After running Treball from home for almost two years I’ve learnt a thing or two about working from home effectively. It is a huge adjustment when you start, especially when you’ve come from a big corporate office environment. The first few days is always amazing - it’s new, it's freeing, and you can choose how you work and what you can wear! But, like all things, the newness wears off and you can become lonely, unproductive, and very easily distracted.
I’ve put together a list of the top ten things to do and keep in mind when you’re working from home to make sure you continue to work as effectively as you can.
- Get up at the same time every day - Make sure you set an alarm at the same time every morning and actually get up! It’s so easy to hit snooze on your alarm especially when you have nowhere to be. Try to stick to your normal routine as much as possible, this will help you mentally stay in work mode.
- Get dressed - although it’s SO tempting to stay in your PJs all day, it’s not good for your mindset. Dress as if you’re going out somewhere. This will help you to feel good about yourself and makes it easier to feel like you’re “at work”
- Create a dedicated work area - Create a dedicated work space in your house, even if it’s just one end of your dining room table. When you sit down at the space you are 'at work' and when you get up and walk away you are 'at home'. Try to keep these areas separate as much as you can, otherwise it’s very easy to not switch off and always be in work mode.
- Have set work times - Try to start and finish your work day at the same time every day to help keep your routine going. It’s hard once you fall out of routine to get motivated and back on the routine bandwagon.
- Do not eat meals at your desk - Yep you heard me! Get up and eat your meal somewhere else. It it important to take your lunch breaks to give yourself some time to focus on mindful eating rather than stuffing your face while firing off emails. Take your breaks, eat your food and if possible get outside and move your body even if it's just a walk around the block! Take 5 minutes to stretch and move your body, especially if you’ve been sitting all morning. You’ll come back to your work with fresh eyes and have more energy to tackle through the afternoon.
- Music - Have a good playlist playing while you work, it can be very lonely working from home so music is a great way to fill the silence. There’s some amazing playlists on Spotify catered to your different moods/level of concentration needed. We’ve been loving the one Lou Lou Lips put together recently (play here) I also find wearing headphones can help me get into deeper concentration as it blocks out any surround noises.
- Remove distractions - It’s easy to get distracted when you’re working from home, try to remove all outside distractions that you can. Turn notifications off on your phone, and close any apps or internet browsers like Facebook while you’re working so you can’t get trapped in a social media vortex.
- Write yourself a to-do list - Every morning, or the evening before, write yourself a to-do list of everything you need/want to get done for that day. Start the morning smashing out the job you least want to do and then reward yourself with jobs you like doing after. It's a great way to stay on track of what needs to be done and is so satisfying when you get to tick off all the jobs. It's important to set your intentions for each day - a great habit no matter where you work!
- Clean your work space at the end of every day - Before you call it a night make sure you clean up your workspace so it’s not a mess for when you come to sit down to work the next day. Take any dirty mugs or cups to the kitchen where they belong and close any work books and computer. This will also help your mind to separate and realise that you have “left the office for the day”.
- Set boundaries with your family & friends - You may find your phone going off more now than ever with calls from family & friends because they think you have more time now you work from home... (they're soo wrong). Make sure you set boundaries for yourself & your loved ones so they don't keep hitting you up on speed dial. Answers calls & messages as you would if you were at the office.