Well, the ‘work from home full time’ team has gotten quite a few new members in the last week or so! With most of the country self quarantining and practicing social distancing, a lot of people are finding themselves working from home for the next couple weeks! For some, this is exciting. For others, this is terrifying. For everyone, it’s new! As someone who works from home full time no matter what’s going on in the world, I wanted to share some of my tips with y’all.
First off, working from home looks different for everyone. If you have kids, it’s going to look drastically different than if you don’t. If you live in a one bedroom apartment it’ll look different than if you live in a 6 bedroom house. I tried to compile my best advice regardless of what your home situation is!
Turn Off Notifications
This is the key to working from home! I permanently have my notifications turned off for the apps that I use for work, like Instagram and my email. This allows me to intentionally decide to spend time on those apps, rather than just reacting to when I get a notification. A DM can wait an hour, you don’t need to reply to that email the minute it hits your inbox at 8pm. I never get notifications for those apps! But during my work hours at home, I don’t get any notifications. Seeing a notification pop up will immediately distract me. If you text me during the day and wonder why I don’t respond right away, this is why. I check my phone once each hour that I’m working.
Take and Time Your Breaks
By all means, take breaks! I used to feel like I couldn’t take any breaks when I worked from home. I felt like taking a break to grab a snack, go for a walk, or watch one episode of Parks and Rec was me being lazy….because people are “at work” for 8+ hours a day! Then I remembered…just because someone is “at work” doesn’t mean they are working non stop. It’s normal to take breaks, so give yourself that space. But be careful! It’s easy for a 10 or 20 minute break to turn into an hour. Time your breaks. Set an alarm to remind yourself when it’s time to get back to work! Also, you can be productive when you take a break! I like to do little chores or run errands as my breaks. That way when I’m done for the day, I don’t have to worry about washing dishes or going to the grocery store!
Work During Your Most Productive Hours
One of the best parts of working from home is that you can work when you are the most productive. If you are more focused at 8am, then start working then. If you are better at 2pm, make sure to schedule your day around those times. For example, I am not a morning or a night person. I usually work from about 10am-6pm. If I am having a really hard time focusing or it’s just one of those days, I will take a long break from 2-5pm and then work later in the evening once I’ve gotten all my restless energy out.
Make Your Bed
Making your bed will..
- Prevent you from jumping back into it later in the day! If you’re a big napper, this one is key for you!
- Starts your day with a sense of accomplishment.
Organize Your Day
At the beginning of the week, plan out what you need to do each day. You can use a planner or an online resource, like Trello, to list the key tasks that need to be done each day and week. Then, in the morning, plan out exactly when you will do each item on your list. You can plan out each hour, 30 minute, or even 15 minute section of your day. You also can do this when you are finishing up work the day before so you can wake up and start going immediately!
Set Work Hours. STOP WORKING.
Establish hours that you will be working. This goes along with the previous tip! The important part of this one, is to actually stop working when you’re done for the day. Without your normal commute home, you don’t have that time to mentally disconnect from work. You have programmed yourself to know that work is work and home is home, but when work is at home…it gets very confusing. When you’re done with work, pack it up, put it away, and relax! You need the mental space to be rested and ready for the next day.
Try Not to Work in the Kitchen/Near Food
If your kitchen table is the only place you can set up shop, then ignore this one. I just find that if you are working where snacks are just a few steps away, you are more likely to eat them! When I work in my office upstairs, I am usually too lazy to walk downstairs to get a snack. If the snacks are next to me, I will eat them 😛 This is just a health tip, not so much a productivity one!
Set Up a Clean Work Area
Designate a space that is just for work. Then clean that space…and keep it clean. Put away your dishes after lunch, clean up the trash or toys or anything that is cluttering your area! And since you are working from home due to a viral outbreak, it couldn’t hurt to actually clean and disinfect the space at the end of each day 🙂
I want to end with saying that it’s important to give yourself some grace! Enjoy this time of flexibility, working in more comfortable clothes, and not worrying about a commute. These are not rules, these are guidelines! Let me know by tagging me on social media if you implement any of these in your new daily rhythms!