Hopefully most of us will be working from home in the next few weeks. Here in France we are all in mandatory quarantine for at least the next 15 days. I’ve been working from home, building my business and platforms since November now so it’s not new to me. However, for most people it is and it can be quite unsettling to break from your usual work routine. Your entire routine changes – you no longer have to commute, lunch breaks to take at a certain hour, colleagues to talk to and a defined work area. So today I’m sharing my 7 tips on how to work from home and maintain a good level of productivity whilst enjoying the working from home lifestyle.
Have a defined schedule
It can be very easy when working from home to get lost in all the possibilities that it means. I found early on that I like to have a certain schedule so that my brain knows when to focus and be productive. Here is my daily schedule, broadly speaking:
7 am. Wake up time
7:15 Meditation & Stretching
7:45 Breakfast time
8:15 Getting ready for the day – put on some clothes (no jeans, though), put on a little bit of makeup if I feel like it or do my hair
8:30 Start working
12pm Start cooking lunch
1:30 pm Little downtime (read, watch an episode of a tv show, go on a walk)
2pm/2:30 pm Start work again
6:30/7pm Stop working for the day
6pm Stop working – workout
7:15pm Dinner time
A schedule is something quite personal I find as it depends on if you’re more of a morning person or night owl, but I try to have an idea of what my day will look like. It’s easier for me to get things done when I know when my work time starts and ends. Yes ends too because it’s harder to disconnect when you work from home because you have no definite end of day time like you do at the office. No commuting because you are already home. So make sure to schedule when to shut your laptop off.
Get somewhat ready
Get out of your pjs, brush your hair, your teeth at least. I find that if I stay in my pajamas, hair in a bad ponytail I have a hard time “taking seriously” my work time. It feels too cosy to work. My rule is hair or makeup if not both. Somedays I’ll decide to let my skin breathe or I know I’ll go swimming that afternoon so it’s unnecessary so I’ll make sure to style my hair.
In terms of clothes, I never wear jeans working from home. Sometimes I’ll film a video or go work from a coffee shop and keep them on when I come back home to keep on the “change of scenery” productivity rush but it’s unheard of that I’ve ever worn jeans on purpose home. However I have a special tracksuit bottom I wear (and wash, I swear) and I always wear a proper top – though not always a bra. It’s easier for me then to feel in business mode.
Make a list
Every workday morning make a list of everything you have to do that day. It’s easier then to organize yourself and tick things off along the way. It keeps you accountable but also helps you turn off your computer and end your day when you’re tasks are all done. No need to overwork yourself because you can.
Make sure to take breaks
The beauty of working from home is that you can do literally anything during your breaks. Watch an episode of The Office or Friends, go get a snack straight from your cupboard, do a little yoga session, go on a walk… Literally anything. It’s important to take breaks even at home so that you don’t go on overdrive, and even if you are home, you’re allowed a little breather.
Create a work space
The thing about working from home is that, since you’re home, it can’t be difficult to separate it from your work. Something that is crucial for me is to have a specific area to work from. I am lucky that we have a second bedroom that is also my office so I have a room and desk to work from. But if you don’t, make sure to have a specific desk or table to work from. I don’t recommend working from your couch or bed all the time as it confuses your relaxing time from your work time.
Connect with others
Working from home can be quite isolating so make sure to text, call, Skype of FaceTime, vocal message your family members, friends and colleagues. It’s important to keep a connection with others outside of you work/home bubble no matter the circumstances.
I also have a blogpost on how to get organized to be more productive, so make sure to give it a read as it can be quite useful especially the your routine changes.