It has almost been two weeks since I am working from home. For the first time in three years, I wake up and work in the same room and my feelings have been all over the place.

I love my workplace for the energetic crowd and the vibe I get at work. I have been missing it and it did affect me mentally initially.

Here are a few things I did to keep my sanity while working from home and a few things to make the most out of the quarantine period. I highly recommend this to you all!

It takes close to an hour every day traveling from home to work and back and during the quarantine I completely utilized this time to perform some productive things outside of the official work.

I established a separate workstation to not get distracted. I nearly managed to replicate my exact desk at work minus one photo frame at my desk I dearly adore which is still stuck at the office.

The first week of work from home was all over the place because I was finding it extremely hard to draw a line between work and other activities until I decided to timebox everything and focus a little more on the other activities. Most of it is work in progress but I am glad I began somewhere.

I started to feel very claustrophobic sitting inside four walls day in and day out. Though little stroll just outside the house did help, I completely stopped it for the fear of Corona. In this time a close friend of mine suggested mindfulness and I was very intrigued by it. Though everyone is aware of Headspace and Calm as famous apps for meditation. I went ahead with a lesser-known App called “Meditation & Relaxation: Guided Meditation by Fitness22”.

I chose this app after testing headspace and calm because
1) It was super simple to use
2) I got their lifetime membership at < Rs.1000
3) It has very minimal yet effective features.

I have been practicing this for not more than a week but I have already started seeing results.

Furthermore, I have also been reading many books on the effect of meditation and practicing the “here and now”. I would highly recommend starting with meditation especially if you have a crazy work-from-home schedule and generally are anxious and paranoid about everything that is happening on COVID19.

I have been excessively helping my mom in the kitchen to kill the boredom and to have some device-free time. Though it didn’t start off on a great note:

I quickly warmed up and replicated some dishes my grandma used to make from when I was very young. It has been great in terms of exploring the kitchen and elating paati( grandmom) by replicating her dish! This dish is a great alternate and substitute for junk and very easy to make! (Ok, I am going to stop here before I start sounding like I am writing/hosting a cookery program)

Sathu Maavu Urundai! Appreciate the shape guys!

Although I have been discreetly trying to draw and sketch whenever possible, dedicating time and doing one drawing per week is really improving my focus.

I have been missing far too many people at work and other friends who I generally visit whenever possible. While I am cursing myself now for all the plans I intentionally canceled I am finding ways to stay in touch and connect with them in whatever means possible!

Slack calls to talk to colleagues and zoom and WhatsApp calls to talk to friends are such saviors and if the upcoming generations are going to ridicule the technology I will definitively throw such instances where technology stood backbone during the time of crisis!

Games like UNO, LUDO on Facebook and Psych (a mobile app) have also helped me connect with my friends and kill out boredom especially during the weekends.

Now is the best time to optimize your reading abilities. If you are trying to read, make the best use of the situation and grab the nearest book and start flipping pages. I am personally finishing one book per week and it has been super rewarding.

Finally, I am personally finding it very hard to establish a device-free time because everything I do now is severely mobile/laptop heavy. I am finding some time in my schedule to turn off my phone, laptop, and iPad and spending more time with folks at home, talking, doing some tasks together or arguing!

How has your quarantine been so far?

Product Manager @Microsoft Teams. I like to write about everything in between technologies to human behavior to personal anecdotes. Co-founder @theprodcastt.