Welcome to my dining room, where I have set up a home office and have been working since March 17th. Depending upon where you live and whether or not you have a home office and whether or not you’ve got school-aged kids at home, your life has likely been turned upside down due to the Coronavirus.*
As for me, I’ve managed to find my groove, but it did take a few weeks and several modifications to the daily schedule. (Just curious, doesn’t anyone else wake up every day and feel like they are caught in a time loop like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day?)
Here are 5 things that I’ve done to make a workable daily shelter-in-place routine:
- Adhere to my morning schedule. I follow my same morning routine that I previously followed when I was actually leaving my house daily. I get up, have my coffee, shower, and dress, etc. Instead of getting in my car and driving to my office, I now mozy over to my dining room set up and begin my daily activities—calling agents, scheduling meetings, working with my office staff.
- Carve out my own space. I’m lucky in one respect in that I am not responsible for any small children anymore. My husband and I downsized into an “empty nester” house a few years ago. And, while the house is small, there is enough space for us to work in a separate area. I’ve taken over the dining room table and he has commandeered a small back bedroom that we use as a den.
- Increase my Internet speed. The truth is that our Internet speed is actually pretty good. But, for some of my staff, this has been an issue—particularly those with kids where each kid needs to be on Zoom video streaming with school at that very same time, which sucks up all the bandwidth. I have had to reset my modem more often than ever, and I recommend that you regularly test your speed if it is spotty (I use speedof.me).
- Exercise daily. Before the California shelter-in-place order, I had a very good exercise routine. I did weights three days a week, yoga twice weekly, and I also took a spin class and walked the dog. Each afternoon at around 5:00 pm, I’m now exercising in my garage, but I downloaded a Tabata app and am using hand weights. I’ve also signed up for three months free of Apple Music and downloaded a Tabata Playlist and a Yoga Playlist. Spin is out for now because I don’t own a bicycle, but I can still walk the dog as well.
- Eat healthily. It takes some discipline, but I continue to follow a healthy diet. For me, this starts when I do not purchase any foods that provide temptation. If I bought them, I would eat them. My poor hubby, though. He reports that during the last month at home, he has lost 3 pounds—probably because he is not eating out with clients. We plan our meals in advance and try our best not to deviate too much from the plan.
Even though I am jonesing for the day when I don’t have to wait in line to enter the supermarket, and I would really love to get my hair done, I’ve found that following this simple plan has allowed me to find my groove despite the enormous global dark cloud. And, as a result, I don’t really mind working from the dining room table.
*It is my hope that those reading this are all healthy, and that the virus has not personally touched their family and friends. My best wishes go out to everyone for good health during this unique and challenging time.