Working from home. Those three words have people either super irritated or totally in it for the long haul. For some, the need for the structure of the office or workplace helps to keep focus and productivity levels high, for others working from home is as seamless as flipping the switch on the coffee pot and getting to work.
If you find yourself in a situation where the kitchen table is now the office, we have a few tips to help keep you as efficient as possible from your new workplace.
Wake up. Drink the coffee. Start the day. Establishing a routine that helps you slip into the workday will keep your motivation charging ahead. If you’re a parent, your morning may circle around getting kids up and moving and off to school, then you focus on getting yourself ready to start your day. For others, it may be a morning meditation, or a slow start with a quick email check while sipping your coffee. Regardless of priority, establishing a routine will help you get into the flow of the working part of your day.
Staying in your pajamas or slipping into sweats for the day is super tempting, and honestly totally fine on occasion, but try not to let athleisure become the new “workplace professional.” Keep regular hours and routines. Get up, get dressed and get ready. It’ll help move you to the right headspace to get started for the day.
If you need to move your kid’s art projects or the laundry or are completely distracted by what’s “living” in your work environment, move. Set up a designated workspace where your personal life and your professional life can remain relatively separate. There will be overlap, it happens, but keeping outside distractions away from your line of sight/earshot, will help you keep your focus. Don’t get me wrong, I may break away to switch the laundry or walk the dog during a stopping point, but it isn’t consuming my attention while I’m trying to focus on my daily punch list. Super important >> When your workspace doesn’t have a defined boundary it feels like you lose personal space and disconnecting from your work gets tough. This is when burnout happens because you feel like you’re working all the time. So it goes both ways. Keep the personal out to stay focused, but keep the professional in its space so downtime is just that, downtime.
Technology is ah-maz-ing. But it’s also ohhh-ver-whellllming. Phone calls, Google Meet video chats, IM, DM, email, GroupMe, productivity apps. There are so many ways to stay connected, but you need to find your preferred method so you aren’t missing notifications on other platforms because you forgot to check. Also, read your audience. If you have clients or customers or teachers or employees who prefer face-to-face interaction, opt for the Meet or video option. Don’t abuse the video chat. No one likes the meeting that could have been an email. Amiright.
Take a break. Because you have a designated workspace, now you can head out to your kitchen or living room and actually disconnect from your work. Taking breaks clears your mind and can help to give you new perspectives. It’s easy to lose time or get lost in your work when your focus is laser-sharp, but get up, take a short walk, move around. It’s good for both your mental AND physical health.
We’ve all had that one thing on the list that’s just been hanging over our heads. Take yourself to lunch when you check off that box! Or break-up a long work cycle with a quick jog around the block. Keep track of your accomplishments for the day and take a moment to relish in a job well done.
Working from home requires discipline, but it can be completely rewarding. Self-motivation and accountability are super important. Take into consideration some of these tips to help maximize your time during the day and pretty soon, you’ll totally be in the flow and hitting goals like a champ.
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