You're inside nearly all the time now, and time is meaningless. You're free to binge Netflix or work from bed, and lounge around in a bathrobe and bunny slippers all day, skipping showers and "forgetting" to shave. Such unbridled sloth sounds fun, but in reality there's a better way to keep yourself happy and sane in the probably months of quarantine ahead: Stick to a routine. Better yet, use the tech you already have as your guide.
Your phone, laptop, smart watch and smart speaker can help you stay sane and productive when life's normal cues disappear. Here are the five most important elements of my daily routine and how you can adopt them in your new stay-at-home life.
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Don't just grab coffee, take a coffee 'break'
At the office it takes me about a hundred paces to get from my desk to the coffee machine, but at home I'm literally only 10 steps away. To up my daily step count, I started setting reminders on my phone that literally say, "Take a coffee break!" because otherwise I will sit for hours on end without realizing it.
Watch this: Get the right tech to help you work from home
Whatever you might need a bit of a nudge to do something -- take a break, go on a walk, start a home workout, call a friend, or even when to stop working for the day -- reminders, appointments and alarms can help replace the natural breaks and transitions you'd have in a typical work day.
I get a traffic report with an estimated commute time (I've left this on, just to get a sense of how busy the streets are).
If I have any
appointments or reminders that day, Google Home lists them.
Finally, Google Home plays a handful of news briefs from NPR, CBS News and, of course, CNET.
Change into work clothes because it's better for your brain
Time to lose the sweats. You don't need to shrug on a button down or blouse, just wear something that makes you feel more like you're at work than your flannel PJs. And if you have a Zoom call with colleagues, the fact that you've bothered to put yourself together will show -- and maybe
You're already using Zoom, Slack, Google Meet and Microsoft Teams for mandatory meetings and one-on-ones with your boss, but how are you keeping up with the social aspects of your workplace relationships? Greasing the social gears is a powerful and important way to stave off feelings of isolation and sluggishness.