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How to avoid distractions during COVID-19 while working from home

All of a sudden WFH become synonymous to work from home and it got hashtag #WFH as well. To those who new to work from, its a challenge. I work from home under different tags in over 13 years I am in habit of it. To me getting to work means leave the bed and take 2 steps. But at times even I get puzzled either due to less productivity or maybe there are days when I am not getting many thoughts to put in writing or maybe simply chair looks boring to me. To get rid of all this I have divided my tasks into chunks and I put those in different baskets. I prefer using a bigger screen but when I feel I am not comfortable sitting despite I am not tired I get to rest and do things on mobile, for example, I can read things of my use on mobile so I can give better career advice or sit with a laptop and do edits and proofing.
Work from home need self-dedication; there is nobody to ask you to finish a task faster. For me, disciplined working is a compulsion and I am adopted to it. I am fully responsible for my need to fulfill; I cannot ask anyone to help me and this is for over two decades so I knew work is the only luxury that I have in my control. To be circumstances never bothered me as much I go with the flow. And the most important thing I enjoy what I do, i.e. research and writing. Scientific research put me in shape, put me alert and keep me going.
COVID-19 emerged as the biggest threat to mankind. Businesses and Homes are closed, perhaps you are asked to work from home and maybe you are not comfortable with the idea or felt excited for a day or two and then you can't make it; you are in frustration. Over the years many have asked me how you are able to work from home; normally my answer is only a smile or just I say because that is my work, so I do it. I stay alone so its a kind of a luxury for me when I closed my doors and can sit in any corner to work (but I have a fixed place). But if you stay in family or group distractions are obvious, you cannot ask everyone to shut mouth. So what to do to avoid distractions while sitting at the work desk.
1. Do not respond: Its human nature, people will bring news to you; vegetable prices are too high, the next lane has loads of police presence, n number of people are infected, or what you want you to want to eat for lunch. When someone shouts all those things on your head, distractions are obvious. Do not respond. If you do that in a few days people around you will understand that you are work. When you are at work look to the screen, not anything else.
2. Avoid TV. I don't have television; I do not watch it at all. Perhaps to date I have not completed watching 100 hours of television. For entertainment either I go to the theatre (during school days) or read a book that can make me laugh. Now for news, I use mobile but read text-only news, no videos and in the night either I read again or see news analysis of 15 minutes to 30 minutes, it could be a BBC or Wire, any good channel that does unbiased reporting. TV is anti-poor if you belong to middle-class focus on your work, TV is truly not for you. But let the others watch, you can restrict everyone, that would be inhumane.
3. Keep water at reach: Before you get to work, fill a water bottle and keep it at your desk, keep sipping, stay hydrated.
4. Make tea for you. If you need a cup of tea during work do not try to get it on the table instead raise your ass, go silently in the kitchen and make yourself; so you can stay focussed. Else family ladies are bound to tell you sugar will finish in a few days and you have to get it from the market.
5. Serve your lunch: If you are fortunate and someone else cooks for you, serve to yourself in your lunchtime. This way you will eat less and also you won't lose excess time over family lunch. When I was regular in office, few weeks at the start I joined the team for lunch, later I quit the group because why should I listen to all non-sense over lunch, it eats my mind unnecessarily. If I am eating I need to focus on my plate so I can focus on work later. I don't like to waste my energies in all those shitty talks. But mind the gap; you are working from home; family members may ask you to join for lunch; be polite and tell them you will join over the weekend.
6. No Social Media. Social Media is good for nothing, if you are not working with a social media company, simply do not listen to social media. It's a time loss and takes loads of energy.
7. Maintain your schedules: Why the watch is running there? Be disciplined with time.
8. Say no to boss: Again I am fortunate at this point. But if you have a boss expect from you to work round the clock, do not do that. If your boss is extra demanding; tell that you will catch up the next day.
9. Keep snacks handy. Do not eat like a buffalo. But keep some snacks that you can munch on if you feel like to eat something.
10. Exercise: Indoor exercise or go to the terrace if that luxury is available or do some push-ups or walk 'corner to corner' in the room if you stay alone like me. For me its 15 minutes of time when I do nothing but walk. Go your own way.


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