Starting from scratch…
Safe to say things are a little bit crazy right about now. If you’re like me and normally work in an office, the prospect of working from home is a little overwhelming. To help me navigate this rocky road, I turned to my wonderful community online to ask for some tips and pointers. Given that this will be the norm for the next few weeks at least, building a routine seems like a good idea. There’s lots of advice out there, but these are the things that are working for me…
Tip #1: Stick to a time frame
Those of us who work in offices or more traditional work spaces are used to having set times, so why not keep the same at home? I’ve made my ‘work’ day match my husbands for ease, but I’ve been sticking to it. I start at 9 am and finish at 6pm, with a lunch break at 1:30pm. While I might not necessarily be doing work during those times, the structure helps me be more productive. It’s also meant that my husband and I can have lunch together and actually separate ourselves from work.
Tip #2: Make the most of your ‘commute’
Naturally, the trip from the bedroom to the lounge is short, but when we still use that time to get ready for work it helps massively. Wake up, shower, get dressed, make breakfast… keep a morning routine just like if you’d be leaving the house. It’s easier to get into that mindset of work when you’ve done that bit. I’m not saying you have to go the full 9 yards, but I found the days I took the time to get ready went a lot better.
Tip #3: Don’t beat yourself up too much
This is a huge adjustment period, so it’s not going to be smooth sailing all the time. If you’re having trouble concentrating one day, there is nothing wrong with that. Take a break, make a cup of tea, listen to a podcast… allow yourself to feel what you’re feeling and try to get through it. It’s only one minute, or one day, or one hour.
Tip #4: Have a designated work spot
It’s easier to shut the door on work at the end of the day if you’re able to have a work space. My husband is using the office, and at lunch, he comes out and closes the door. I’m working on my laptop, and while the temptation to move around is definitely there (hello, that couch looks so comfy), having a designated spot where my laptop lives means when I’m sitting there I’m much more focused. Make sure that when you take breaks, whether it’s lunch, a cuppa or the end of the day, that you’re leaving this work space. Let the work stay there… even if you’re in the same room.
Tip #5: Work out your optimal time for productivity and work around it
One thing I’ve realized is that I’m much more creative after lunch. So I make sure that any little tasks I need to do happen before. Today for example, I checked emails, sent a few replies, had a Zoom chat with some pals, and did a load of laundry. By the time lunch hit, I was ready to step away from the desk, and now I’m writing and working on blog content. If you’re able to structure your day around when you work best, go for it!
I won’t lie to you, working from home is definitely throwing me for a loop. As someone who’s routine is so connected to having to go to work, it’s taking some time to get into it. Making sure I’m also taking care of my mental health is equally important. It’s something I’ve talked about on the blog before, and it’s weighing on my mind right now too. Still, hopefully a few of these pointers will help you get a bit more settled.
If you are looking for more tips on working from home, lots of people commented on my instagram post asking for advice, and shared their tips. I also read a few helpful blog posts! Jade shared some pointers on how to stay productive, and Laura shared a few crucial ‘working from home’ tips she’s learned along the way! I also found this Stylist Magazine article on working from home pretty helpful as well!
Hopefully some of this helps, even just a little bit. Happy working!