Due to COVID-19, a lot of folks have been working from home. A lot of people are struggling with the sudden change.
I’ve been working from home for half a decade. I figure I should compile a few tips that I learned throughout the years to increase my productivity and make sure I have a healthy work x life balance.
First things first… I want to remind you that Social Distancing is not the same as Social Isolation. Video call your friends and family. Video call your co-workers. Let’s leverage technology for good. (This comes from someone that was in a long-distance relationship for 2 years.)
If you’re feeling isolated, reach out to others. This is the power of living in a “high speed” society. Let’s use this for our advantages.
My tips might sound basic and simple – but they’re crucial if you now have your home and workspace comingled:
- Wash your face: By this I mean have your morning routine that is separated and before checking your emails. Wash your face, do your exercises, have your coffee, read the news. Journal. Whatever is that gives you energy, do it. For me, it is washing my face, meditating and having a cup of coffee in quiet time.
- Put on real clothing: Unless you’re so sick, change into real clothing. Treat your day as if you’re going to work. The only difference is that there’s no commute time. TBH, it’s OK to work on your sweatpants if it’s not your PJ’s.
- Set up a “workspace”: Working from the bed or the couch can be SOOOO inviting. Then you will turn on the tv, and get distracted. You will feel that work from home is “the worst” because you cannot get work done. The important portion is to treat it all as if it’s your workday. Set up your work station somewhere – kitchen counter, dining area, etc. It’s important to be comfortable but not too comfy.
- Set up your working hours: Have a time that you will log in and a time you will log out. This helps you not sleeping in and working from the bed. This helps you with turning off your computer and focus on your family/personal needs.
- Take breaks: I’m a fan of the Pomodoro Technique. I use Focus-To-Do to track my time and make sure I take breaks.
- Fresh Air: Go out for a walk around the block if you can. Or just open your windows for some fresh air
- Eat your lunch: Not on your computer. Take a longer break for a real lunch break.
Don’t be too hard on yourself. If you strongly dislike working from home, know this is temporary. A few additional tips that I compiled for you:
- Use your noise concealing headphones: Especially if your partner is also working from home. It helps you be focused on your job and improve your productivity.
- Share your calendar: Let your partner know when you have meetings, when you have a video call. This communication is great to set expectations and make sure we’re all on the same page. Dan will feed the cats if I’m on call. Your partner can take the kids for a walk around the block if you need a few minutes of peace and quiet for your call.
- Designated working spaces for your kids: If your kiddos are home – I can’t imagine how disruptive this can be! You have your working space, set up a working space for them as well. I was an AuPair for a while, kids will push your boundaries but they NEED structure.
- If you’re feeling very discouraged and depressed, help other people. Check-in with your neighbors, help food banks. Getting outside of our own selves can help put things in perspective and make us feel good.
- Reach out to your family and friends, you’re not alone at this time
Those are the things that really helped me work from home successfully.
Have any questions? Have any tips? Leave in the comments below!