The spread of COVID-19 has changed our lives. My heart goes out to anyone who has lost a loved one as a result of this unforgiving virus. Even if you are in good health, it wouldn’t be far reaching to say that it is affecting your everyday life. For some of us it is having an impact on our pocketbooks. Many of us are now working remotely from home. You can be just as productive from home, as you can from the office. It is simply a matter of discipline and mindset.
I’m going to share with you seven tips that you can use to make yourself an uber successful work at home warrior.
1. CREATE A ROUTINE
Human beings are creatures of habit. When you have a formal schedule that you follow daily, it makes it easier to adhere to. Little things like going to bed at the same time every night can dramatically affect what time and how you start the next day. Do you exercise before going to the office? Follow that same routine! Your workout may be different these days, but your schedule and habits don’t have to be. Without a routine it is easy to feel lost and less productive.
Work in the same area every day – If you are fortunate enough to have a home office, do all your work from there.
Same cup of coffee – Have the same cup of coffee to kick start your day.
Same time – Start your day at the same time. Take your breaks at the same time. End your day at the same time.
2. CREATE A WORK STATION
You don’t have to buy any new furniture. You do have to designate a specific and permanent area that you are going to work from. The luxury of working from home is being able to bounce from desk, to sofa, to porch, to poolside, and to your bed. The danger is doing this is the lack of routine and permanence.
In addition it also sends confusing signals to everyone in the home. Are you working? Are you watching Netflix? No one knows, but when other people see you in your designated work area, it tells them that you shouldn’t be disrupted.
Lastly, some areas of the home are much more likely to invite distractions. Working on a pool chair beside the pool is very cool. I’ve seen many people brag about being able to do that on social media. Is it effective? Debatable. I argue that you are much more likely to get lost in a backyard pool environment than you are at a desk.
3. POST YOUR SCHEDULE FOR ALL TO SEE
When you combine this with having a permanent work area, it reinforces that you are in work mode. Tacky? A little. Effective? You better believe it. Take time to explain to everyone in the home what your schedule means. If you have young children they may or may not adhere to these rules, but they deserve a hall pass or two on this one.
4. DON’T BE DISTRACTED BY THE DISTRACTIONS
When you are sitting or standing at your workstation you start to notice things around you. Things like cobwebs in the corner of your ceiling. Maybe it’s the dust on the plantation shutters. Here’s my point, there are a lot of errands and chores that are going to distract you.
What would your manager, boss, customer, or client think of your work habits if they were recording you? Make your work hours sacred. Avoid household chores, errands, and items on your honey do list during your work hours.
5. ISOLATE YOURSELF
If you can work in a private office or study that would be ideal. Not everyone has that luxury. If the bedroom is the only place that is quiet, then you may be forced to set up your workstation there.
If your bedroom isn’t ideal, then the next step is to wear headphones. Listen to something that is upbeat, or music that will inspire you and motivate you to keep working.
6. AVOID ALCOHOL
Polls show that over 50% of all people who are working from home during the quarantine are drinking during work hours. I’m certainly not judging. Nor am I confessing. You probably already know that alcohol is a sedative and a depressant. Drinking while trying to be productive does not work. Period. It. Slows. You. Down. My personal recommendation is to save any alcohol for after work hours.
7. CLOCK OUT
Hours, days, and weeks are a blur for many of us right now. We find ourselves checking the calendar frequently. These blurred lines have spilled on over into the workday as well.
Because of the accessibility our clients, customers, and co-workers have to us, it can get harder to clock out. This can put a drain on our relationships at home. It is just as important that we follow our routines and end at a specific time as well for our health and mental sanity.
I hope that these tips help you not only survive, but thrive during this pandemic. It is my goal that when we come out of this crisis, we come out better than when we went in. Let me know if there are any other tips that you can recommend or comments on the tips above.
Stay healthy and well!