So many people are working from home not only for the first time, but also for the foreseeable future. If you’re not used to it, you may or may not love it. I have been fortunate to have worked from home my entire career. So in hopes of helping you enjoy all of the benefits working from home can bring, this post is dedicated to suggestions for how to work from home successfully. Here you’ll find my 6 quick tips for creating a productive work environment in your home.
Tip 1: Designate a workspace
If you don’t have a dedicated office in your home, find a space in your house to set aside for your “office”. The goal here is to separate your work area from where you live as much as possible. You shouldn’t have to set up a brand new workspace each day, so if possible, I would avoid making your kitchen table or couch in the family room the “workspace”. Maybe work at a rarely used dinning room table or add a small secretary desk to yours or a guest bedroom. If you don’t have room to add a desk, clear off the top of a dresser or bookshelf and use it as a standing desk. Get creative! The sooner you do it, the more organized and ready to work you will feel each day.
Tip 2: Create a routine
Over the years of working from home, I have tried every routine under the sun. I’ve switched up when I workout, when my “power hours” are, meal times, when I wake up, when I stop working…you get the idea. It takes a lot of trial and error to find something that works for you. I’m a morning person, and so my routine may work for some of you, but for others, it will look completely different. It’s important to remember that 8 hours working at an office does not equal 8 hours working from home. You don’t have those impromptu meetings, distractions, chats about the weather, etc. When working from home, I call my most productive work time “power hours”. This is when I’m going to be glued to my desk accomplishing as much as possible, without distraction. In my experience, I could get done in 2 hours (or less) at home what would take 4 hours to complete in a corporate work environment.
But, this only holds true if you do not let the laundry, phone calls, walks with the neighbor, etc. distract you from your designated work time! If you do, it’s the same thing as the constant interruptions in an office. The difference is at home, you can block all of that out, get your work done and then have time to do all of the other things!
Tip 3: Get dressed
I’ve had my days of starting on a project that I started as soon as I poured my first cup of coffee at 7am and at 3pm I was still in pjs. It always leaves me me feeling disorganized, unmotivated & a bit grumpy. Nothing dressy or uncomfortable, but it’s amazing how a shower, mascara, jeans and a t-shirt or even cute lounge wear can really improve your mood & productivity. I’m usually in flip flops or slippers though – balance is key!
Tip 4: Get moving
One of the biggest perks of working from home is the freedom to get up and move whenever you feel like it! Working out not your thing? No problem! Go for a walk. Stretch for a few minutes. Do a yoga or HIIT video on YouTube (my favorite it Apple Fitness!). Movement is key for blood flow, clearing your head and helping you focus.
Tip 5: Time block
In addition to blocking “power hours”, block time for the other things you need to do during the day. Group like tasks together. Block an hour for home and make the beds, prep for dinner and throw in a load of laundry. Block an our for admin and check & return emails, return calls, schedule appointments, make lists, etc. Block an hour for social and call your mom or girlfriend and check in on facebook or instagram.
This way when you’re working your not distracted by all of the other things that also need your attention. They are already on your calendar.
Tip 6: Reset often
Having a “moment” where you feel: unproductive, distracted, frustrated, or stir crazy? RESET. And reset as often as needed. This will also look different for everyone, so find what works for you. Make some tea or coffee. Walk to the end of your street and back. Light a candle. Meditate. Tidy up your workspace. Anything to give your eyes a rest from your screen and reset your mind. Try to avoid getting on social media during a reset -it can actually exasperate those feelings. Have grace with yourself, as we all have our “moments”.
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