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Adjusting to working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic

Week 126.0 — 23rd March '20

At the time of writing last week's post, the response to the Coronavirus pandemic appeared to be more cautionary than necessary. By Monday evening, a lot had changed and every day since has bought more news, measures, advice and, sadly, deaths.

It feels inevitable that the UK will be put into lock down at some point because Brits being Brits, they just can't keep away from congregating. Like much of the UK, I've been home bound all week. Not my favourite way to work, but it's clearly the best thing to do for the greater good.

Getting used to more distractions, be it kids or being able to just stick the TV on, took a while. First world problems like forgoing a second screen haven't helped, but I've managed to settle on a working pattern that will hopefully make things much easier now that we know schools are closed next week for all but the children of key workers.

My employers have been pretty good at following the governments advice and it's meant the entire company now works remotely until the advice is to go back to normal.


I've spoken about the Pomodoro Technique many times at work, but rarely have I needed to have that type of discipline for myself, but this week it's been pretty obvious that I need to do something to keep me focused.

I've been trying out the free version of the Be Focused app for Mac OS, which has been really useful in splitting up my day. This is how I've configured my chunks of time:

  • Work for 40 minutes
  • 'Rest' for 20 minutes

That gives me plenty of time to focus on work and still allows me plenty of time for distractions. Next week will be the real test but having preached on the technique it's about time I started using it myself.

Office space

I've been moving my laptop around between the kitchen, our dining room and our main living space while I adjust but ultimately I'll be moving up into the office space now that the kids are off. The space has been tidied a bit, but is still full of junk as it became our storage room late last year. I've gotten through half of it and begun sorting the mountains paperwork out but nowhere near the finishing line yet.

Schools out

The kids are being homeschooled for the foreseeable future, both fun and daunting in equal measure, we've put a timetable together to cover the big topics and we've left plenty of time for fun activities and free play too.

I'm sure that's going to be the most fluid part of our lives at the moment, figuring out the best way of engaging and education, but it's a challenge we're up for.

Keep safe

As much as I want this all done with, it looks like it's going to be months before we're back to normal. So until then, please, keep safe. If you're in any doubt as to whether you should enjoy some social engagement, just watch this first.


Last night, Boris Johnson finally set out restrictions to try and force people to stay home. Long overdue given we've had multiple previews of the way the virus works. But it was welcome and provided clarity for a lot of people (not everyone though).

I really cannot wait for things to get back to normal, but until then. Stay home, stay safe.

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Quick links and commentary on interesting articles, videos and more throughout the week.

  1. 126.1 – Monday
    1. Study claims using CarPlay while driving is more dangerous than texting macrumors.com
    2. P.E with Joe The Body Coach TV on youtube.com
  2. 126.2 – Tuesday
    1. #GoTouchless @andrewconstance on twitter.com
    2. UK contactless spending limit to increase from £30 to £45 beginning next month macrumors.com
  3. 126.3 – Wednesday
    1. Eight marvellous and melancholy things I've learned about creativity theoatmeal.com
  4. 126.4 – Thursday
    1. 7 things you didn't know about plastic (and recycling) blog.nationalgeographic.org
    2. "Coffee & Kareem" trailer Netflix on youtube.com
  5. 126.5 – Friday
    1. Cold Cure from Keenan & Kel Binging with Babish on youtube.com
    2. The visual landscape of a world shaped by pandemic theatlantic.com

Jump to notable items for Week #125, Week #127 , view the notable archive or my favourites.

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