5 Productive Tips For Working from Home
After 10 years of working from home, 8 of which were spent trying to find my groove, I can safely say I’ve found the perfect balance between work and home life. Although some may think WFH is easy and it requires less work, it’s actually the opposite. Sure, your office chair might be the sofa, your fancy work suit is now your pjs, your farthest commute is from the bedroom and down the hall, and your favourite snack drawer is now your entire kitchen, but with this flexibility comes high demands in return. Working from home is an adjustment, especially when it’s amongst a worldwide pandemic. The pros, you’re truly independent and have no one watching over you. Take this time for self-motivation, true concentration and put your time management skills to the test. Just remember to clock out at the end of the day, check in on colleagues and take breaks.
As much as you may want to work from the sofa (or even your bed), it’s important to create a designated office space. I know not everyone has the luxury of converting an entire room into an office, but that’s okay. You just need to assign a specific area in your home to call your new “office”. Not only does this allows you to get into “work mode”, having a space allocated for “work only” will ensure you stay more productive throughout the day. Do not forget to have fun decorating your new space. An inspiring and uplifting workspace will leave you enthused and motivated to continue working. Add your fave plant, a picture of a loved one, a cute notebook and pen, along with a diffuser or even a scented candle.
Get out of those pjs, I promise this is the best thing you can do for yourself each day. If you have been following my Instagram stories, even though my workload is less, I’m still getting dressed, washing my hair and putting on a little makeup. It can be so easy to roll out of bed, make your coffee, and sit down to start working. Before you know it, it’s noon, and you have not even had a shower. Getting out of those tired sweatpants and opting for a cute outfit creates the sense of structure and helps set new goals and boundaries for the day. It also helps you switch from the mentality that you can take a nap whenever you want, to “you have an important career to focus on”. This ensures you stay productive until the end of the day.
Speaking of getting ready in the morning, it also helps to have a routine. Don’t think just because you’re working from home, you can start the day whenever you feel like it. Decide on what your work hours are going to be and stick with them. It’s so easy to fall into the habit of getting up late, scrolling social media for hours, binge watching Netflix and by the time you notice, half the day is over. Even though you have nowhere to be, I highly suggest setting an alarm (for the same time) each day. Hop in the shower, change into something cute, maybe apply some makeup and style your hair, then grab yourself a coffee and get to work. Starting your day at the same time each day is important, but so is ending it. The emails can pile up, the workload can seem never ending, but know that the job will be there tomorrow (and so will you). Having an end time in mind is the key to a successful workweek.
Don’t forget to take a break. Depending on the type of worker you are, this is either going to be easy or something you’ll need to schedule in. While taking a mid-day break is incredibly important, I don’t suggest watching TV, YouTube or making personal phone calls. This is a slippery slop, and the next thing you know, it’s been a few hours and you’re feeling less eager to get back to work. It’s been proven that the more hours you work, the less productive you are, so don’t feel guilty taking a few minutes for yourself. Move away from the computer and stay off social media. Use this time to allow yourself to rest the mind. Take a few steps around the house, get outside for a walk (self-distancing of course), or even get in a quick 10-minute workout. Anything you can do to keep moving. I highly suggest practising this at least every few hours.
The absence of a boss, and them breathing down your neck, can quickly steal you off course. You need to get organized. Invest in a planner and write out your daily, weekly and monthly to-do lists, tasks and goals (and try to stick with them). Having a physical list in front of you, will encourage you to stay on schedule. We’ve all procrastinated but having a timeframe when each task needs to be accomplished, keeps you more motivated. Knowing what’s ahead of you for the day, will make tackling the list a little less daunting.