Marquis, Eastside CO 2013, talks mental health and productivity when working from home.
There are few things that help me stay on top of mental health. Taking time for myself is a big one. Do what you love to do, and if what you love requires being outside, then find ways to modify it. For instance, I love music and photography. The music part is easy. I have listened to so much music in this 7-month period of WFH. It’s probably impossible to quantify. The photography part is a little harder, because I prefer street photography. Because I don’t think it would be safe to be on the streets, I’ve modified it a bit. I have started re-processing and re-categorizing my film negative archive. It still gives me my photo fix, but just in a different way. And it makes me more organized.
Additionally, I’ve surrounded myself with new hobbies constantly. I bought a guitar a few months ago, and I have been teaching myself guitar (RIP the tips of my fingers on my left hand). Obviously, I have played a lot of video games. I need to do more reading, but the jury is still out on if I will get back to pre-quarantine reading levels. Reading is more fun on BART than it is in my room, so probably not.
Really find ways to keep yourself happy by doing what you love. My background in psychology requires that I stress that you talk to people if you are feeling too stressed or anxious. There are stigmas behind speaking with professionals about issues, but it’s important to get those stressors and worries into the world and out of your own internal dialogue. There are tons of options both free and paid for therapy. Hell, you can even call me (I’m not a professional, and if you call me, keep that in mind).
My major rule for productivity that I’ve had since college is simple, and it’s worked wonders for me. Work hard as hell for an hour and then do something mindless for 20 minutes. And then, repeat. It feels easier to accomplish for me, and I’ve always been a fan of more mini breaks throughout the day. This is especially true now, because WFH inevitably causes you to work more. Suddenly, now instead of days being 9-5, I find that my days run even longer into the evening. The lines between work and home are too blurred. So, my main advice for productivity to “un-blur” those lines. Be rigid and inflexible about what is your time and what is your work’s time. That’s helped me remain productive.