Do you have a comfortable space to spread out that isn’t the dining room table or the ping pong table in the basement? Do you have a place for your computer, extra monitor, files, notes, the paper calendar you can’t part with, your favorite pen? Is your printer on the floor of your bedroom and chronically out of ink?
FINDING MENTAL SPACE
Do you find yourself going to the fridge more now? Did the junk drawer get an organizational overhaul in lieu of starting a new assignment? You may be working with less mental space than usual. Working from home can leave you feeling scattered. Scattered like a box of plastic beads shot from a cannon.
Take a step back and notice what derails your concentration. If sitting at the dining room table is working for you - great! If you find yourself in the middle of something and having to stop because you have spied breakfast crumbs and why-not-just-wipe-the-whole-table-down-now (or start fixing second breakfast), then your best work may be suffering.
If you have children, being in a spot that is usually reserved for family time can be an issue - for you and them. Do they understand that even though you are in plain view now is not the time for a break?
Your child may be making obvious conceptual leaps, connecting your presence at the dining room table in your jammies at 10 am to their desire for a batch of your world-famous pancakes. Either you welcome the distraction, become overly irritated then feel guilty, or lock yourself in the laundry room for your next Zoom meeting.
While your children (and maybe you too) are imagining a fun morning of fluffy, syrup covered deliciousness and tall glasses of OJ, you are halfway through an email, trying to download a file for the 30th time, or racking your memory for what day of the week it is. It’s great to be home with your family but it’s hard to stay focused when you are constantly being asked for snacks, to play Candyland, discuss Minecraft updates, or process what just went down on My Little Pony.
Establishing a dedicated workspace is important - whatever that ends up looking like for you. It supports consistency, improves efficiency, and can be an anchor in a time that is rife with turmoil. There is no shame in using a ping pong table as a desk. But do really want to relocate every time you get the urge to brush up on your backspin?