I hear so many people say they would never be able to work from home- they need an office environment to be creative, to get on with their work. Do you feel you will get distracted, you will be unmotivated or won’t be able to concentrate?
Having worked from home for over 10 years now and when the children are on school holidays I have learnt a few things. I wanted to share a few words of wisdom with you and if you take away only one of these tips that would make me happy.
- Find a spot where you can set up a table, if possible near a good light or near a window. Make it cosy with a little vase of flowers, a photoframe, your favourite notebook and pens or items that make you feel good.
- Create a schedule- continue filling your diary with meetings and allocated slots of time for the work you have to do. The important is to create time slots when you are focused. Let’s look on the bright side, you won’t have colleagues disturbing you ever two minutes. Make sure you are not constantly on the internet unless it’s part of your job, allocate time to be on it to reply to emails. If motivation is an issue- try and break down the tasks you have to do and create a list and celebrate yourself reaching each milestone. Do you have any of those star stickers you give to children- why not dig those out and use them?
- Remember that there will be no commuting time so you can take that as a positive and take mini breaks more often. You will need these breaks because otherwise you can end up being in front of your screen for 5 hours in a row. Make sure that during your working hours you are not doing any household tasks because those can lead to distractions.
- Lots of people will be in the same situation, so getting frustrated will not help but keeping occupied and interested in what you do will. If you have children you might get interrupted sometimes but set boundaries with them and spend some quality time with them too.
- When I was a teenager I used to love to study with some music on, why not put some music in the background to help you relax. We’re not talking heavy metal but lounge music or classic music. Use headphones if you live in a noisy area or you have children playing in the background. If you have a partner you can swap working time and looking after the children time with each other.
- Treat yourself every now and again to a lovely coffee or your favourite tea in your favourite mug or cup or a healthy smoothie.
- Prepare a healthy lunch you can have the day before - especially whilst fresh produce is available…why not call an elderly parent, a friend, a colleague or read a magazine during your lunch break.
- We all need interaction so make sure you have video calls, conference calls or calls with colleagues set up to exchange ideas and information.
- Let go of traditional ideas and how you normally work in your office. It’s not going to be the same but I believe you can like it- at least for a while- and reap some of the benefits. After all, do you remember being a student and having to concentrate on your studies in a small space? You can do it now.
- At the beginning and end of the day make sure you have a tidy desk and do an activity which is unrelated to work- an online exercise class, a mediation class or go and play with your children or cook a meal.
I know that working from home can be challenging and not all days are good days or productive days- be gentle on yourself. Getting into new habits takes time but look at it this way- I think you will discover a lot about yourself.
Let me know if any of these tips resonate or you have any of your own to add. If these have been useful please feel free to share- I would really love people to discover the positive in a difficult worldwide situation.
All the best and keep safe