Work from home because of COVID-19? 7 productive ways to spend your extra time

March 18, 2020
Stay motivated and keep a daily agenda, Learn a new skill or work on your strengths and weaknesses, Work on your long term vision or project, Prepare for your career or eventual changes coming up

Office, school or university closed? Public events canceled? Restaurants and gyms are staying shut?

Social Distancing, Covid-19, Corona and doing home office? Now, what to do? Even with the additional time, it might seem hard to stay motivated and to use the time in a mindful and meaningful way.

Some of us will stay home and work remotely, others will have to stay home without having to work for a few weeks.

  1. Stay motivated and keep a daily agenda
    At home, you might face many distractions. The TV, family members, your pet, food or a comfortable bed. To get the work done, you are going to have put all these matters out of mind and stay focused. Start your day mindfully, ideally wake up early and work on the things which are urgent and important. As you might have extra time as you do not have to commute you can utilize this extra time with one of the following suggestions.
  2. Learn a new skill or work on your strengths and weaknesses
    Just think about the most successful people in the world. They make the commitment to dedicate their spare time to the pursuit of learning. Plenty of tools are out there. Study languages, improve your software skills like in photoshop or simply practice playing your old instrument. Ideally, you can use your time for professional skills that you might need at work. Now is the time to catch up and to upskill yourself.
  3. Work on your long term vision or project
    Achieving your long term goals is one of the most rewarding experiences you can have. Now you might have the opportunity to invest time into those big goals. Create your personal master plan by having the end goal in mind and breaking it down into short term tasks. Then make the choices of what matters most to you, what is realistic and what is feasible. However, now you probably have also the time to take some action and to put more on a paper than just the idea.
  4. Stay physically active and take care of yourself
    Do not neglect your physical and mental health. Your body should move and not over-utilize the comfortable sofa or bed. You can meditate, do sit-ups, practice yoga right in your living room. Whatever it is that works for you, do what it takes to care for your body and mind. Plenty of youtube videos provide excellent support for these healthy activities.
  5. Prepare for your career or eventual changes coming up
    Make yourself ready for a time of uncertainty and changes. We have a big risk that the pandemic will slow down the economy and this might lead to job reductions and job losses in worst cases. Flexibility, adaptability and soft skills are a good investment. Understand how to manage your priorities, your communication skills, your confidence, and your mental balance to be ready when you have to react quickly.
  6. Stay in touch with colleagues and friends
    Working from home can be lonely. So make sure you have some calls with fellow team members where you not only catch up on the projects you’re working on but also can share some tips on how you’re getting on with remote working.
    You can also start the day by chatting with like-minded friends about your experiences or ideas that you developed over the last days.
  7. Do fun stuff with your family
    Also keep in mind, that you have luxury extra time with your family. You can cook together, play board games or create some home craft together.
    Remember the time when you have been young and shared fun time with the family without watching TV or hanging on your smartphones.

For those who are looking for motivational support and accountability to stay motivated and on track on developing yourself, try out, The Coach in my Pocket, with daily reflection, tips and reminders for self-improvement.

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