When extreme whether such as severe snow storm or blizzard arrives, the city recommends residents to stay home and off the roads. Some of you may be experiencing a snow day today with schools and public services closed, depending on where you are. While the cold haunts the outside world, you can stay in and enjoy your warm and cozy home. It’s easy to fall into the comfort of hot chocolate, homemade pancakes and Netflix, but that doesn’t mean there’s no work to be done. Here are some tips on enjoying your snow day while staying productive:
First thing: Process your emails
After your email notifies you that your office is closed or that you can work from home if it’s difficult to commute. Inform your boss first, if she/he gave you the option to work from home, and send her/him your agenda for the day and what you plan to get done before coming to the office tomorrow.
While you’re in your mailbox, respond to any email that requires prompt response, and mark the others unread to deal with for the next day
Make sure you turn the volume up on your computer so you’ll be alerted if someone messages or emails you, then it’s safe to make your way into the kitchen and award yourself with a homemade breakfast before you start working!
Prioritize your tasks
Make a list for the day,
put the most urgent and top priority assignments at the top and things that can be done tomorrow towards the bottom. Map out your tasks and work your way down throughout the day.
Cross out tasks as you complete them, and indulge in the sense of achievement! The more tasks that get crossed out, the more productive you’ll feel.
Tackle projects that need attention right away and make sure whoever needs to know of its completion is aware that you’ve done it. There will be things that can wait, and things that needs your immediate attention. Knowing what you can do, and by when, enables you to focus on feasible activities and gives you a heads-up on how your days will unfold when you return to the office.
Prepare everything you need
If you have access to the office data system, do a sweep for any files and documents you’ll need to operate from home. Especially if you have important conference calls, make sure you have all of the information you need, any contact numbers, slides or other materials, so that you won’t hold up the progress.
If you don’t have the necessary materials to work remotely and don’t have access to your files, you may need to work with the IT department and/or your boss to gain access —this will take time so do this early.
Set up your home office
If you’re not used to working at home, you may not have the best setup. You’ll need all your documents, a quite and comfortable (but not too cozy so you won’t fall asleep) place to sit, as well as your computer to focus on your work. Make sure you have an uninterruptible space to work at home, because your kid’s or pet’s snow-day excitement may interrupt important conference calls, or distract you from fulfilling deadlines.
You probably won’t have enough time to find a babysitter on the spot, but you can either ask your partner, your neighbour, or your older kid (if you have one) to look after you small children. Or you can bribe them with some extra dessert or TV time for uninterrupted time blocks.
Enjoy time at home
Even if you don’t have the best setup, you will still enjoy a work day at home! You’ll have time to prepare nutritious meals for yourself instead of feasting on fast food; you can work comfortably on your own chair and maybe in your PJs; you can even put on some gentle music in the background to sooth your nerves while dealing with difficult tasks. If meetings have been postponed, you’ll have more time to catch up on other projects. The break time will also be productive, while you read a story to your kids or load a basket of dirty laundry into the washer. It’s a snow day after all, stay warm, stay productive, and have a good time!
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