10 Healthy Practices for How to Successfully Work From Home

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By Patrick Jeffs, PhD, LCMHC, SEP

How to Successfully Work From Home During COVID-19 Shelter in Place

Dr. Patrick Jeffs is a resiliency trainer, coach and consultant with The Resiliency Solution. As co-founder and CFO of the NC Center for Resiliency PLLC in Chapel Hill, Patrick has researched the intersection of clinical application and business for the past 15 years. We asked Patrick to give us 10 healthy practices on how to successfully work from home during COVID-19.  

For those that are privileged enough to continue working from home during the coronavirus outbreak, the upcoming weeks/months will be difficult. Distractions are plenty. I start to worry myself, especially when dusting under the bed sounds like a good use of my time during “office hours.” I’m doing my best to keep up my routine as much as possible while solely working from home right now.

So here are 10 healthy practices that have helped me, focusing on resiliency, creativity and productivity – and that can help you – successfully work from home.

  1. Start your day quietly. Before jumping straight into work, put a sticky note in the upper corner of your computer that says, “Breathe.” 
  2. Set a schedule. Make sure coworkers, family and friends know your schedule, and keep to it. Be sure to include breaks for fresh air, movement and digital contact with others in your work-from-home schedule. 
  3. Move your body. Stand more than you think! Try standing during a phone call or using a high countertop as a standup desk.
  4. Check in with others. If you work with a regular team, schedule digital meetings daily. Talk to others about what’s going well.
  5.  Limit distractions. Now’s the time to train yourself not to multitask. Review what’s essential and what’s not for the next month.
  6. Drink more water. Don’t eat while working. Go to a different room while eating. 
  7. Make your workspace as enjoyable as possible. Pictures, plants, snacks, comfortable chair, or things that inspire you. Keep your workspace tidy and organized. This will help keep your brain settled. Also, make sure to keep your work and home life as separate as possible. Especially if there are others at home, it’s essential to keep boundaries around when you are working (in your work space) and when you’re not. 
  8. Limit media intake during “office hours.” It’ll only stress you out. Limit your workday as best possible. Don’t “check-in” with work too early or too late if it’s not essential.
  9. Stare out the window. While standing, look around until you find something that makes you smile.
  10. If you need a healthy distraction, learn something new that’s good for you. A healthy break should help us return to work feeling rested, inspired, or energized, not more stressed or distracted. For a healthy distraction from work, try listening to an audio book, find new recipes to cook, learn about a hobby that you’ve always wanted to start. Learning something novel at a moment like this turns on the creative parts of our brains and helps keep stress at bay. 

Dr. Patrick Jeffs helps teams and individuals integrate and deepen these practices for times like these. Schedule a call to make sure you and your team are staying resilient while working from home. The Resiliency Solution, 919-525-4559

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