We are moving into a new week and the reality is, for the immediate future it’s looking like we’re all working from home. Over the last 12 years working from home has been part of my routine (although not under these circumstances) so I wanted to share a few tips with you that might help to make it more comfortable, less stressful, and less isolating
Get up at your usual time.
Keeping a routine is important. Now that you have no commute you can us that hour or so to be productive. Maybe you spend it doing something for yourself like getting in a workout or reading a book, enjoying your coffee at your leisure, or get an early start on your work day.
Shower and get dressed.
Don’t spend the day in your pajamas. Take a shower, get dressed and maybe even put on your makeup as if you were leaving the house. This way you feel prepared for anything, a skype call, delivery or whatever the day may bring. It can also help to keep you from falling into a depressed state.
Set Business Hours.
When you’re working from home it’s easy to work ALL the time. Set boundaries around your work hours. If you are going to work from 8-7 then be sure to stop working at 7. When your office is in your home it’s easy to continue to work all the time, but it’s important to step away and shut I off.
Map out your day and make a plan
Sometimes working in 1 or 2hr blocks of time can be helpful. Prioritize your daily tasks setting aside the amount of time you think you may need to get through them all. An example could be, from 8am-9am return emails from the night before and or schedule follow up meetings. From 10am-12pm take virtual meetings with clients. 12pm -1pm eat a healthy lunch and so on.
Take a lunch break.
Allow yourself 40-60 minutes for lunch. If you would typically take a walk or get some fresh air during your lunch time, then continue that practice from home. Stepping away from the computer or the phone for a brief period during the day is important to reset your mind.
Don’t work from your sofa or your bed.
If you don’t have an office at home create a space that can be used as such. Set up an area that can serve as a desk, maybe part of your kitchen countertop, dining table, or some surface that will allow you to sit upright in a chair and have some space to rest your coffee, notebook or whatever other items you may need. Using your laptop while in bed promotes the idea that you don’t need to get out of your pajamas. Also, if you need to take skype calls that’s not the background you want people to see.
Don’t turn on the TV.
The less distractions the better, so don’t turn on the TV. You may say well, “it’s just running in the background” but all it takes is one thing to catch your eye and you could be focused on that for 15 minutes or so throwing a wrench into the timeline of your day.
Stay connected via Skype of zoom calls.
There is something very different about speaking with someone through the phone as opposed to seeing their face. We all need human interaction, so when possible instead of just a voice call, make your meetings a skype call. You can also create a backdrop that you can use when taking the calls to help keep it professional. Video calls are a great way to help you feel like you are still connected.