We’re in strange times my friends. With the current global COVID-19 outbreak, I know most people have started to transition to working from home and might find yourselves a bit overwhelmed by that. If that’s you, the good news is that I’m here to help! I’ve been working from home for six years now and have really been through the ups and downs that come along with it. Please feel free to ask me any questions you may have! In the meantime, here are my 10 tips for working from home:
1. Clean your house. Trust me on this. When your space is cluttered, your mind will be as well. I’ve always found a connection between our house being a mess and finding myself be distracted or overwhelmed at work. A clean house will set the tone for your day ahead. Put in the effort to minimize your distractions.
2. Have a designated area. Make a space in your home for work and for work only. Ideally, it’s a space with a flat surface and a chair. Working from the couch won’t produce the best results and may lead to back problems. Don’t have a desk? Or need a space for both you and your partner? Here’s how I built our DIY wall desk.
3. Make a morning routine. Now that I’ve been working from home for 6 years, I have my routine set. I wake up, read the news, eat breakfast and then get started with my day. Create a morning routine for yourself and give yourself a set work start time.
4. Make a schedule. And stick to it. It helps to make yourself a schedule throughout the day to stay on task. It can be vague like 9-10am: answer emails, 10-11am work on presentation, etc, but it helps to have an idea of how the day is going to flow. Also always be sure to set yourself a lunch time and take it away from the computer.
5. To-Do lists are everything. When I first started working from home, I’d start the day by writing a to-do list. Make the tasks on it super micro (like respond to x email, or schedule x blog post), to make it as digestible as possible. Cross things out throughout the course of the day and then carry them over to the next if needed. This will help you remember all that there is to do, while giving you fixed tasks throughout the day.
6. Get dressed. Or brush your teeth at the very least. In the beginning, loungewear may make it feel like you’re on vacation. If you find yourself not able to start in the morning, get dressed, shower, do what you would typically do before going into the office on a normal day.
7. Leave your phone in the other room. I can’t tell you how helpful this is! Unless you need your phone for work, leave it in the other room. You’ll be less likely to check Instagram and text, leaving you more consecutive time to be productive. When you need to take a break from work, it also gives you a reason to get up and to get those legs moving.
8. Get fresh air. Right now I know times are weird and this one may be tricky, but opening a window and lighting a candle really help transform the feel of the room. Getting sunlight and fresh air into the space have always helped me be more productive.
9. Have a cut off time. At a certain point of the night you’ll need to transition into leisure time. It helps to mark this with an activity. Maybe at 6pm you take an online yoga class or start cooking dinner. Either way, put the computer up, even change if you need to, to make sure you set a work/life balance.
10. Bring in a bit of color! Make your desk a happy space by bringing in aspects of your favorite color (I’m partial to this rainbow mouse pad). The happier the space is, the more time you won’t mind being there.
If you have any additional tips that you’d like to add– please feel free to leave them for others in the comments! I’m sure we could all use the help right now!
PS The Crafted Life Shop, with tons of colorful office supplies, is now open! Click here to shop for all your desk accessories now!