Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are working from home. And for those not accustomed to telecommuting, remaining productive may be a concern.
But according to entrepreneur Bethenny Frankel, working from home can be “constructive and productive” if you “use your time wisely,” she told CNBC Make It on Friday.
Frankel, founder of Skinnygirl and of disaster relief organization BStrong, doesn’t typically work from the office.
“I’m a very good user of time, which is why I’m fine working in or out of the office,” she said.
Here are her tips for working from home.
Don’t live on social media and limit distractions
It may be tempting to over-check social media or the news, but Frankel recommends maintaining a healthy distance.
“I think you should go and look at your social [media] – get a sense of what’s going on,” Frankel told CNBC Make It. “But I don’t think you should be living on social [media] or on the news because it’s very activating.”
And to stay focused, limit distractions and make a schedule and stick to it.
At the office, “we run around so feverishly. We text. We email. Someone at work tells you about a song or tells you joke or you have to go to the bathroom or your boss calls you in. You get distracted. It’s hard,” said Frankel.
At home, “you can get a lot more done in short period time if you just put yourself in a room and focus,” she said.
Take advantage of your new POV
You may be surprised at the amount of “clarity” you have working from home, Frankel says.
“When you’re home, a lot of times, better ideas come,” Frankel said. “When you’re not at work, clarity about work happens.”
For example, “I had a very big idea about my apparel and jeans business. I’ve been in the problem so much that stepping out of the problem and not being in that work-mode let me resolve the problem.”
Frankel has also used her time at home “to think about the problem [of the coronavirus]” and how to help, she said. BStrong is currently distributing “corona-kits” — sanitization and hydration kits — in poverty stricken areas in the U.S., along with cash cards for parents to pay for their children’s lunches as schools close.
To working parents: While your kids do homework, do your own work
Frankel, who has a 9-year-old daughter, recommends ”[making] the parallels between kids with their homework and parents doing our own work.”
It’s like the advice “sleep when your baby sleeps” given to newborn parents. “I remember using the time wisely…using my daughter’s nap and getting something [done that] I really had to get done,” Frankel said.
The same goes for this situation. “When [your child] is doing homework, do your own.”
And with all the anxiety around the pandemic, when you can also “use this time to laugh with your kids,” she said.
Know when to stop working and prioritize self-care
While it may be difficult to disconnect from work when your living room is your office, knowing when to do so is important, Frankel said.
After working a few late nights, “I hadn’t been sleeping very well,” Frankel said. “And now I’m going to make it a priority to disconnect the phone and do all this [work] during the day.”
And “sleeping is really important. Not sleeping makes you more stressed and gives you anxiety.”
Keep moving forward
Overall, it’s important to remember one thing, says Frankel.
“I always say, ‘All roads lead to Rome,’ which means you will get derailed and may hit a roadblock, but as long as you’re moving forward and staying positive and being productive, you’ll end up getting to where you want to get to, even if its a circuitous road,” Frankel said.