Tips for Working from Home
Here are 6 tips for working from home so you can stay focused, productive, and a team player. Plus 2 tips that will probably only help you with one of those things. You decide which is which.
I’m going to start this out easy….
Actually get dressed for work at least 3 of the 5 work weekdays. (I will even agree to 2 days) That means tops AND bottoms on and not your ‘daytime’ pajamas. Make it something that you would wear in public, on purpose, and not because you lost that bet. Try a totally new look while you are at it! Why not? There is no dress code other than you just need to be dressed. Brush your hair and teeth. Put your ‘work face’ on. So, if you wear makeup or shave your face, do this too.
2: Set hours.
It is tempting to work whenever you feel like it, but that can burn you out of have you fall into an ‘I’ll get to it later’ mindset. If you have kids at home, this can be especially hard. I know from personal experience because I have three little humans asking me questions at all hours. Keep in mind that you do not have to stick with ‘9-5’ hours. Since I have kids at home, I can get anywhere from 1 hour to 8 hours of business work done. Every day is different! On average, my hours look a little like this:
- 7:00-9:00am lay in bed and get all my social media done
- 9:00-10:00am get the kids started on distance learning/activities/chores…whatever keeps them out of my hair for a while
- 10:00-12:00pm work
- 12:00-1:00pm lunch
- 1:00-4:00pm work while try not to lose it when answering kids’ questions
- 4:00-7:00pm family life stuff, dinner, exercise, swim class, karate….
- 7:00-8:00pm work
- 8:00-9:00pm kids to bed
- 9:00-11:00pm tv, read for fun
Saturday-Sunday (and sometimes Friday)
- Wake up – Do things – Randomly Eat – Go to Bed at some point
3: Mandatory breaks.
Take your lunch break for one full hour (or 30 min if you are doing a half-day) and a 15-minute break away from your workspace. ‘Away’ is the keyword here. It is tempting to just go back to your desk and eat and scroll through social media. Get up and stretch, let your eyes take a break from screens, walk around a little. It is break time. Not sit-back-in-our-work-spot-and-pretend-that-we’re-not-waiting-for-work-to-start-again, time.
4: Your Space.
Set up an office area that is used only for work. Whether it’s in a corner of your closet, under the stairs, a fully set up room, part of your bedroom, the garage, back of your truck, crawl space, hallway, formal dining room you never use….there is room somewhere. Find it. Claim it. Barricade it off to everyone else if you must. Set the rule that when you are in this space, you are no longer home and cannot be talked to. I plug into headphones. Even if I am not listening to anything, I pretend that I am so I cannot hear anyone trying to bother me. It works! Try it!
Make a to-do list so you can focus on what needs to be accomplished. (Facebook, Netflix, and Instagram probably should not be on this list unless it is for marketing purposes) I have two lists. One is my ‘everyday’ list that reminds me of what I need to do on that day every week. My second is the running list of things I need to get done. I put EVERYTHING on this second list no matter how small it may seem. Why? Because I have a hard time remembering everything and I am easily distracted. I also make my lists in *gasp! * pen and paper! If at the end of the day I feel like I have accomplished nothing, I look at this list and see the lines I have crossed off. It reminds me of what I did complete. When this list is done on a computer, we normally delete the lines, leaving us unable to see what we have actually finished.
6: Stay hydrated.
Have a bottle/glass of something to drink. (Doesn’t matter what…It’s 5pm somewhere) This one helps me from just sitting and eating while at my desk. If I can have something to drink, it curbs my never-ending boredom hunger. You know that feeling? It’s when you get that hungry feeling but then realize that you are just bored? You’ve been there.
7: Escape Plan.
Try and have a window or door to the outside nearby. Not only is it great to have sunlight shining in, but it can be a quick way to escape when you have had enough for the day.
8: Team/Group Video Calls.
These are great, and horrible at the same time. Great because they are so conveniently located (your home), you can get away with being 50% presentable and everyone will think you’re at 100% (you know what I mean), and it’s nice to see other human beings instead of having conversations with yourself all day. Horrible because they are almost impossible to get out of unless you record a short video clip of yourself and run that as your profile photo or type the name ‘reconnecting…’ into the name location and turn off your camera. But do not say I told you those tips…
Have more tips? Write them in the comments below!