The ultimate guide to cracking lockdown: how to stay sane whilst working from home.

Lockdown’s got us all jittery. Whether you’re a regular work-from-homer or a newbie, staying inside 24/7 is a shock to anyone’s system no matter how used to the indoors you may think you are. With no end in sight, it’s sometimes hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Trusty Starbucks has closed its doors, your local is gone for the time being and all that’s left to do is set up shop at the kitchen table.

But fear not, it doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom!

Biscuit Marketplace is coming to the rescue with your ultimate survival guide to making it through quarantine one structured day at a time.

  1. Set a Schedule

Just because you are now banished to the bedroom turned office, doesn’t mean you can let loose, waking up whenever and rotating your day around baking banana bread and Netflix binging. Oh no, we’re striving for optimum productivity here people! If this suddenly brings a sinking feeling to the pit of your stomach, then make it a bit easier for your self by timetabling in regular coffee breaks. Weekdays should continue to operate on a 9-5 basis as they would in your normal job situation. You need to maintain your focus which will give your days a routine to combat that feeling of having no purpose. Don’t forget to give yourself an hour lunch break as well – we all need to eat and I’m not about to take away from you the best part of the working day!

2. Get Outside and Offscreen

While it is so easy to spend all day chained to the desk, firing off emails, getting all the bits done that you never had time for before, ladies and gents, that’s no way to live. Just because we’re in quarantine doesn’t mean the rules change. Clock off at normal hours, switch off the computer and breathe in the fresh outside air with a walk to round off the working day. Try, as hard as it may be, to ditch the device an hour before bed to ensure you’re getting a good night’s sleep amidst the chaos. This will make a massive difference to your productivity levels and over all mood as we soldier on through this strange time. 

3. Make Weekly Achievable Goals 

This one is so important if you’re like me and need to see your progress on paper. Make lists of achievable, small things you want to accomplish in the week, be it finishing a book, running 5 km or even setting up that website you’ve been waiting forever. If you can tick things off from a list and see that progress is being made, it’ll lift your spirits and encourage you to carry on. Feeling like you’re wasting time to slob about is no good for anyone so turn a bad situation into an opportunity and use the free hours to get creative. Never forget to celebrate the little victories either and every so often take a step back to acknowledge how far you’ve come. 

4. Don’t Dwell On It

The saying goes, “it’s a bad day, not a bad life”. Move on quickly from down days and don’t get hung up on feeling like you’re not making the most of it. Everyone’s allowed the odd moment to binge on Ben &Jerry’s and just take a moment to be. What’s important is that at some point you put down the spoon and open the laptop or tie up the laces on your running shoes. Keeping a positive mindset is the most important thing in all this so just remember that things will get better, they have to! 

5. Focus On What You Can Control 

Wasting time worrying on things that are out of your hands is regressive and whilst it’s definitely easier said than done, it’s vital to maintaining your positive outlook during quarantine. Work on bettering your portfolio and personal growth rather than attempting to psychoanalyse the news and letting the gossip on social media get inside your head. If you find yourself unable to switch off the worry then try and distract yourself by thinking up a new creative way to spend your time, away from the phone and TV.

6. Passion Projects

Sitting at home all day can be monotonous, boring and as we’ve discussed earlier somewhat soul destroying so make sure you have some other outlet to focus your productive energy on at the end of the day to shut off your brain from demanding bosses and Dooms Day news reports. Start that book you’ve always wanted to write or work on setting up that business you’ve been cooking up in the back of your head – literally anything that is still productive to give your brain a boost of positive energy to finish your day on. Your passion project should be what really gets you going and makes you happy so whilst you’re shattered after chasing clients for payment, make time for it and who knows, it could all pay off in ways you never expected!

7. You’re Not Alone

Finally, remember you are not alone in this! In times when it all piles up, and you’re feeling like it’s never going to end, take a step back and remind yourself that there’s another you sitting on the sofa, feeling exactly the same way somewhere else. Be careful of social media scrolling here, as it’s easy to get sucked into the Instagram mirage that everyone is coping better than you, being more productive and handling the whole situation in general with more ‘finesse’. It’s a highlight reel that leaves out a significant amount and you should never compare life to little squares on the internet! If this is really something that’s getting you down, try joining online groups with people, chat to friends and don’t allow yourself to get too isolated during this time.

Pain is temporary and whilst these are incredible uncertain scary days, we won’t let them beat us. We’re in this together and from everyone at the Biscuit Marketplace – stay safe, wash your hands and #keepcreative! 

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