouse to be your babysitter. Am I going to do that at my house, now that I suddenly have two new coworkers under six? Absolutely. But you can’t let the kids set this up themselves, or know exactly how much programming is on the service right now. You gotta save Frozen II for when they’re really being insufferable. If you blow all the streaming big guns right away, you’re not going to have an entertainment emergency option next week.

Tell the kids that only grownups can set up Disney+. Let them pick between like, one or two shows. Slowly let them know that new stuff got added. We can milk this Disney library for a month if we judiciously manage it. Otherwise, we’re all gonna watch the two Frozen movies every goddamn day until this quarantine lifts, and that might be even more dangerous than any illness.

— Matt Brown

Work somewhere besides a bed or a couch, if you can

I understand this may not be applicable for everyone but if you are able, try and sit up at a desk, counter, or table while you work. Working all day from the bed or a couch really starts to take a toll on your body and your brain. It might be fun for a day or two, but after a few weeks of this it’s going to hurt. Your wrists are gonna ache. Probably your knees too. If you don’t have many options, at least try and shuffle around a bit during the day. Work from the couch for an hour, and then move to the kitchen table and back.

— Whitney Medworth

Go outdoors

One of my hardest adjustments to working from home was the fact that when I punched out I was ... still at home. Working out of your living room means that the place where you used to relax is no longer 100 percent relaxing. The couch where you used to crash after yet another long commute home suddenly becomes the last place you want to be.

So get out of your house after your day is done. Walking, running and/or biking all abide by social distancing best practices, assuming you don’t head straight for a crowded area. You can accomplish two things: 1) exercise, but more importantly 2) resetting your brain so when you return to your home, you no longer see your job, but a place where you can unwind.

If you don’t leave your “workplace” after work, you may have a hard time taking your brain out of work mode. Fresh air does wonders to help me let go of stress.

— Louis Bien

Get one of those Little Tykes basketball hoops and dunk relentlessly on your toddler

My daughter is two years old and already understands what it feels like to be on Twitter. If that dummy tries to guard me out to the three-point line (her mini-trampoline, for bouncing) I just drive to the basket and show her all the advantages of not being 3’1. One of these days she’ll learn to take a charge. That’s when we start the Duke application.

— Christian D’Andrea

Come up with signals to yourself to differentiate your activities

One of the difficult things about working from home can be the melding of work time, play time, relaxing time, etc. If you have different habits or signals that tell yourself which one you’re doing — even as simple or silly as “I’m wearing this shirt, so I’m working” or “I’m over here in the apartment, so I’m playing games” — it can help tremendously in your brain to prevent everything from meshing together.

— Pete Volk

Be careful to separate your work/home life.

This can be one of the most difficult adjustments you need to make when working from home. The idea here is you don’t want to have either sides of your life bleed too much into the other. That might seem simple at first, but it’s far too easy to procrastinate at work and start watching a show, doing laundry, catching up on personal business — and then you’re behind in your professional life.

However, I’ve found it’s far worse to be tempted into working during times when you’re normally relaxing at home. It’s so easy to say “I’ll get a little more work done,” then realize you’ve spent multiple hours during your normal relaxation time on professional tasks. This is bad for two main reasons: Firstly, you’re going to be prone to burnout by spending too much time on work. Secondly, you might start to resent your work and start to feel like your home isn’t even your sanctuary anymore.

To avoid this I recommend not working somewhere you normally have enjoyment, and strictly dictate your work/relaxation time. You’ll thank me later.

— James Dator