What do you think of when you imagine working from home? I used to have an image of being sat on my laptop, Netflix on in the background and vaguely moving my mouse to make sure I looked like I was online working every now and again.
But having worked from home for the last 3 years, I discovered this is far from the reality (and would soon get boring). I’ve compiled my top tips for working from home to help you adjust so you can stay productive and not sat in your pyjamas all day.
Sounds simple, but it is super tempting to stay in those comfy PJS all day and work from bed. I hate to break it to you, but by working this way you are not going to be your most productive best self. Trust me, I’ve tried it.
Keeping as much of a ‘normal’ routine as possible in terms of getting up, dressed and ready for the day is also sending mental signals to our brain that we’re ready for work and in the zone.
To really amplify your productivity, think about incorporating a Morning Routine- now you don’t commute you have the extra time to dedicate to getting yourself in the best mental and physical shape first thing to smash the rest of your day.
Mmmmm. A slow coffee in the morning. A workout. A call with a friend. A lazy breakfast. Catching up on that Podcast you love whilst you online shop. Sounds lovely right? However, without maximising our time and energy in the morning, our concentration and productivity goes out the window and we end up with no switch off time. You don’t want to run out of time to hit that work deadline, meaning you end up working late into the evening, going to bed stressed and exhausted.
Keeping a structure and schedule will not only help you focus, but it will allow you to have that proper switch off time without having to check your emails once.
Loading the washing machine, doing some work, unloading the washing machine, carrying on with work- sounds like maximining our time, but it won’t help you maximise your productivity.
Remember, we want to work smart not hard here.
When we are constantly shifting our point of focus, we struggle to complete tasks or get into a flow state.
Keep errands and house chores separate instead of squeezing them into your work schedule.
Bed’s should be kept for sleep and sex, so don’t be working from it.
Not only will this improve your sleep (and hopefully your sex life), but finding a spot you can work from will help with your concentration. Keep this space clean and organised so you can focus,
If you don’t have a desk and chair, get creative. Your dining table is an obvious place to start, but it’s not limited to just this. Utilise side tables and the couch if you have to!
To really boost productivity, try having different work areas, as it will train your brain to associate certain areas with a certain focus. For example, make one area for creative projects, one area for smashing through emails and another for studying.
If working from home is going to be a long-term thing, I really do suggest investing in a proper desk and chair. Not only will your back will thank you, but you can make this an inspiring place to work from. Around my desk I have art, my vision board and post it notes reminding to stay on track with my focus for the day.
Let’s face it, we’re all partial to a mindless scroll on Instagram. But with no boss to give you a cold glare it can be tempted to get so lost down the tunnel that before you know it you’re stalking your ex boyfriends cousins work colleagues sister.
Save yourself by putting it in a different room.
If you can’t see it, you’re less likely to get distracted by it. Plus the effort of getting up to get your phone will make you more mindful about the time you spend on it.
Need it for work calls? Turn off all none essential notifications so you can answer all the calls you need without losing focus.
On the flip side of not being able to concentrate is getting so carried away with tasks that you forget to switch off and relax. This doesn’t have to mean sitting and doing nothing. You can use this free time to stimulate your brain in different ways. Online courses, drawing, workshops and workouts are all a great way to unwind (as is a bath and a book!).
No longer being in an office full of people can feel isolating and can be one of the hardest adjustments when working from home. However, being physically isolated from others does not mean you can’t interact with others. Keep your social interaction up via Zoom meetings, or use your down time to call and check in on friends.
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