I’ve been lucky enough not to be laid off yet, and have been plunged headfirst in working from home. Before this pandemic I avoided working from home because I got distracted pretty easily and found it easier to get work done in the office. I’ve typically been a high performer and like to maintain work life balance so falling behind because I worked from home is not an option.
Now I’ve been required to work from home since early march. The first couple weeks were rough. Working in a new setting, big changes going on in the world, combined to make focus difficult. I fell behind where I wanted to be on several projects. It was all dragging me down.
Late last week, at the time of writing, I made two big changes which seem to be helping a lot. They are getting better sleep and using the Pomodoro technique to focus on work.
To get better sleep, all I did was start closing my blinds in the evening. I live downtown, so at night there are lots of light shining into my nice large windows. The view is good, but the light degrades sleep quality. I noticed a big difference the first night and have been feeling consistently good this last week.
My version of the Pomodoro technique is to do 40minute ‘sprints’ of focused coding time. This gets me past the initial hump and doing solid work. Then I take a short break and circle back for another round of focused work. This is similar to what I would do in the office, work for a while, then chat with coworkers or go to the lunch room. Except now I just stay in my apartment and stretch or workout.
Working from home is still a bit rough. But I think I’m past the hump of adapting to it. Now I just want to optimize a few things like my monitors and getting a motorized standing desk.