How To Cope With Stress While Working From Home – If you’re feeling overwhelmed right now, you’re not alone — even Google’s in-house productivity expert is grappling with the work and life changes that have arrived along with the coronavirus outbreak.
Laura Mae Martin advises everyone from brand-new Google employees to executives at the company’s highest levels on how to be more productive. She’s been at Google for about a decade, beginning in sales before turning productivity into her full-time gig.
Now, as the pandemic has forced Google employees to shift to remote work, Martin is coming up with new ways to stay motivated and to help cope with stress — and it’s advice anyone can use, whether or not they work at Google.
“One thing that I think is the most — if I had to say the most — important tip as far as getting things done from home, it’s setting up a plan for yourself the day before,” Martin told Business Insider.
“If you do have those little three-hour spurts of, baby’s sleeping or whatever it is, then you’re able to get things done. A lot of times, the first few minutes, you spend figuring out, ‘Wait what do I need to do?'”
Martin said she made a worksheet for Google employees, but anyone can make one on their own — she described it as “an hour-by-hour contract with myself.” Her own worksheet, she said, lays out what time her child’s nap time starts and what things she needs to get done during that period. Writing down her list, she said, helps her stick to it.
What she doesn’t encourage, she said, is a rigid schedule — instead, people feeling stressed and overwhelmed should try a flexible routine, which means figuring out what time of day they’re most productive and trying to get their to-do list done during that time.
“Whether you have kids or you’re working by yourself and you’re by yourself all day, it’s still helpful to have that structure,” Martin said. “Just to say, ‘I’m going to take a break 1 to 2. I wrote it out.’ It helps you stay accountable.”
Despite Martin’s role as a productivity expert, however, she doesn’t encourage spending your time only focused on work right now.
“Finding time for yourself is equally as important as getting these things done,” Martin said. “If you have the ability to take a few minutes to meditate or to unplug from your tech devices or do something active with your kids, that’s also helping you be more mindful, more productive, and helps your mental well-being in the long run.”