Working from Home. My Top Tips for Getting Past COVID-19.
I've written about how hard working from home is in the past. It's a bloody minefield and learning curve at the best of times.
I thought it would be a good idea to give people a few tips and tricks to help the temporary process of moving from an office to their home environment.
For years, I worked from the sofa, garden, bed. Wherever I fancied. I got the work done but I noticed a few things. 1 - I wasn't as productive as I can be. 2 - My mental health suffered. I didn't have a place to turn off. I worked in my "safe spaces" and long term it damaged my work output and my health.
So, here are my top tips for making the most out of working at home.
But all is not lost! You just need STRICT rules that you and everyone else has to abide by.
If you haven't got a whole room to work from at home then you need to claim ownership to an area that is yours and only yours. If you are in that space, you are not to be disturbed. People must not use that area for a dumping ground, a play to play or a place to sit. It's your office. Period.
Tell people what your working hours are likely to be. If you tell your other half you'll be working 10-2 then they can't ask you where their favourite pair of socks are.
Ask the people around you to book stuff in advance so you can join in too. If your partner is planning on a quick walk, ask for some notice as you may be able to go out too. In this current climate, if you are going to go out for a walk, please only go with the people you are self isolating with. Meeting up with friends and family from another house is stupid. Just don't do it.
Explain to people that when you are home you are not on the couch watching Netflix (most of the time) and you need to be treated like you have a "proper job". Are they able to do the cleaning from their office? No. So you shouldn't be expected to do it when you are working from home.
Tell yourself 'no'. No, you don't need that snack. No, you don't need to know what the neighbours are arguing about. No, you can't just not do the work! Get the work done. #BeMoreHippo
Get yourself a playlist on Spotify or your favourite music platform. Being alone in the house all day can get BORING! You will need to keep yourself from going mad.
Plan regular communications with your work colleagues or clients. Try to do these via video calling. It'll help with cabin fever. It'll help with your mental health and it will also help keep things "normal" in this currently chaotic world.
Make sure you take regular breaks. Stop for 5 minutes, make a hot drink, eat, and stick your head out in the sunshine or fresh air. It's so easy to fall into the trap of hiding in your house completely. I do it all the times. It's probably the point I mess up on most.
CLEAN everything at the end of the day. Keep your work area clean and tidy. It'll help you get motivated the next day and will also stop the spread of germs.
Shut everything down. At the end of the day, put all work away and turn the computer OFF. Working from home is hard. It's hard to separate life and business. It can takes months/years to find the work/life balance and if you're new to it, it can be soul destroying. So turn everything off and make sure you stop work at a certain (earlier the better) time.
I know this isolation situation is hard and I know working form home can be scary but you can do it! If you set boundaries in place for you and others then you should be a home working pro in no time.
I'm here if you'd like any help or advice.
Until Next Time.