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Sanity, productivity & working from home

Apart from staying healthy, the biggest challenge for most people at the moment is staying sane. If you’re still working, your next challenge is to understand what productivity means when you’re working from home. For additional complexity, just add kids into the mix.

One of my good friends, Maria Doyle, has been working from home for over 7 years, as have I. Maria has a PhD in isolation!, having lived on a remote coral atoll for 2.5 years, and even we are struggling at this time. So don't beat yourself up if you're finding this time difficult!

We've got some good tips for making it all a bit less stressful. This chat is a mix of our anecdotal and lived experience, with some framing from my work as a psychologist.

In this 30min chat we cover a few topics, including how to:

  • keep your perspective
  • stay sane
  • define your productivity in this new environment?
  • manage your expectations & be realistic about what you can and can’t do

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We’ve also thrown a few top tips into the mix.

Focus on outcomes, not hours

Be ruthlessly clear about what the essential things are that you need to get done.

Be compassionate to yourself

Speak yourself as you would your best friend. We’re experiencing unprecedented change across

Make a list of the top 5 things YOU need to get through the day.

Here’s my top 5:

  1. Talk to an adult friend
  2. Calm the system – walk, meditate, surf
  3. Move my body
  4. Something fun with my family – even just 5 or 10 mins
  5. Cut down my to-do list to the bare minimum

Bonus: Stay off social media! Max 10 mins per day.

Structure your day – and be realistic

Change it if it’s not working for you.

My approach has been to work out what my kids need – to be happy & so they’re not constantly interrupting me - then arrange what I need to do around that.

Productivity looks really different at the moment

You’re not in an office surrounded by other working adults. You’re at home, possibly with kids, and there are a lot of distractions. You cannot focus as you could a few weeks ago in the office.

However, I would argue that 2 – 4 hrs of very focussed work can be as productive as a 6 – 8 hr days when you’re constantly being interrupted.

Everybody is going through a major adjustment

I’ve been working from home for 7 years – my husband for 4 years – and this is still a big adjustment for us.

So, be compassionate with yourself. Your loss / change is significant for you, so don’t compare yourself with those who are doing it tougher.

When you’re ready, ask yourself what is the silver lining each day?


Let me know in the comments below which tip is your favourite.


How we can help

If you’d like help to get your content online, contact Maria via

If you’ve been made redundant or are facing redundancy, join my free Facebook group Career Support Hub, or join me on my next webinar.

Speak soon,

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