I’ve been working from home for the last decade (wow, I feel old) so thought I’d pick up where this post left off and pivoted (a bit like my career) and check out my top 5 working from home tips below.
Whether your work day starts at 9pm like mine usually does when homeschool is closed and my kids are asleep, or you get a full day at the laptop during daylight, rather than twilight hours, hopefully my pointers will keep you focused, calm and productive af.
Get out of your PJs. Yes they’re super comfy, make you feel zenned outm and frankly who doesn’t love an elacistacted waistband but sleepwear makes you want to unsuprisingly sleep, not make deadlines and hit your goals. Ditto to working from your bed. Tempting as it may be, I find it impossible to make real headway under the covers, not consistently anyway. Banging on the laptop doesn’t work well ergonomically either as resting arms on a duvet cover instead of a desk/ dining table makes for sore hands and laborious work. Sloppy sleepwear and lax surroundings will only result in a day spent mindlessly scrolling online rather than getting work done so get dressed and go sit at your desk. You need to trick your brain that you mean business (literally). Why not act as if you’re in an office, even if you never work in one. Show yourself and your work some respect by sticking to a ‘work uniform’ where possible. I always produce my most considered work when I’m a little more polished which means, for me a tea dress and a bit of slap on my face. Try it.
Find some work space to call your own be it a nook you can fit a desk in or even your garden shed…As long as it’s not your bed (see point 1), carve out a tiny space wherever you can at home, a place you can return to day after day that sets the scene for you. For me, it’s the far right of our kitchen table, an area that, granted, transitions right back into a shared family space when my work day or night is done but which feels like an office desk the minute I pop my laptop and notebooks by it, poised for work. Which leads me to the next point.
You, yes, YOU, need routine and structure, just like your kids do so create a work schedule and try and stick to it. Yes flexibility is key (did I mention when I actually START my work day?) but you need to devise a plan for when you’re able to graft so you don’t fall Alice in Wonderland style into a rabbit hole on Twitter. Sure, that cat video of kitty playing the Mozart is adorable but you don’t need to watch it 2764532857489036 times. GO DO SOME FRICKIN’ WORK, ALREADY! Oh, and don’t forget to stick to similar times of the day for breakfast, lunch, dinner, a walk/exercise to clear the head and the all important snack breaks. Midnight feasts are for freelancers, as much as kids didn’t you know!
Clear away your work mess when your work day is done so you won’t stress. Don’t leave the laptop open and work notes littered around your home when you’re in homeschool or dinner mode. Divide your work and ‘play’ aka ‘learning’ areas so you can give your full attention to either one. You really need to compartmentalise your life, now, more than ever. If you’re worrying about what you need to do tomorrow, write a list in a notepad by your bed then close it shut and deal with the do-list the next day. There’s something thereupetic about putting pen to paper rather than typing a laptop. You’ve committed to noting what needs to be done, now sleep.
Stay positive. Deep breaths, quick yoga sessions from your desk (really, check this out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tAUf7aajBWE) and the odd scream in the garden/ park will help you feel as balanced as possible. Oh, and be kind to yourself on the days where everything inevitably goes to S***, remembering that tomorrow is another day.