It’s not just you.

You’re not the only one sitting at a kitchen table swiping the cat off your keyboard while rummaging through your bag trying to find your ringing phone.

Here are some tips to help you thrive in this giant new work-from-home experiment we’ve all been forced into.

Don’t try and replicate your office schedule at home

Try working in bursts and then taking a break. Some people like to spread 8-hours of work over a 16-hour day. Others prefer to punch in at 8 a.m. and close shop at 5 p.m. Find what works for you.

Create a workspace

Even if the only place you can work is the kitchen table, do something that converts it to a workspace after the dishes are cleared. Do what it takes to make your surroundings match the mindset you need to be productive.

Make a daily routine

Do things to help your brain transition from “home” to “work.” Don’t stop exercising. Put on your work clothes even if you won’t be seeing anyone.

Set ground rules with the family

One of the great pleasures of working from home is scooping a toddler up in your lap while you pound away on your keyboard. But your family needs to know what works and what doesn’t and the rules they need to follow to keep you productive.

Keep in touch

Even if you’re an introvert, reach out to people throughout the day. Work from home for too long and you begin to feel like you’re in a cave on a deserted island. Your co-workers probably feel the same way. Schedule a call and reach out.

Overcommunicate

There is a huge benefit to seeing someone’s face when you talk. Body language conveys so much. Fill in the gap created by social distancing by overcommunicating on the phone or email. It’s not as good as face-to-face but it’s all we’ve got. Clear the air fast if you think someone might be working with an incorrect assumption.

Get outside

Leave time in your day to get outside. Sitting too long at the kitchen table being a keyboard warrior can fry your brain. Take the dog for a walk or stretch your legs with your spouse and leave the phone at home for half an hour. The world can wait.

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