Working from Home | How to Thrive in Self-Quarantine

Working from Home

Just a few months ago, working from home was the exception to the rule. Today, just over half of employed Americans have begun to work remotely in response to COVID-19. Zapier conducted a survey in partnership with The Harris Poll and gathered some valuable insights about how this switch is affecting the workforce.

Of those surveyed, 65% feel their productivity has increased, and 80% say they can better manage interruptions from coworkers. They claim to be working more hours, enjoying emails in place of non-essential meetings, and executing parts of their jobs more quickly. Even with these and other advantages, 66% of the respondents state that they prefer working in the office over working at home. Why could this be?

In previous research about working remotely, circumstances looked quite different from those created by the novel coronavirus. In these experiments, participants working from home experienced a 13% increase in performance and a 50% drop in employee attrition rates. Today, factors like children, space, privacy and choice are making things more complicated for those at home. Additionally, the stress associated with safer at home orders and the state of the world contribute to increased distraction and anxiety over time. For these reasons, it’s important to learn to manage your time wisely in self-quarantine.

The Secret to Success: Attention Management

Entrepreneur John Hall recently authored an article for Forbes advocating for attention management. According to his research, through a series of small changes, you can master the ability of consciously directing your attention in any given moment. This talent is no stranger to those working a program of recovery; mindfulness and intentionality are required to overcome cravings and triggers on a regular basis. Hall and other proponents say that this level of self-control can be life changing. By training your brain to home in on the important things (and filter out distractions), you can accomplish everything you need to in a given day.

Here are a few tips to enhance your own attention management skills:

Know Your Priorities  In order to figure out which things are worth paying attention to (and which are worth tuning out), you need to first identify your priorities in each day. For example, even if something important is on your to-do list, it may not need to be taken care of right this second. By scheduling out when you’ll address certain responsibilities, you can focus more fully on the task at hand.

Identify Your Primetime – Energy is a huge component of any workday, and that’s especially true while we’re working from home. Notice when you feel the most energized, productive and focused – are you a morning person who hits the ground running, or do you get your best work done after lunch? Finding these patterns can help you to plan out your day for best results.

Control Your Tech – Our devices have become ubiquitous tools in our workdays, but they can also serve as the biggest distractions. Disable push notifications, turn off the television and resist the urge to scroll through social media profiles throughout the day. You’ll get more done, and you’ll begin to separate superfluous tech from your workflow.

Set Solid Boundaries – If you’re struggling to concentrate while working at home, address this by setting limits with housemates, family members and co-workers. Create designated “do not disturb” times during which you can completely focus on complex tasks without being called away. This will result in longer periods of productivity and more stress-free time later in the day.

Working from Home: Embrace Your Downtime

Thriving in self-quarantine isn’t all about productivity and professional accomplishments. It’s arguably more important to unwind in safe ways during this time. Individuals who push themselves too hard without taking time to themselves are at increased risk of burnout, heightened stress and even relapse.

Make the most of your downtime by turning to activities you enjoy. While it’s tempting to use this time to develop a new skill, be sure you’re also setting aside a few hours to relax. Read a book, watch a movie or call a friend to catch up. By taking care of yourself during these times, you’ll keep stress and anxiety at bay.

Your Partner in Recovery

Cumberland Heights remains open and operational during COVID-19. Our team have adopted CDC and WHO guidelines to ensure our campus remains a safe place to recover. To learn more about our evidence-based approach to addiction treatment, contact us today.