Working from home has not gotten easier during this pandemic. It has added a lot more complexities. It is not just you at home with your spouse doing a 9-5.
Your kids aren’t at the daycare, neither your pets with a pet sitter. Most of the family is now at home which allows for more distractions.
You may just be starting out online and want to know how you can make this experience meaningful and get the most productivity out of it.
Here I will be sharing with you the top ten tips that you can use to be efficient in working from home.
#1 Make A Schedule
You need to set a time slot or slots when you will be working. It does not have to be a 9 am-5 pm. Make it in the time of day most convenient when you know it will be productive for you.
With all the kids at home, other family members, pets, etc they may require your attention to some degree. Let them know that during these hours you will not be available.
In this time, you would not be able to do chores or other minimal tasks desired, unless it’s an emergency. I work best early mornings like 4 am-7 am then in the day at 1 pm-5 pm.
#2 Put Away Distractions (Social Media/Phone)
It is very easy to be distracted by social media in our new society. While working, try not to open any social media accounts in your browser.
Hearing and seeing messages, posts, or tweets come in will make you want to check them. Log out of your social media accounts.
It is best to have just the tabs open that you will be doing your work from. Make time to engage socially but not during your work hours.
#3 Designate a Set Work Space
It is important that you have a designated work command center. It may be a case that you do not have a home office. You want an area that has little to no distractions.
Set rules for your workspace. Let family members know that while you are in that space you will be getting work done and not to interrupt as best as possible.
Additionally, do not take your laptop or work material in bed with you. This will create a bad habit that will be hard to break and affect your quality of sleep.
Your bedroom is your sanctuary for rest. Don’t get in the habit of introducing work material into this space. At the end of the day tidy your work area in preparation for the next day.
If you want the most out of your work time, you will need to do this.
#4 Ensure You Take Breaks.
You need to take breaks especially your lunch breaks. Do not go starving yourself and causing illness to your body. Keep the body hydrated with a bottle of water nearby however, beware of idle snacking.
This will not do justice to your health. Take your hour break and rest your brain from your workload. If you intend on working consistent hours like a 9 am -5 pm, take short breaks every two hours.
Walk around the house or the yard, drink some water, get some fresh air, and look at yourself in the mirror. These breaks will help you to edify your mental health and well-being.
#5 Answer Your Phone Professionally
It is easy to get in the being at home mode (relaxing and casual talk). To keep answering your phone professionally, you may just need to have a specific number that persons can reach you by.
This will aid in knowing that all calls coming in are work-related from that phone. Maintain the client and colleague relationship as though you were at work.
You really need to have a work-life balance and the distinction should be made when talking on your phone as well.
#6 Plan Your Day
You need to know what are the tasks that you are going to focus on each day. I find that completing my hardest task in the morning takes a lot off my shoulder for the remainder of the day.
Leave the evenings for light tasks that do not require too much focus and energy. This could be checking emails, having meetings, etc.
Also, remember when you have kids this can be a form of distraction and you need to prepare for that. Ensure that you factor in time to play with them and aid with their school work.
Having your list of things to do will help in keeping you motivated. You will be surprised at how much time you save by filling the gaps when you think you have nothing to do.
At the end of the day, persons are sometimes drained but “time spent on planning is never time wasted”.
#7 Touch Base With Colleagues
If you are used to the hustle and bustle in the office, working alone at home can feel lonely at times.
Utilize web conferencing tools like Zoom, Skype, or Facetime to touch base with colleagues.
We have so much technology at our disposal that we can easily get on a chat or to live stream a video.
Collaborating with your team on varying tasks can reduce stress levels.
Touch base if you have a quick question, need help, or in need of updates on the latest client projects.
#8 Dress For Success
Many who work at home at times find it a challenge to get in the work mood. Getting dressed for work as though you were at the office could help.
This is not for everyone but for those having a hard time. Get ready and pretend to be in the office. For those who don’t have this issue, just moving from PJs to the shower makes all the difference.
It is easy to just get up and head straight to the computer and start working in nightwear. Take a shower, change your clothes, and have some breakfast if you normally do.
#9 End Your Day At Designated Time
It is easy to go beyond work hours or become a workaholic, however, make time for your friends and family. My grandmother uses to tell me, old work will never end.
When the time approaches to complete your work, wrap up what you are doing. Tidy up your workspace by putting away your laptop, paperwork, etc.
You need to set boundaries and not allow your personal life to be consumed by work. Stop and go cook dinner, have a shower, unwind with the kids, watch a nice movie, chat with friends, or something but stop working.
#10 Be Kind To You
It is quite easy to blame yourself when things are not working out the way you want them to. If you are not able to focus as you would at work or do all that you promise yourself, give yourself some room.
In all this COVID-19 crisis that is happening, you just need enough mental and physical energy to make it through the day.
Be mindful that this global health crisis is affecting many across the world. In fact, reward yourself when you have achieved some milestones in your planned activities.
Use your evenings to relax, have an at-home spa, get some beauty rest, or have a little get together treat with those in your household. Make it creative and fun. Be kind to you and love you.
I hope that you have found some useful tips that you can apply to make working at home meaningful. Do share in the comments below what tips you have tried and that you find to work best.