the frage haver

this is how i work from home

you're probably dealing with being thrust into remote working while being much sadder than usual #

Technically, the job I've got now was always going to be remote, COVID or no COVID. I signed up for it. What I certainly didn't sign up for, though, was trying to keep my focus on learning React Native and Rails in the midst of a pandemic, while my friends lose their jobs and I worry about mine, while I freak out every time a stranger comes within reaching distance of me. We're not just working remote, we're working remote during a pandemic. Our focus is screwed, we're stressed and sad, and a lot of us are strapping in for our second recession since we left school.

I have run the gamut from rage to depression to boundless anxiety and back around the block a fair few times. It's been hard. But I've found a few tools and strategies to help me along the way. I'll list them below and hope that they help some of you, too.

exercise #

Moving around does help. Here are some YouTube channels I like:

I've been running 5k three mornings a week. I'm not amazing at it but I do it with the help of Uncle Dugs sets. I don't manage this every week. I let myself walk it if I'm not feeling it.

social media blackouts #

Between 9am and 1pm and 2pm and 6pm on weekdays, you won't find me on Twitter any more. It was making me far too stressed seeing all the deaths and newly-jobless friends appear in real time. I've been using Freedom to block Twitter across my phone and my laptop. You can even set it so that you can't quit the app, meaning that you have simply no solution other than to wait until your self-imposed restrictions have been lifted. It costs money. It's worth it.

Also, and this is kind of unorthodox, but I took my Twitter blackouts a step further. I gave my partner the password to my account and asked him to change it. I then used this updated (complex) password to log into Twitter on my laptop, set my laptop to remember the credentials, and deleted all record of the password other than my broswer's memory. This means that I can only go on Twitter if I'm physically at my laptop. It's improved my life a lot.

tracking time #

I've been known to work 11-hour days and then panic I'm not working enough. I no longer have the changes of scenery that mark the beginning and end of the day working in an office, meaning that there's always scope to go just a little further, do tons of courses on Udemy to "keep up", and generally make myself miserable.

I've decided to replace this nagging feeling I'm being lazy with data. Using Toggl, I'll keep my own timesheets for work-work and extra-curricular studies on evenings and weekends and see if that gets rid of my pervasive fear of being lazy, or seen as lazy. There's a free plan and there are several paid plans with varying levels of complexity. I'm using the free one for now.

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