With 2020’s sudden turn of events, we now find ourselves at the peak of our work-from-home situation.

First off, let’s be grateful to still have jobs that let us work from home. COVID-19 has taken a toll not just on our global healthcare system but the global economy as well. People are getting laid off and have been taking massive pay cuts. So, having a work-from-home situation? Not that bad.

But what do we do when the work-from-home perk we once knew, becomes a work-vs-home struggle? It’s unhealthy to eat, sleep, and breathe work but somehow that’s where we’re at today. 

We know the mental exhaustion that comes with the growing gray area between your professional and personal life is real. To combat that, here are 5 ways to keep your work-from-home situation productive. 

Dedicate a work zone

Your “work zone” is a physical space dedicated to work-related tasks. 

The rule is simple, if you’re not in your work zone, don’t do work. Having a work zone sets a physical boundary between work and the rest of your life. This will remind you to “shut down” your work-self and clock out emotionally and mentally before and after work hours.

Your work zone doesn’t have to be a whole room – unless you have a spare room or an office, then great! Otherwise, dedicating a corner, a desk, or even just a little space on your couch works, too!

Take your breaks seriously

We are all guilty of trying to multitask as we work-from-home. We think that doing a lot equals accomplishing a lot; but that’s not true. Instead of being able to give 100% to one thing, you end up giving half-baked results, which, in the end will get you more frustrated.

Cooking while answering emails, doing the laundry while coordinating a project over the phone sound so mundane but by doing them simultaneously, you’re actually compromising one if not both of them and yourself.

Instead, take breaks and take them seriously.

The last thing you want is to burn out. We’re all playing the long game. Make time for yourself. Wake up earlier if you need to, update your slack status if you must. But please keep your breaks sacred, and don’t you dare take your lunch to your work zone.

Spend time with your loved ones

There’s a sense of guilt that creeps up when we try to turn down work. We feel guilty even if it’s valid; even if it’s beyond our hours. 

But don’t buy into the idea that you have nothing better to do with your time since we’re all stuck at home indefinitely. 

Your everyday chores and sanity tasks are just as important as your work. Spend time with your loved ones. Take that online course. Read a book. Drink your coffee in peace. 

The corporate world will survive the night without you. Make time for life.

Dress up for work

Okay, maybe your favorite heels don’t need to be dragged into this. Unless you really want to, then go, sis!

Otherwise, dress up and get ready as if you were going to go to work. These everyday tasks are actually cues for your mind to get into its productive flow. You’ll be surprised by how much more you’ll be able to accomplish when you’re dressed for success!

This contrast also reminds your body that when you’re in your comfiest big shirt, you are not to reply to anyone’s email. That tab has been closed.

Follow a schedule 

Your schedule may look very different from how it used to, but it’s a good way to keep your sanity in check. 

You don’t have to schedule every hour of the day, but at least have 3 non-work related things on your list. Not because you have to stay home means you have to feel alone. 

Fill your schedule with activities that bring some normalcy into your life. There are a lot of digital finds you can do. Schedule a zoom party with your friends, take up that online course you’ve been eyeing, get this free quarantine wellness program to take care of your mental and physical health. 

Whatever it is you’re into, we hope you make a little more time for you.