I began by saying “it’s a strange and worrisome world right now, let’s be honest.” Well, it’s a week later, and it’s still a strange world, and possibly more worrisome. I’ve committed myself to writing and working like a beaver while I’m encased in my home.
Meanwhile, I’ve been trying to help my readers and fellow humans get through this crazy phase by sharing funny fantasy and book content, and also sharing whatever tips for working from home and isolation I can think of. I’ve spent the last 5 years working from home, and as only child with a big imagination, I can withstand boredom for a long time.
Cos I’m nice and all, I thought I’d collect all my suggestions in one place for you. As I’m a fantasy author and fan, a lot of these tips have a fantasy or general geeky flavour to them. Feel free to substitute your own fandom or interest.
I truly hope this helps, if even just a little. Above all, remember that we’re all in this together and that you’re not alone. It’s natural to feel anxious and scared, but just know there’s 7 billion others thinking the same thing. In fact, if you think about it, this could be the most unifying experience humankind has ever witnessed. ANYWAY…
– 5 words: Lord. Of. The. Rings. Marathon.
– Read for some escapism. If you don’t have an ereader and can’t get to the library or store, download an ereader app onto your tablet and phone. Tackle that to-be-read pile!
– Try audiobooks or podcasts to get some ‘company’ if you’re missing a bit of human interaction or even voices around the house. Sounds strange but it helps. Audible have set a huge amount of audiobooks free for people stuck at home with a reduced income and you can get them HERE.
– Build a fort. Bet you haven’t done that in a while. I built one this week and confirm Netflix is much more enjoyable whilst ensconced in a fort.
– Do some writing of your own. Why not use extra time to escape into a world of your own design? It’s a good excuse to spend some time fleshing out ideas, or even channeling these feelings into powerful prose.
– Co-write a novel/quarantine diary/screenplay in a Google Doc with some friends or fellow quarantiners. If you’ve never co-authored something, or even just pissed about on Google Docs with other people, it can be a really fun experience. Who knows, it might just turn into something.
– Join or start an online book club to discuss the books everyone is reading while stuck indoors. You could even make some new bookish chums while you’re at it.
– Treat yourself to shed some anxiety. If you have extra time off due to no travel time, spend it on yourself, a hobby, playing Xbox, whatever.
– Make a short film on your phone. Because why. the fuck. not.
– There was a great post on Reddit Fantasy listing free/cheap books for people laid off work during this time.
– FaceTime or Skype an old friend. If not to catch up, just make sure they’re okay. Screw it. Just call a random number and make sure they’re not bored and feel okay.
– Make the ultimate Spotify playlist. Or an alternate playlist for your favourite film or book. I did this the other day for my Emaneska Series, and you can listen to it right here!
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Look to the Future
– Find some old clothes you can’t use or donate and try to turn them into a cosplay costume.
– Plan your dream holiday to the letter. You can look forward to it once all this has blown over.
– Learn a poem or prose by heart. It’ll be hella impressive when there’s an excuse to recite it next time we’re all allowed outside.
– Document what is happening, or how you feel, because despite how scary and dire this might be, it’s a unique and historical moment. It will be intriguing to look back on.
– Learn one magic trick flawlessly so you can show it off in front of friends.
Working from Home
– Try to maintain a routine if you can. It’ll help give structure to your day and something to measure your productivity against. Portioning up time can also make it seem easier to spend.
– Make your own space. Cannot stress how important this is. It doesn’t have to be a whole office. Even a dedicated corner of your abode can be effective for concentration, productivity, and just separating work from home.
– Connect via voice or video as much as possible. We’re social creatures. Email won’t cut it for the long term. Get some face-time in with colleagues and coworkers to remind yourself you’re not the only person left after an apocalypse.
– Set daily goals to keep you focused. You’re also more aware what you’ve used the day to accomplish.
– Take breaks. If you take a lunch break at your work, then take a damn lunch break at home. Just because you can work on the couch all day doesn’t mean you should. It’s healthy for your brain to regularly switch away from complex or stressful tasks. Eat lunch. Recharge. Watch some Office, then go back to work.
If you’ve got any tips or tricks feel free to share them below. Stay safe out there, people. Stay safe and stay home. We’ll beat this soon.