Working From Home is Harder Than it Looks

Working from home is harder than one might expect. In this difficult and challenging time, you may find yourself working from the kitchen table while your kids are ‘going to school’ in the living room and your partner is in the kitchen on a conference call. Maybe you’re working from home solo, with no roommates and no distractions but a massive need for a little self-motivation and connection. Maybe you normally work from home but are now experiencing feelings of despair, stress, and fear and are feeling a little less ready for the day-to-day of your job. The unknown can be quite scary, especially when your new workspace is paired with a global pandemic. Take comfort in knowing that you are not alone. And while you might be feeling dismal, there is good news. Now that you are working from home, you have access to one of our most valuable resources: time.

“And now that you don’t have to be perfect, you can be good.” – John Steinbeck

Can you remember, only a few short weeks ago, how you craved more free time? When Netflix marathons, baths, books, and board games were activities you longed for? While not ideal, our current uncontrollable situation allows you to turn some of those dreams into reality. Take your commute, for instance. Perhaps it used to take up an hour of your day. Now, you can use that hour to experience the joy of sipping wine with friends on FaceTime or Zoom from the comfort of your home. What about the time you would’ve spent driving to pick up the kids from their extracurriculars? You can use that time to read a book together, make something, play a video game, or take the dog for a walk. And who doesn’t love a mid-afternoon nap? Now that you might be free of lunch meeting obligations, take a 20-minute nap in the middle of the day. Why not?

Working From Home’s Silver Lining: Time

The average American spends over 27 minutes a day commuting one way. That’s a little less than an hour a day spent driving/riding to the office. Think of all that time you now can carve out for so many other glorious activities. Exercise, for instance, is something you now have unlimited time for. Take 30 minutes a day to hit the pavement for a jog, appreciate yoga on your lawn, or practice calisthenics in your living room. Turn your home into a gym and get to work. As a plus, you won’t have to wear flip flops in the shower, and you can go right to work after (wet hair and all). Your health will improve, your brain will reward you by releasing those mood-boosting endorphins, and getting in shape will have you looking terrific.

Keep your brain sharp and delighted with puzzles, games, and education. There are countless fun games to play that invoke the giggles and pass the time. For a happy distraction, there are adult games like Cards Against Humanity and family classics like Charades or Pictionary. Online learning is also a fantastic way to spend your time. From cooking demonstrations to free courses from your local library, your options are plenty! Remember, this situation is temporary, and utilizing your free time to enhance your skills can only benefit in the future.

Working from home can be stressful, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find the silver lining. Changing your perspective is how you will find joy among the madness.  Take advantage of the situation and do all the things you have been wanting to do. Clean out a closet, paint your bathroom, rake the yard; now is the time to stop and smell the roses.  And remember, if you don’t want to be productive at all and you need a little break, that is okay too! Know that your current work situation is temporary so revel in this rare occasion of downtime, cherish the precious gift of time you have been given, and find joy in all the small things.