Life During a Pandemic
I’ve been working from home full-time for very nearly two years, but this past month has been the most difficult by far. Introvert or not, I’ve gotten pretty stir-crazy without the ability to work for an hour at my favorite coffee shop, attend a lunch-and-learn at Central Exchange, or meet up for an end-of-day drink with my sister.
Fortunately, I’ve collected a few tools that had made it easier me to find success as a solopreneur—and that are frankly saving my sanity during this pandemic.
I read several years ago that the average person uses something like 17 different methods to keep track of their time. Notebooks, calendars, sticky notes, countless apps? I can relate. I still use each of these for various purposes, but Trello has become my hub for tracking client projects, administrative tasks, personal reminders, and more. With the ability to create template checklists, set due dates, and to separate tasks by card, list, or board, it has been tremendously helpful.
Because I don’t keep very consistent hours and work on a wide variety of projects, keeping track of where I’m spending my time can become very hairy very quickly. I’ve been using Timely for about a year and it has made life so much easier! It tracks what files and applications I’m spending time in so that I can see exactly how long I was working on any given project (and, inevitably, how much I’m squandered on The New York Times spelling bee).
With even fewer events on my calendar and all the days blurring together in quarantine, my schedule has slowly skewed later and later. I often find myself working late at night, and appreciate Boomerang’s help in keeping me looking a little less like a night owl (until I rat myself out on my own blog). With this extension’s help, I can set my Gmail account to only fetch new messages at certain times of the day (rather than seeing a constant influx of new mail) and to schedule sent mail for a more reasonable hour. Lifesaver.
Have I mentioned that I miss being able to leave the house? A Soft Murmur offers enough ambient background noise to break up long stretches of silence (not conducive to my own sense of peak productivity), but not so much distraction as my current Spotify playlist (also not great for productivity). “Coffee shop” sounds are not as good as the real thing, but I’ll take it.
What tools are helping you maintain some sense of productivity (or some sense of sanity) during this period of isolation? I’d love to hear about them!