I joke that I’ve been “self quarantined” since 2015, but it’s true! Since 2015 I’ve been working from home. I’ve also been working out at home for over a year now. So I’d say I’m a seasoned vet when it comes to social distancing.
If you’re not used to working from home, it can difficult to adjust. There’s more distractions, your to-do list starts blurring into home chores, and you might have a difficult time adjusting to your new routine. As an experienced work from home entrepreneur, I’ve put together some tips to help you as you transition into this new phase of your career.
Get ready like you’re going in to work. This doesn’t mean that you need to wear business casual (let’s be real, I wear leggings everyday). However I do shower or put on some make up on. Most importantly, I start my day with a cup of coffee. While getting ready isn’t “apart” of work, this has helped me mentally prepare for my day.
Whether it’s your kitchen table, bar top, or your home office that you’ve only ever used to pay bills, have a designated work space. Having a designated space for work tells your mind, when I’m in this spot, I’m working. It will help you to not get distracted. My usual work space is actually my office, which is pictured below!
The usual 9-5 doesn’t fit for working from home. Why? Because 9-5 at the office, you’re limited to what you can do with all your “free” time. Again, distractions are so much more prevalent when you’re at home because you’re not used to it! So set times to check your email, to take potty and snack breaks, and stick to it.
As you’ve probably noticed by now, working from home doesn’t go as smoothly as working at the office. Even though I’ve worked from home since 2015, my routine has changed multiple times depending on what stage of life I’m in. I’ve learned that things don’t always go according to plan and my type A personality has to be okay with that.
Effective communication while working from home is more than just being available. You have to almost overly communicate and not just to one person, but the entire team. Especially since you’re not talking in the office where everyone can overhear. That’s why when I slack (slack is a chat program for business for those that don’t know) in a client or project channel, I usually tag the Art Director and Project Manager so that everyone knows where we’re currently at and what’s going on.
As I previously mentioned, it’s easier for your work to-do list to start blending into your home to-do list when you’re working from home. However, it’s crucial for your productivity to leave home to-do’s for after work. What typically helps me is making to separate to-do lists for the day. That way I can focus on the appropriate list depending on if I’m working or not.
You’re probably used to decompressing on the drive home or you’re decompressing and you don’t even realize it. Its harder to decompress when you’re working from home because you’re already home. For me, when I stop working I have to start dinner, but thankfully cooking is a way for me to decompress since I find it soothing. Other ways you can decompress are by going into a different room in your house or apartment and listening to your favorite songs or by going on a walk. If you haven’t realized it yet, decompressing is so important for your mental health and it’s even beneficial for your significant other. So if you need five minutes, be sure to communicate that to them.
As someone who’s been working from home since 2015, I hope this blog post helps you as you adjust to working from home! As always, If you have any questions, I hope I can lend more advice to help you.
Have you adjusted to working from home yet? What have you done to help you stay productive?