With everything going on in the world right now, are you doing OK? If you’re transitioning to a work from home lifestyle for the very first time, it can be really overwhelming with the constant distraction going on. I’ve been working from home for a few years now and I’ve learned what works for me. I’ll be honest though, I don’t get fully dressed in nice clothes every day, so I have realistic advice on how to work from home like a pro even if you’re wearing sweatpants!
Maintain a clean space
Visual clutter is mental clutter, for me at least. Maintain a clean workspace. I used to have one desk for both my work and makeup, but now that I’ve separated the two I can work with a lot less distraction. Shred those old papers. Sanitize those surfaces. Light a candle to set the mood with scent. Run your robot vacuum at night so your office area is an extra pleasant area to arrive at in the morning.
Timeblock like a boss
I use Google Calendar to schedule out my work, to the best of my ability. Things can always change, but having reoccurring calendar events in the system ensures I don’t have to risk forgetting tasks I need to do. I also use color labeling to separate work and personal tasks. Fitness has its own color so I can quickly see how many workouts I’m getting in when I look at my week and month at a glance. Additionally while I do sometimes multitask, breaking apart things like writing blog posts, editing videos, filming, etc make sense to just set aside time to batch produce.
Try to create some kind of structure, whether it’s the clothes you’re in or the hours you work. This can also mean strictly only doing work on your work computer. Log out of your social media or put your phone on airplane mode. Creating little boundaries when you’re intending on getting work done will minimize distractions. Physical boundaries, such as working in a separate room or area of your home, can help signal to your family members you’re working at that time. If all else fails, noise cancelling headphones will be your new best friend.
Communicate as much as possible
While I mostly work solo now, in the past when I’ve worked remote for larger companies communication is always key. At my last full time position, I had team mates on 4 different continents across 7 different countries, so communication was entirely online. Utilize tools like Slack or even project management solutions like Trello to update your team outside of email. And I’m always a fan of avoiding a meeting that could’ve just been an email, so find what works for your team best.
Start your to-do list the day before
My days always go better when I start work with a plan. I always write my to-do list on paper, but digital is fine too if that’s better for you. When the list is started ahead of time, you can hit the ground running the following morning. My head can sometimes be a little fuzzy until I’ve had my morning coffee so having a to-do list prepared starts my day off right.
Some key things that have helped my personal work from home flow is batch producing content. For example, filming only 1 or 2 days per week, and dedicating separate days to tackling blog posts or video editing projects. I usually spend Monday and Fridays scheduling social media posts, chasing invoices, creative planning, and preparing my newsletter. Everything else goes in the middle of the week. I also like to start my work on the computer around 8am or 8:30am and wrap up around 5pm or 6pm. As a content creator, offsite events and photoshoots took up a lot of my time every week, so gaining that time back is something I’m still learning to optimize. Occasionally I do work on the weekends, but I always grab that extra time to myself during the week.
Are you a working from home pro or newbie? Hopefully these tips for working from home gave you some new ideas. I’m all about working smarter and not harder! Definitely check out some of my other tech and home content before you go. We got this!