If your experience is anything like mine, you might be working from home right now. As of March 16, my campus is on limited operations. That means that I’m remotely along with my team and the majority of my K-State colleagues.

Given what we know from current news about our rapidly evolving public health situation, I expect that I will be working from home for the next several months. That makes me even more motivated to get into a schedule and routine as quickly as I can.

It’s been a bit of an adjustment, but here are some of the strategies that are making it easier for me:

Maintaining my morning routine. I’m doing my best to keep up a morning routine in the way that I did it while I was leaving the house. That means morning pages, a workout, breakfast, a shower, and being ready for my work day before 8am. I’ll admit to taking a few days off of workouts here and there to make sure I’m getting enough sleep, but I’m planning to stick with this set of routines as much as possible.

Setting up a productive workspace. I’m still working on in this one since my home office is reserved for my side business (I do this for tax purposes), but I’ll be figuring out a more permanent space for myself in the days to come that isn’t just working from the couch. I had been using a standing desk at work, so I’ll probably try and have a similar situation here at home. There’s a nook in our dining room that would be perfect for this kind of set up and I may re-purpose the Varidesk in my office so that I can be on my feet more throughout the day.

Checking in regularly with colleagues. I’m meeting each morning at 8am with the academic continuity working group that I’m a part of, at 1pm each day with my team, and at 4pm each day with the Global Campus leadership group. These meetings, and their consistency, is helping to bring some structure to my day and to make sure that I don’t feel too isolated.

Taking a lunch break. It’s really easy to keep on going through the lunch hour since there’s a lot to do right now, but I’m making a point to stop and make a meal so that I can get up, move around, and be away from my computer. It’s actually a great benefit of working from home that I have a full kitchen to work with for a midday meal, so I’m taking advantage of that to make things like salads or tofu scrambles that would be harder to prepare if I was using the office kitchen.

Knocking off at 5pm. While a little more challenging when in crisis-mode, I’m doing my best to stop working at my normal time. I keep an eye on email in the evenings just in case I’m needed, but I also want to make sure that I’m getting time to rest and recharge each day. If we’re going to be in this situation for several months, I want to make sure that I’m setting up good work/life balance habits from the beginning. 

What are some of your strategies and tips for effective remote work?