Working from home has become much more common since COVID-19 hit in early 2020. It’s likely here to stay! With so many people adapting to working from home, we thought we’d share a few tips and tricks to make the experience more enjoyable and productive!
Routine, Routine, Routine!
Having a routine when working at home is critical! It gives structure to your work hours and keeps you moving forward and on task. When creating a routine, think about what would work best for you and your lifestyle. Will getting up at 5:00 am to go jogging actually happen? Or maybe you naturally wake up around 7:00 am and have more motivation to practice yoga and mediation? It just depends on what you want.
If one task stresses you out, move on
Staying focused can sometimes be overwhelming when starting out. Stuck on one task? Try working on something else for a bit. We all have more than one item on our checklist, so we might as well continue to be productive instead of procrastinating by scrolling through Instagram.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions
I repeat, don’t be afraid to ask questions! So many people (in an office or at home) fear looking incompetent when asking a question. There is power in knowledge, so let’s celebrate, and encourage that! Be sure to communicate with those around you, relay the message you want to share, and make sure everyone is on the same page. If everyone knows their role, you should succeed as a whole (the rhyme wasn’t intended, but you get the point).
Write it out
A tool that helps with keeping the routine is the trusty checklist, which always keeps me on task when I get unmotivated or stressed out. Writing out what I need to do for the day gives me a clear goal while giving me an anchor that I can refer to when I get lost in my work. And this doesn’t have to be just a piece of paper! Organizing your schedule can solidify your routine while still being a creative process! Use a bullet journal to jot down ideas as they come to you through the day. You could also use a whiteboard or desk calendar if you want a stationary visual, or go digital and find a scheduling app with everything you need. Wherever you end up putting your notes, make sure to have them in a visible place as a reminder for you!
Have a workspace
It is so essential to create a personalized space for yourself when working from home. Set yourself up for success by making an area where you can have the resources you need in an organized and efficient manner. Get comfy, whatever that may mean for you! There are so many products online created for telecommuters; look into items that can enhance your work experience. Personally, I have a pair of blue light lens glasses for sensitive eyes, a footstool for comfort, and a seat cushion I hold very dearly.
Are you wearing pants?
Even though it may be easy to roll out of bed in your pajamas and drag yourself to your laptop, it’s crucial to differentiate work hours from the rest of your day – especially when they both take place in the same space. Get up and have some time to get ready in the morning. You can even have clothes solely for work. Get dressed every day and get into the headspace of going to work because you are! Not to mention that you may be on and off Zoom calls anyway, so you might want to look presentable.
You’re allowed to take breaks
Taking breaks throughout the workday can make a huge difference in your productivity and focus. It almost seems strange to take breaks when you’re already at home, but you’re less likely to burn out or get writer’s block. And while you’re on break, don’t use any screens; let your eyes rest and use that time to do something that genuinely interests or relaxes you. You could try reading a book, gardening, taking a walk, meditating, listening to music, and so on.
Schedule time outside
While taking a break, try to schedule some time outside. Whether it be in the morning before work or in the afternoon or evening, getting some fresh air and movement can help get the creative juices flowing, not to mention it’s just good for you!
Look for outside resources
Outside apps and resources can make a huge difference when working at home. Finding resources can enhance your work experience and become a great tool for you to stay organized and on task. And you don’t just have to look into scheduling apps either. Find a podcast that motivates you and keeps you productive. Look for a professional development app that challenges you weekly. Find soothing meditation music to center yourself before the workday. It’s really up to your lifestyle and what works best for you.
Some great scheduling apps;
- Trello- for visual thinkers
- Omnifocus- for the most features
- Todolist- for easier integration/compatibility
- Carrot- for procrastinators
- Clear- for a clean look
Be strategic at snacktime
Now, this is tricky. It can be hard working from home and knowing there is an entire fridge right in the other room filled with literally all of your favorite things, but self-control is key! Not only is healthy snacking smart for your physical health while you’re sitting for 8 hours a day, but it is also good for your mind! Do a little research and find some brain foods that you’d not only eat but enjoy snacking on throughout the day. Eating foods like nuts, dark chocolate, blueberries, or oranges can help keep your mind clear and focused while completing your daily tasks, which will lead you to success!
Let us know what you think! What works for you when working from home and how have you had to adapt? We’d love to hear from you!