I tend to work from home a lot as my job is fairly fluid and doesn’t require me to be in the office since my work is mostly client-based and results-driven. So working from home is something I have to get used to and come up with a series of practices to keep me productive. When you’re working from home, be it a freelancer, small business owner or even if you’re working remotely for your company—it’s best to have a set of practices that don’t deviate too much from if you were working in an office. Here are a few things to keep in mind when working from home.
This is something that is preached on every platform and article that has to do with working from home and staying productive. I don’t go out of my way and wear an itchy suit or fitted dress, but do put a little effort into what I’m wearing. I go for jeans, a casual button-down shirt, and comfortable loafers. An outfit change is almost symbolic of making that transition from “being at home” to “being at work.”
Set Timers to Stay Motivated
I tweeted this tip recently and had great feedback. When I’m lacking motivation, I will set a timer for 60 minutes and try to get as much done as possible. If there is a project proposal I need to get done, I’ll set my timer for however long it should take me and just try to get it out of the way. Most people tend to work better under pressure, so give this a try when you’re working from home.
Have an Actual Work Space
I’m the person who ends up bringing the laptop into bed when I’m working on the blog just to give myself a little bit of a break. I find, however, that I associate my bedroom as a workspace then and tend to engage the energy in the wrong way. I would recommend setting up a desk or sitting on your dining table. You will be surprised by how much work you get done when you’re not lounging. Use your lounging spaces as a treat instead! When I’m working from home, I will work on my small dining table. I have a mug full of office supplies, a small notebook to take notes for conference calls and a coaster for my drink that I set up. At the end of the day, I put them away, so it acts as a 2-in-1.
Show What You Can Do
If your job requires you to work remotely for whatever reason (read: coronavirus) then use this as an opportunity to show your superiors what you can do. Are you looking to get a promotion? Do you want to work remotely more? Then be on top of your game. Communicate effectively, demonstrate you can get work done, figure out how you can breakdown silos all while not stepping on other people’s toes.
How To Use Your Lunch Break
I’m not sure what everyone’s situation is, but lunch breaks usually end up being an hour-long for many of us. I would continue taking that lunch break. Take the first 20-30 minutes to either get a quick work out in or a yoga flow and use the rest of the time to eat your lunch. This will release healthy endorphins and keep you motivated for the rest of the day. I love doing this wake-up yoga flow!
When I first started working from home, I found it difficult to manage my time without my supervisor present. I would sit at my desk overwhelmed by my task list. I read up on calendar blocking and started organizing my tasks accordingly. This helped me achieve so much in a day. You can organize your day by time blocks to ensure you’re getting what you need done and not feeling overwhelmed by a to do list! Here’s my calendar block template and how I get so much done.
…or Build a Successful To Do List
Some people feel overwhelmed by clanedar blocking because they think it’s a race against the clock. If that’s not your thing then I’m sharing exactly what you need to do to build a successful to do list.
If I’m working from home, I will wake up at the same time as I would if I were going to the office and use that commute time either for myself or to do some housework. I don’t do housework during the working hours otherwise I will fall in this rabbit hole and never get out.
Plan a Holiday
I’m always working. Literally around the clock and sometimes need a break. I never take as many 1-day me-time breaks, so I try to work towards something. Plan a holiday, even if it just a weekend in your own city/country. It will give you motivation and give your job purpose.
Manage Food, Drinks and Snacks
When I started working from home, I realized I was putting on weight quickly. I became a grazer as I was eating so often. Grazing is okay if that’s what you’re used to and always do. Otherwise, I designate eating times for breakfast and lunch. I also manage the snacks and drinks I have. I stick to having one cup of coffee and no more than that and will have fruit or something healthy at 4pm when I need an afternoon pick-me-up. Treat yourself on your days off, but don’t deviate from your regiment or treat working from home as a holiday. Alternatively, you can also use this time at home to focus on building better eating habits so why not start now without the office kitchen distractions?
Alright, I would love to know your tips for working from home! I have been doing this off and on for the last 1.5 years and it has been such a process. I would love for you to share your tips and advice below!