Working from home is a double-edge sword. You no longer have a commute which means no sitting in traffic. However, working and living in the same space can make things…confusing. How do you motivate yourself to get to work when all you want to do is lay in bed? If you’re having a hard time switching from working in an office to now working at home, I’ve got some tips to help you be more productive and embrace this new lifestyle.
+ Set up a designated work space. If you’ve read heard anything about working from home, it was probably people telling you not to work from bed. I’ll be the first to admit, the idea of not having to leave my bed sounds like a dream – but I’m more productive when I’m at my desk. So for the majority of the day, I work from my desk, but every once in a while I’ll move to the couch or to my bed (for a change of scenery).
I bought a desk from IKEA, a comfy chair and have my work space set up exactly how I like. Having a space that’s my own and aesthetically pleasing makes working from my desk much more productive!
+ Keep a routine. When you work in an office, you have your morning routine. Every day you do the same thing to prepare you to actually go into work. Working from home should be no different. It can be easy to fall into the habit of rolling out of bed and getting straight to work. You’re still in your pajamas, hair and teeth unbrushed, brain still in sleep mode – how are you supposed to work in a state like that? You wouldn’t show up to the office that way, right? That’s why it’s important to establish a routine from the very beginning. Get ready for the day – even if that means changing out of your pajamas into leggings and a t-shirt!
+ Make a daily list. When something in your normal routine changes, it can cause everything else to get mixed up too. Making lists of to-do’s for each day will help keep you on track and give you an idea of how to break up your day. I always write out what I have to accomplish that day, and then number then in order of importance – that way when I finish one task, I know which one to switch to next. It helps my day flow better and keeps me efficient.
+ Take breaks. If you normally work in an office setting, you probably have a typical 9-5 where it can be hard to find time to take breaks. Working from home, you have the opportunity to step away from your work for a minute to reset. Breaks are important to maintain your sanity and you’ll probably work more efficiently if you give your brain time to rest a little during the day. You can implement the blocking method into your day – giving yourself x amount of time to work, followed by a 5-10 minute break, on repeat throughout the day. There are a lot of apps that help people keep tracking of their time.
+ Multi-task. Now that you’re staying home all day, you can do things you can’t always do in the office. Schedule phone calls during a walk, cook dinner or do your laundry while you accomplish easy tasks like checking your email. Having this time at home, you can double-up on home tasks while also getting your normal work done. It’s also another way of “taking a break”, but you’re still getting shit done.
+ Stay positive. In times like these, when all you hear about is bad news and panicked people, it can be hard to not get into a negative head space. You may not even like the idea of working from home and it’s got you down in the dumps. Regardless, it’s important to remain positive and keep your focus on immediate goals. Take advantage of all the benefits that come from working at home, some we discussed in the other points, but there are so many others. Don’t look at this as a negative, this period can be a time of growth and change for you if you let it.
My coworkers and I have said we think that these few weeks of working from home can be a really good thing for everyone mentally – that is if we let it. It can be a time of clarity, creativity and change that will leave you refreshed when you do go back to the office. Personally, as an Introvert, I’m looking forward to these days at home and have a plan for things I want to accomplish that I might not get a chance to really focus on every day.
It may seem easy, but working from home requires you to change how you’ve lived and worked up until now, something a lot of people have trouble adjusting to. It’s not easy, but if you follow the tips above, you’ll find yourself getting into the groove of it in no time.
How do you make working from home work for you?
Image credit: french.creative