In this unprecedented and crazy time, our daily lives have changed and many people are working from home. I work remotely as a full-time job and here are my five tips to help you be productive and working more efficiently from home.
1. KEEP YOUR ROUTINE
Because you're now working from home and don't have to worry about morning rush hour traffic, you may be tempted to snooze or dismiss your alarm clock. DON'T! Keep a routine of getting up at the same time, eat breakfast, workout, walk the dog. Whatever it is that you would normally do if you had to drive to the office, keep that schedule. During the time you'd be in the car commuting, do something for yourself: sit and relax with a cup of coffee, watch the news – or don't; do yoga or mediate. Set a good precedent for the rest of your day.
2. have a dedicated – AND CLEAN – WORKSPACE
Clutter creates stress, and stress is one of the many barriers to productivity. Keep a clean and organized desk. Have a place for everything so you're not frantically looking for a pen when it's time for that conference call and you need to take notes.
I have succulents, a Scentsy warmer and a small lamp on my desk. I keep it as clutter free and organized as possible. If I need a pen I know where it is. If I need to look up print specs for a project I know exactly where to find that book. A peaceful mind is a productive mind.
3. make a daily project or to-do list
4. take breaks & Practice Self Care
I cannot stress this enough! This goes hand-in-hand with my third tip of making a daily project/to-do list. Make sure to take breaks – both for your body and for your mind. Take your normal lunch hour. If you don't normally eat lunch then some other things you can do is go for a run, take the dogs out for a walk, start a load of laundry or prep dinner.
5. Set Boundaries to Avoid Work Creep
Like I said in my number one tip of keeping a routine, avoiding work creep is a very essential part of working from home. Work creep is when work interferes with your life above and beyond normal working operations. For example: after you've decided you're done working for the day, let's say at 5 p.m. when you'd normally leave the office, you may get a text or email at 6:30 or 7 p.m. from a co-worker or boss about a project or client. So, you answer that email or text which may put more on your work plate for the evening even though you've 'gone home' for the day. It's tougher than most people think because you now live where you work and work where you live. Set boundaries for yourself. If you want to be done with work at 5 p.m. and you get that text at 7 p.m. answer it and say you'll get to it first thing in the morning. And that's why we create that daily to-do list.
Obviously this doesn't always apply and, depending on your job, there are times when you may need to take that evening phone call or hop back on the computer for 30 more minutes of work. Take it all in stride, but remember not to make that a regular occurrence.