Just as about 2.6 billion human beings right now, the whole Linedock team is under "shelter in place" and working remote. Most of us still have access to supermarkets for our basic needs and we have tons of technologies to stay entertained and in touch with our relatives.
Yet, being locked at home doesn't feel right and the most challenging thing to cope with these days is mental health.
Two years ago I had to stay in Asia for production for 3 months and lived at the factory. I was in a city with no friends, living in poor conditions, not speaking the language and what's more, with a very poor internet.
So we decided to use that experience to come up with 9 rules to stay sane, safe and motivated during quarantine.
#1 Do Chores
Cook, clean, do the washing up. We stopped using the dishwasher completely and also stopped ordering food online. Aside from the sheer satisfaction of "getting the job done", forcing yourself to do tasks you don't really like actually brings contrast in your day.
#2 Get a (new) Routine
Whether we like it or not, humans do need a certain level of routine. Daily commuting, grabbing a coffee on the way to work or just chatting with a colleague at breaks. Staying locked inside does break some of our daily habits so it's about time to create new ones.
We have started a routine more strict than usual, with a very precise working schedule, including bedtimes (Feels like college lol).
Such structure triggers a relative sense of urgency: "I only have 30 min to complete this task".
#3 Reward yourself
Or... the good old carrot and stick approach. How about skipping Netflix in the week and watch it all in the weekend ? This will give you a nice reward at the end of the week and something to celebrate.
As Linedock is more a passion than a job for us, the line has always been blurry and we're never completely off. However, we have now muted all emails on the weekend. Sorry if you shoot us in the weekend, you will need to wait until Monday morning ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.
#4 Have a side Project
Have a side project to work on to escape mentally. It can go from browsing Wikipedia about a new topic you want to be more knowledgeable about or doing some DYI at home. Have you ever noticed how time flies when you are Focusing/Reading/Working on something you like?
For me, it has to do with Arduino, I am working on a secret projet these days and the end goal is to present it to Elon Musk. Nancy is reading a ton about oenology and yoga stuff.
#5 Eat healthy
It is commonly admitted that junk food makes a bad mood even worse. If carrots and salad aren't your cup of tea, it's alright. But at least try to drink water regularly, cut on snacks whenever you can and skip pizzas.
We've been going almost fully vegetarian since the quarantine started. We eat ton of fruits, vegetables and nuts. And it feels really good.
#6 Do exercise
No brainer. Exercising does a lot of good to your body and your mental in general. Even more during such a lockdown. It helps relaxing and it's a daily shot of endorphins. If you aren't allowed to go out, just do some stretches and work out inside.
Come on, there's a guy who ran a marathon on his balcony (true story). And by the way, now is the perfect time to start working on that #summerbody.
Exercising is (still) allowed once a day where we are. Every morning, we go out at 6:30 AM for a run when there's no one at sight.
#7 Separate Professional from private life
That's a tricky one but crucial one. Try to be strict on yourself when it comes to professional stuff. Keep your desk clean and don't hesitate to reshuffle the furniture around during "work time" and "leisure time"
We live out of a small apartment where we cannot really split office work from the living room. So we reshuffle the furniture around every time we switch from pro to private mode. Twice a day. If you find that tedious, see point 1.
#8 Zoom it!
For sake, we all miss our friends and family these days. So we try to hop on call every day or two. And if you still have your grand-parents, give them a call too.
#9 Scale down
Scale down your objectives. If you're less productive today, perhaps you should lower your targets. This is a marathon, not a sprint. The last thing you want is getting overwhelmed by the job at hand as you may not have access to any of your usual coping mechanisms: going out for a drink with friends, taking a walk outside, going shopping.
We've started scaling-down our objectives by 20% and have been feeling much more productive since.
Depending on where you are in the world, you may or may not have started clapping your hands everyday at 8.00 PM to thank the medical staff for doing such an amazing job. It might sound very weird but it gives a strong sense of belonging. That sense of belonging is real, and probably the thing we are craving the most while living under quarantine. In the end, it's all about maintaining a grip on our mind.