One thing I am not having a hard time adapting to during these uncertain times is working from home. I have worked in a remote position since 2005, so when I'm not on the road, I'm lucky enough to work from the comfort of my home. There is definitely good and bad to working from home so I thought it might be helpful to share some of my tips and tricks that may help you stay focused and on task over the next few weeks.
Coffee, coffee, coffee! I probably have more than the recommended amount but it is the ONE thing that I look forward to in the morning and helps get me out of bed. I am not a morning person! Find something that will motivate you and get you excited for your day. If you are a morning person, it might be getting that workout in first thing. If you enjoy writing in a journal or simply like to have some quiet time before your busy day, put that first on your agenda. Whatever it might be, this will help put you in the right mindset for your day.
Get dressed and showered as soon as possible. It makes a huge difference! The earlier I do this, the more productive my day is. I'm more motivated to tackle tasks, I feel refreshed and more professional. I'm not gonna lie, I've had plenty of days where I've been lazy and stayed in my PJ's too long. Start with small steps, make it a goal to get showered and dressed by a certain time in the morning or make it a goal to get dressed three out of five of the days. You will notice a difference and hopefully that will motivate you to continue to perfect this chore. Yes, it can feel like a chore!
Put music on. I prefer classical music in the morning. It is good background music while I catch up on emails. Once I get tired of classical, I typically move on to easy-going music, like Mark Wilkinson. For some of you, that might put you to sleep so find your style of music and turn it up! If the house is too quiet while I'm working, it can actually be a distraction. Sounds crazy but it's true. Music really does soothe the soul, take advantage!
Power hour! This is where I will turn everything off; phone, emails, etc. and focus for a complete hour on to-do items that absolutely need to get done. You will be amazed at how much you can get achieved when there are no distractions. This technique works beautifully for both busy and slow days. When you are having a busy day and letting certain things take priority when they really shouldn't, this is a good time to do a power hour. Put a timer on and go! I've found that this is just as helpful on slow days when I can get complacent. Get out of the funk and get shit done!
Take breaks throughout the day. Even if it's just for 5 minutes. Get up and move around, go get another cup of coffee or step outside to get some fresh air. This does wonders for your brain! Once you get back to your desk you will feel refreshed and ready to get back into things.
Drink a lot of water! If you don't, you might be exposing yourself to over-eating when you really aren't that hungry. Having the fridge and pantry so close is not always a good thing. I am guilty of eating, simply because I'm bored. Drinking water throughout the day can help alleviate that temptation.
Mindfully multi-task. In most cases they say multi-tasking is not good. But, I believe throwing in a load of laundry during a little break is not a bad thing at all. Load the dishwasher after you are finished with lunch. Your significant other will take note and hopefully thank you for it. I've always found it easy to dust and straighten up while I am on certain conference calls. Try it out, see if it is as easy as walking and chewing gum. ;)
Last but certainly not least, pop open some damn wine at 3:00 PM on a Friday afternoon! Just don't tell your boss I'm the one that recommended it. My Friday's are typically winding down by this time of day and I can sneak in a glass of wine, starting off the weekend right. Obviously it depends on the day and what is going on so be attentive to that. It's great motivation to get things done earlier in the day so you can reward yourself later.
Forgot to mention...know when to TURN IT OFF! The convenience of having your work right there at home can be detrimental. There comes a time that it is best to put it away. Go take your dog for a walk or help the family with dinner. Those most important to you deserve your attention and your work can wait, it will be there for you the next morning.
I would love to hear your feedback and ideas on what works for you, send me a note! Good luck these next few weeks during home isolation and who knows, you may become a fan of working from home.