April 13, 2020
My name is Maureen McMahon, your PSD Communications Specialist. After 15 years of working at home as an editor, writer, publicist, and parent, I’ve learned a lot about the importance of intentional space. This series is meant to share simple strategies honed from the holistic living emphasis of my journalism, and are suggestions to help you navigate working from home and heightening your awareness.
Home these days for all of us is filled with competing needs, so every suggestion is of course hypothetical. All ideas are mine, stemming from my knowledge of holistic living and daily practices, and not the PSD’s. May you find a new way of working you carry with you. Thanks, Maureen
Intentional Space: the workspace
Your space at home can be important for productivity. Designate a place where you will do most of your work from home. Figure out some adjustments for better light, a comfortable chair, a proper height table, tech needs like a headset, a quieter spot where you can fix the noise, and so on. If you share housing, lead with kindness if where you work affects where others can be. This is especially relevant if your kids keep coming in to see you. Staying calm and kind will keep your workspace cheerful.
In this new workspace, what we used to rely on will not cover our needs in this high-tension time. If you are used to having a lot of coffee, maybe drink less and keep cold water next to you to promote groundedness and hydration for immune strength.
If you are used to in-person interactions, know what the service is that you usually provide and figure out how your contributions still matter. You can still help out your teams. We will all need to listen more as goals and priorities shift. What do you hear are the needs?
Break at lunch completely. Eat foods that energize you. Take time to put together food that makes you excited about lunch. Present it in a way that you appreciate. Simple and functional, yet nodding to the little ways you have a preference about what is in your kitchen. A beautiful, bright salad. Your perfect food. Soup in a ceramic bowl. And, make it social if you are home and have been given this time to share lunch. Eat outside or not at your desk. Mindful eating can be as simple as eating with your feet on the floor and noticing flavor and aroma.
Working at home can be surprisingly silent. If you are not on video calls very often, the quiet can bring loneliness. Listening to music while you do easy work and chores is uplifting and brings an element of personal preference into your workspace.
Value keeping your workspace clean and commit to exercise. At the end of the day, keep a packing up routine by closing your computer, putting your tools away, and moving to another room. Make sure you get some exercise to move the body, clear toxins and stress, and boost endorphins. Get outside before bed. It sets a clear boundary that after work is personal time.
Working from can home blur the boundary between work and after work. Checking the web and emails until you fall asleep is standard for many, but crosses that boundary. A simple understanding is that task related work, even navigating here and there, engages your thinking, planning, and mobilizing thoughts, whereas reading a book quiets the mind, taking a bath relaxes you to sleep, and focusing on your partner and kids makes important comforting emotional connections. Try both approaches and notice what works best for your sleep. Try holding firm if it is helping to ease up on screens before bed.