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Man working from home

The coronavirus pandemic has taken the world as we know it and turned it upside down. Hospitals are scrambling to meet the needs of their patients as the federal and local governments are issuing stricter guidelines to help stop the spread of the virus.

As part of this upheaval, millions of Americans have been sent home from work with laptops in hand and strict instructions to remotely tend to their usual workload. Unfortunately, this can prove to be a lot harder than it sounds. If you find yourself struggling to complete your workload from home during the outbreak, we can help!

Here are some tips on how to stay focused, on-task and productive as you work from home.

Create a morning routine: Establish an easy ritual to start your day. Go for a walk, stretch or do yoga.

Create a workstation: Propping up your pillows and working in bed can sound like a good idea until you find yourself nodding off in front of your computer screen. To keep your brain focused and in “working mode,” it’s best to designate one area of your home to serve as your workstation as you wait out the outbreak. Keep the area clean and stocked with all the supplies you may need during your work hours.

Set your hours: A major boon of working from home is choosing your own hours — but this can backfire quickly. Lack of a proper schedule is the biggest enemy of the procrastinator. To keep from finding yourself with a huge amount of work to complete in an impossibly short amount of time, set up working hours and stick to them. If there are children home with you, work around their routine by scheduling your work hours during nap time or late at night when they’re asleep.

Take Regular Breaks: Walk around, even if it’s just in the house. Try stretching or exercising to boost energy. Working for long periods of time without rest can lead to stress and exhaustion. Taking a break refreshes the mind, replenishes your mental resources and helps you become more productive.

Collaborate: For most of us, home is where we unwind and kick off our shoes after a long day of work. Keeping focused and staying on task when working in your own comfortable surroundings can be super-challenging. Bring home some of the motivational work atmosphere by collaborating with your colleagues as much as possible. Utilize video conferencing to swap ideas, plan long-term projects and communicate.

Get rid of all distractions: It can be hard to keep your mind on work when each beep of the phone brings more unsettling news and updates about the spread of the coronavirus. If you can, hide or shut off your phone during your work hours. If that’s not possible, consider turning off your notifications and social media apps.