Disclaimer: this blog may contain affiliate links for products or services that I trust. If you choose to use any of the links, I will earn a few pounds, at no additional cost to you. Thank you in advance for your support.
I love working from home. It's one of my favourite aspects of running my own business. I don't have to worry about travelling to an office, rush hour traffic, etc. But there are downsides as well, such as not having work colleagues around to chat with at tea break/lunch or switching off after work is done.
All of these things should be considered before heading into working from home. It works well for some, but there are folks who hate it and prefer to work from the office. It's not a good fit for everyone.
During these continuing COVID-19 times some people are continuing to work from home, and some are transitioning into this workplace change.
With all this in mind I thought I'd share some of my top tips for making a success of working from home since I have been doing it for a few years now. Hopefully, you will find one or two tips to make this transition a bit easier and not too scary or daunting.
So, in no particular order:
* stick to a routine. This is vital if you are working from home. If you stick to your usual routine as much as you can it will make things easier if/when you go back to the office. Start working at the same time, ie, if you are usually sitting at your desk ready to work at 9am then make sure you are doing the same at home, have lunch at the same time, and don't forget your coffee breaks. I work from the house every day and try to keep to a fairly regular routine. There are things I do every day, and the majority of the time I do these things at the same time every day. If it helps you can write them into a planner or diary, or use the calendar app on your phone to keep yourself on track throughout the day.
* have a to-do list. This, of course, depends on how your job operates. It's always possible that your boss will still be giving you activities to do daily, or if you are able to plan out your own workload, but writing down the things I need to finish that day really helps me to stay motivated. I also recommend having a red pen on standby, ready to put a big red check mark mark through all your completed tasks. It's the best feeling, especially at the end of the day when you have a whole page covered in red check marks. You can also use an electronic to-do list on your computer or phone, but I much prefer writing them down and grinning madly when I check each one off.
* limit distractions. This might be a tricky one if you have a family or roommates and all, or most of them are at home as well, but try to limit distractions as much as you can. This is the thing I find the most difficult, as not everyone is respectful that you need to get work done, and need peace and quiet to do so. I think most self-employed folks who work from home will say the same.
Something I can have a bit more control of is to turn off all notifications from my phone and laptop. I practice the Pomodoro technique where I set my alarm for 30 mins and focus on whatever my current task is. Then I take a five or ten minute break where I get a mug of coffee, something to eat, etc.
* Friday = treat day. You got through a week of craziness, deadlines, spreadsheets, customers, constant phone calls/emails and managed to get through to the end of the working week. Time for a treat. Try to find something that will help keep your mind motivated during the week. It could be simply chilling out on Friday night with a good movie, downloading a new book, ordering a pizza from a local place, etc.
* Mindfulness Watch. Be sure to check in with yourself regularly to make sure you're doing ok. I do this every day, even before COVID-19 came into our lives. With the enormous amount of stress that the current crisis brings it can be very easy for your mindset to fall off a cliff. Remember to do the things that keep your spirits up. Get a good nights sleep, baking, cooking, read every day, eat healthy foods, go for a walk, etc.
One thing that is working for me at the moment is that I don't watch the news much during the day. I watch at the top of the hour to get the headlines once or twice a day and that's it. I get notifications via my phone is something big happens, but that's as far as it goes. Makes me much more relaxed. The news is important, but too much of it is overwhelming and majorly stressful, so avoid it for the most part. Your head and heart will thank you.
Aside from this the essentials for me also include drinking plenty of water, getting out for a walk every day, reading every morning and I've recently discovered yoga. It's all helping.
So that's some of my favourite ways to make working from home work for you. I hope you can find one or two that will make this crisis a little less stressful.
Until next time...