Avoid social isolation and join our #coronadiary movement

CoronaDiary #1 — March 16, 2020

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First day of remote working for a host of people who've either dreamed of working remotely, or were planning to ask their bosses for this type of work.

Looks like nature got ahead of us and decided to ask our governments, directly, for remote work.

Below are the submissions for Day 1 of the CoronaDiary initiative, and at the end of the article, I placed a couple of useful tips and techniques.

Sisyphus Working Remotely

Razvan Goldstein

Morale: 🙆‍♂️🥳 Firing on all cylinders!!!

It's been a strange couple of days, because I have wished to work from home; I am enjoying it very much, yet I am struggling.

I find it difficult getting into a flow and working uninterrupted for at least one-two hours, because it seems there is always something else to do: a phone call to make, feeding the cat, washing the dishes...

I think you know what I am talking about.

So, what are some good ways you can get into your flow and work uninterrupted?

Dorin Bratosin

Morale: 🙆‍♂️🥳 Firing on all cylinders!!!

Completing our ToDo's every day can be challenging.

What I do every morning is set myself a max of 3 realistic ToDo's I want to complete, as I would be in the office, and focus only on those.

It's the same 8 hours, just that you don't need to spend time on preparing yourself, commuting etc.

Ah, and you can enjoy the morning silence without an alarm :)

Anonymous Remoter

Morale: 🙍‍♀️😞I feel off!

I didn't get any work done, and I woke up super late today because I've been depressed these past few days. I wish I had more people around me who understood where I'm coming from about the America situation (I'm in Korea), and the social isolation is getting to me as well.

Alex Paul

Morale: 🙆‍♂️🥳Firing on all cylinders!!!

Had a lot of client meetings + team meetings. Got a bunch of prospecting done on LinkedIn and created tasks from a recorded business flow analysis video.

Cristi Pirvulescu

Morale: 🙆‍♂️🥳Firing on all cylinders!!!

  • started the day as I always do with some code-reviews;
  • got back to a bug I was not able to finish on Friday + also a quick call w/ a coworker, to get some fresh eyes on the issue; helped a lot because I was able to find and fix the issue rather quickly.
  • did some estimations for the 3PM planning meeting;
  • 3PM to 5PM planning meeting w/ all the team members;
  • started working on some Safari related bug;

Adrian Oprea

Morale: 🙆‍♂️🥳Firing on all cylinders!!!

Had a rather delicate conversation today with someone I partnered with for a secret project. Wanted to make sure we're still aligned and moving forward. I really value the guy and his idea and I wanted to make sure we're not wasting time and valuable resources.

Turns out we're good.

Sent out a couple of emails, but spent most of the day creating the structure for the secret project.

Nothing really difficult or frustrating, only time consuming.

Feel bad for not exercising today, but I'm still going to get my 5x5x5 — 5 reps from 3 exercises of my choosing).

Go get yours in!

Answers and advice

To get uninterrupted chunks of time, I find myself reverting very often to two techniques: The Pomodoro Technique, and Time Blocking.

The Pomodoro Technique1

It's a simple time management technique in which you set a timer for 25 minutes, turn off all distractions around you and work. After the time is up, you take a 5-minute break.

After 4 "pomodoros" you take a bigger break — 30-minutes to an hour, in my case.

If you get distracted, write down your distractions — especially if the phone rings and you must answer, you write it down and set aside a special Pomodoro — 25 minutes of your time for activities such as email, phone calls, feed the cat and so on.

After the 25 minutes are up, you take 5 minutes in which you break away from your work and give your brain time to adjust, process the information it has received and make sense of it.

Time blocking2

In essence, this technique works great with the previous one, since with time blocking all you do is block chunks of your time on the calendar for specific activities.

So you could easily block two 25-minute intervals to work on a task, and put them in your calendar so you can have a place to center your day around.

The only thing you should consider when choosing any time management technique is its flexibility. It needs to allow for adjustments. If it's too rigid, it won't work because you will end up getting ruled by the process.

Use Do Not Disturb while Driving3

Or whatever the equivalent is for your phone/OS.

Turn off notifications — I often turn on "Do Not Disturb while Driving" on my iPhone when I want to get work done and don't want to get distracted. The main advantage is that I can set an auto-reply message, I can allow people who call me repeatedly — second call comes within three minutes — and allow people from my Favorites list to call me.

Use RescueTime4

I've been using RescueTime for about 4 years now (if not more) and it's proven to be an excellent tool! It allows me to see how much time I spend on certain activities and provides a productivity pulse for my day.

What's great is that it now works on iOS and iPadOS as well, so whenever I look at a report, I get an aggregate view of where my time goes, on all my devices.

It can't do real-life, tho'. So my ideation, and physical note-taking activities won't get recorded 😅.

That's it! It was a great first day, and I'm excited for the second day of CoronaDiary!

Submit yours

If you read the article and would like to submit your entry, you can do using this link, or the embedded form, below:

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