At the moment things are hard. All over the country things are in lockdown (Victoria's 200 day milestone was a particularly painful milestone), and we've been unequivocally changed.
Working from home had always seemed like a dream. One that devolves into a nightmare with interruptions by your neighbour building his new home, someone else talking loudly on the phone while you're trying to concentrate, or your dog saying hello to every leaf that blows past your home.
To help you stay on track, we've compiled our biggest lessons from lockdown.
Usually, when we talk about comfort through structure, it's for children and animals, but it is important to remember that sometimes adults need it too. When possible, have a separate space for work, and log off at the same time you would in the office.
Sticking to a structure will help you assimilate back into the office, stop you from burning out and help you create small victories throughout the day to keep you motivated. When in doubt, start by making your bed. This small chore gets you out of bed and gives you your first "win" for the day.
And remember to take clear breaks, don't just open YouTube, actually walk away from the desk for lunch.
Experiment with your schedule
While the structure is important, it doesn't mean you're locked into patterns of behaviour forever.
Now is a good time to upskill by taking extra classes for your work, have a play with your schedule to see if you can maximize your efficiency, or join a mentoring program in your area. We all have set task plans that we've established while working in the office, but we can make use of this time to rearrange tasks. What works in the office may not work for us online.
Stay active (socially and physically)
We have a double up in these winter months of cold and COVID, meaning more often than not, by the time you can go outside, you may not want to.
It's important to stay active and in touch. Have a standing appointment with a friend for a walk every week, schedule a workout class with friends for accountability or organize an online games night with friends.
This applies to work too, as workers lose the casual chitchat that is common in the office. During the Victorian lockdown last year, we discussed keeping our office connected and settled on standing meetings for Friday night drinks and birthday celebrations. We didn't make it compulsory. It was just a social hang out session.
Fun things to do
Teleparty – Online stream sharing platform.
Down Dog – Online yoga videos.
Mindbody – Find online classes near you.
Netgames – Online gaming platform.
And finally, when you need it, reach out.
For immediate assistance:
- Beyond Blue - 1800 51 23 48
- Lifeline Australia - 13 11 14
- Domestic Violence Line - 1800 65 64 63
- 1800RESPECT - 1800 73 77 32
- Suicide Callback Service - 1300 65 94 67
- If you are in an emergency, or at immediate risk of harm to yourself or others, please contact emergency services on Triple Zero (000).
- NSW Domestic Violence Line - 1800 65 64 63 (24 hours a day, seven days a week)
Counselling and crisis services
- Black Dog Institute - A free online clinic providing a mental health assessment tool and other support services.
- Head to Health - A resource to help you find digital mental health and wellbeing resources.
- Lifeline (13 11 14 - operates 24/7) - For crisis support and suicide prevention services.
- RUOK? - Empowers people to connect with others and support anyone who may be struggling with life.
- ReachOut - Provides tools and support to help young people with everyday issues and tough times.
- Kids Helpline (1800 55 18 00 - operates 24/7) - A telephone counselling support line for children and young people ages five to 25.