The coronavirus situation has prompted the majority of us to work from home starting this week. I am amongst that group and I do want to express my gratitude towards being able to continue working during this awful time. As the conditions worsen, we have to take every precaution to ensure this wave passes by, but it doesn’t mean we can’t get done what we are meant to! I wanted to share a list of tips for working from home that can prompt a better transition into working remotely and also to ensure you are as productive as you can be.
1. Get Up @ Your Normal Time
I was ecstatic when I realized I didn’t have to get up 1-2 hours earlier than my start time because of commuting and such. But I soon realized that building out my daily schedule and actually operating under one as if I was commuting normally to work will help me in the long run with my productivity. It helps reset my mindset on what’s ahead for the day and when we do return back to work, it will be A LOT easier. I now use that time to enjoy my morning cup of coffee, play with Sesame (my parents’ puppy – you can see more of him on my Instagram), journal and keep up with my bullet journal, catch up on personal emails or just read. All in all, it helps me slowly transition into the day ahead.
2. Abide by a Schedule
Technically we can do whatever we want with our time at home, right? But to be most effective in our work as well as balancing out the times that we are “on” work or “off”, abiding by a specific schedule is so crucial. By continuously doing this, you will train your brain to know when it’s time to focus on work and when to not. This stems from the previous tip; by setting up a schedule to follow consistently, you can be more productive.
3. Allot Break Times
I am assuming that all of us allot break times during our workdays, whether they are intentional or not. Whether it be taking a small walk, bathroom break, lunch, workout, etc. Still build those times into your days as if you are at the office. Take breaks from the screen every 20 or so minutes to relax your eyes, stand up and walk around, do some quick workouts. Build in lunch time to eat – operate as you would at the office. Don’t think that you can’t take breaks just because you are home. I personally feel guilty walking away from my laptop when I am working from home, but I have to remind myself that it’s essential for me to reset and recharge.
4. Define your End Time
I’ve realized that for the past couple of days that I’ve been working from home, I’ve been working waaay past my work hours. I always think “oh this is just one more thing” or “I’m home anyways”….I would definitely recommend against this (unless it’s within the nature of your work naturally). Don’t create a habit of working into the night or way beyond your time, it will create an unhealthy balance between your work life and non-work life. Define your work hours and stick to it!
5. Get Dressed for the Day
Working in my pjs sound like an absolute dream, but after a day or two, I felt more lethargic! By taking the effort to get dressed and ready for each day, even though we are staying inside the whole time, it can drastically change the tone of our workflow. Our mentality can now be shifted from “being so relaxed that we can literally fall asleep” to “being in a work mindset”. Your outfits don’t necessarily have to be your office attire, it just needs to be a change of clothes that you aren’t necessarily falling asleep in!
6. Designate a Work Area
I have quickly designated a small work area the day I came home. I don’t work in my bedroom because that is my sanctuary and I don’t want to integrate the two at all. This place is one that my brain immediately connects to as “work”. It has all of my essentials such as an outlet, space for my belongings and where I can receive minimal distractions.
7. Remove Distractions
This aligns with the dedicated work space tip, but it goes just a little beyond. Removing our distractions is so important. It could be turning off the TV, putting our phones away so we aren’t on social media when we are suppose to be working, staying away from others in the house, etc. Whatever is providing you with distraction that otherwise wouldn’t exist if you worked at the office should go. You want to mimic an office setting to basically “trick” your brain into realizing you are in full work-mode.
8. Set Boundaries with People at Home
Very few of us live alone, so most likely we are with at least one other person at home right now. Balancing out spaces and setting specific boundaries is crucial to stay as productive as we can and to set good practices for when we return to work in the future. Identify which spaces are whose and times you can speak each other, etc. Respect each other’s boundaries and also keep conversations that are meant for after business times AFTER business hours.
9. Plan Out Non-Work Hours
It can get stuffy and boring quite easily working from home consistently and also having to be quarantined to protect our health. To combat this, we can plan out our non-work hours. Incorporating other fun activities to do whether they are alone or with someone that we live with can greatly help our moods. It can range from a wide variety of activities from trying out a new recipe, learning a new skill (you can always pick up bullet journaling hehe), playing a game, movie night, or trying out a new at-home workout. The list is endless! By allowing yourself to have a concrete transition away from work into “at-home” life will help the days go by faster and keep you looking forward until the end of the day!
10. Set Realistic Expectations
Adjusting to a new workspace, work style and even co-workers can be challenging, so give yourself some grace! Set realistic expectations for yourself for the upcoming period of time and know that you can always slowly transition into different aspects. And if certain things do’t work out, you always can change them. Working from home has allowed me to be more flexible in my style of work, but it has also presented challenges that I didn’t foresee. There’s a learning curve for everyone, so don’t overburden yourself with unrealistic schedules or formalities!
I hope these tips for working from home can help you be more productive during this time. Remember that you are in charge of your adaptivity to this change and working from home can be a positive thing! I personally have been loving it because I love control over how my days are scheduled and centered. You got this!
A million and one thanks for reading – until my next lil’ thought then!
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I have to get dressed! I don’t understand how some people can stay in their pajamas all day.
I had to after the first day as well! It makes me so lethargic through the day!