COVID-19 has disrupted industries of all kinds forcing over 200 million people in 21 states, 47 counties, and 14 cities to work remotely, according to The New York Times. For Crowdsurf, this has led to a significant increase in minutes and tasks from businesses, school districts, and universities as they move operations and instruction online. As we enter this busy work period, we all must balance our physical and mental health with job productivity.

While working remotely is not new to Crowdsurf workers, state and local stay-at-home legislation has blurred the separation between work and personal life. As public health officials push for social distancing and self-isolation, many employees increasingly feel anxious or disconnected from their normal lives. With little ability to leave the house, it is increasingly important that you find activities that add to a balanced lifestyle, even if it is within the confines of your own house. These four tips can help you stay sane and productive during these tumultuous times. 

Start the day properly

While it’s tempting to roll out of bed still in pajamas and head straight for your computer, maintaining structure and a routine is essential for both your sanity and productivity. Before clocking in, make sure to get your morning shower or coffee in so you are ready for the day. Dressing for success is another great way to enter the workday with enthusiasm and motivation. 

Define your spaces

Now more than ever, it is important to have a clear separation between work and personal life. While your kitchen table can fundamentally serve as both a social space and a workspace, separating them will prevent you from feeling stuck in a rut. Moving forward, designate a room for work to train your brain to engage in “work-mode” rather than “at-home mode.” This space also allows you to physically walk away when you need a break.

Make time for people

Whether it is business contacts or your spouse, prioritizing communication can help employees feel less isolated or detached from the people in their lives. Human interaction and conversation create balance and overall happiness. Utilize technology such as Zoom, Skype, or Facetime to stay connected without leaving your house. Setting up a Zoom call with friends or family not only provides you with a break but can also add to your daily routine.

Don’t work an 8-hour workday

Breaks are incredibly important! Taking a step back from tasks allows you to come back refreshed and motivated. While working at home, consider separating your workday into chunks. This could look like three 2-hour chunks with 20-minute breaks in between. This type of structure will help you stay engaged and in turn increase both your productivity and happiness. 

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to affect millions of people, it is important to set realistic expectations for ourselves. Accepting that our normal structure and routines will look different in the upcoming months is the first step to maximizing happiness and productivity during this uneasy period. By following these four tips, you can take control of this unprecedented change and shape your workday into one that works for you.