Hello there lovely Buttoneers! How are you? It’s currently a scary, noisy and uncertain world out there at the moment isn’t it and everything feels a bit topsy-turvey, a smidge wobbly at times and a lot different to what we are all used to. I for one, have felt a range of all the emotions lately and even a trip to the supermarket for my weekly essentials shop became an anxious and exhausting task. These times are sent to try us and as the good old Hagrid says “What’s comin’ will come, an’ we’ll meet it when it does” – he’s a wise fella, that Hagrid.
Working from home is a new experience for lots of people at the moment. People that are used to getting up, jumping in the shower, grabbing breakfast and heading out of the door to sit down in their office at their desk/study area/classroom etc [Insert your workspace here] surrounded by noise and people. Thanks to COVID-19 Coronavirus, a government lock down and a lot of people either self-distancing or self-isolating, a lot of us are having to adapt the way we work, to be able to continue working, but from home. It’s certainly an adjustment!
A few of you lovely Buttoneers have messaged me asking for advice about working from home because it’s what I do full time and you are struggling to settle into your new routines – Don’t panic! I have got your back lovelies!
I jumped into action with a million ideas running around in my creative imagination and set to work to hash out all of my tips and tactics to help you get your head down, get stuff done and most importantly, keep hold of that work/life balance.
If you have followed me on this little creative corner of the internet for some time, you may remember my Ten Top Tips for…Moving House blog post. I really loved the style of that post and wanted to write this post in much the same way.
Disclaimer: I am not amazing at this at all, I too, still struggle from time to time to find a balance or keep my motivation – these are just Ten Top Tips for Working From Home that I have gathered together that work for me!
So, without further ado, here is my Ten Top Tips For…Working From Home…
1. Create a comfortable workspace
☀ Working in a new environment can be overwhelming at the best of times, let alone if you are working in the same place you are living, cooking, relaxing, watching telly, sleeping etc etc. Having a designated workspace is definitely the key! Now, I’m not saying you all need to re-mortgage and build an extension or a home office in the bottom of the garden (the dream!) I am saying you need to find a quiet corner of your home, whether it be a cleared off dining room table, a desk set up in your spare room or even your laptop set up on your dressing table. This will not only promote good work ethic, help with an ‘office mindset’ and give you better posture sat in a proper chair, but it will help with leaving your work behind at the end of the day (more on that later)
☀ Having a dedicated workspace will give you a clear-cut working space that allows your mind to know you are all business. Set up your laptop, connect to the internet, lay out your planner, grab your pens and notepads and get to work! It will, in time, cut out all the distractions around you like the TV, the pile of laundry that needs folding, the washing up that needs popping in the dishwasher and all the other tiny jobs that will amount to half of your working day if you let your brain procrastinate enough! You will be more focused, better organised, more motivated, and with fewer distractions! Hooray!
☀ Don’t sit in front of the television! As much as you think working from home means that you get to binge watch your way through your Netflix watch list, you simply won’t be as productive if you are distracted. Just think, if you get your work done early, grab the popcorn! You’ve earned it, just prioritise your work first and your brain (and your boss!) will thank you later.
☀ TOP TIP: Create a little mood board or cut and stick some inspiration messages to yourself. Grab some photos of happy times with the people you love and pin them up around your workspace or add some cushions or a snugly blanket to your chair. This will make you instantly feel at home, inspired and like you have a comfortable little sanctuary and dedicated personal space to get to work, rather than just a spot at the dining table or the corner of your bedroom! Hooray!☀
2. Keep to a routine/schedule
☀ As much as lying in bed with your phone in one hand and your coffee in another seems like the dream work life, trust me, it gets tiring pretty fast. Your brain will be in relaxation mode rather than go get ’em mode, so where you might think you are emailing your boss with the latest stats and statistics in a professional manner, you are probably not using your brain to the maximum of its clever, well worded self.
☀ You wouldn’t shack up to the office half dressed, hair everywhere and with your toothbrush still in hand now would you!? You wouldn’t turn up to your workplace two hours late and tell your boss it was because you slept in and needed to put a wash on first would you? So why would your working day be any different just because you are at home?
☀ Get up for work just like you would do if you were leaving for the office. Jump in the shower, get dressed (even if it’s just in to a clean pair of pyjamas!) eat some breakfast (It’s brain food yanno!) and sit at your desk to get to work for the time you would usually start work. It will keep your brain sharp and ready to go.
☀ A really great way of ensuring you manage your time well in the mornings, and to get you up and ready straight into your working day, is to make a bridge! No, I don’t mean an actual bridge but a metaphorical one. Every day when I finish my work for the day, I write a list of things I either didn’t complete, or I need to do the next morning. Sometimes I even leave a project unfinished so that I can start the next day jumping straight back into a project rather than having to start a daunting new task when I’m feeling a bit bleary eyed and sleepy! This way it bridges the gap and ensures I start the day off super productive, which in turn leads to a way more productive day than if I sat at my desk procrastinating my morning away not knowing where to start.
☀ TOP TIP: Set and alarm and get to your dedicated workspace for the same time every day (maybe even your normal office start time) and your brain will feel so much more professional, become more ready to go and start to automatically be in work mode when you sit down in your dedicated workspace! Hooray!☀