By: Jakob Stone, MBA
In recent weeks millions of people have transitioned to working and schooling from home. Whether you are a work-from-home veteran or still trying to find a groove, these 4 tips can help improve your productivity, comfortability, and efficiency!
Designate A Work Space Or Spruce Yours Up.
Having a comfortable, organized, and clean place to establish as a work space is essential. Not many of us are able to work 8 hours from the comfort of our own bed and allowing your work to bleed in to spaces that are supposed to be relaxing for you is a dangerous precedent to set. If you don’t have an established home office, now is the time to improvise. Set up your office on your dining room table if need be. If you already have a designated work space, how comfortable and how organized is it? Do you love fresh flowers? Do you like the smell of sweet orange essential oil in your office? Do you like to have light meditation music playing in the background? Do it! The more comfortable you are, the higher your productivity will be.
Have a Schedule and a Daily Practice.
When you worked out of an office did you have set hours? Why not maintain those hours while shifting the location? Schedule your lunch and three or four 15 minute breaks throughout the day so you have permission to step away from your work space to breathe, do household chores or activities that you want to accomplish. Giving yourself those 15 minutes to complete the task keeps you from wandering down a rabbit hole or getting too distracted, but also gives you the break you would allow yourself when working from a traditional office. The biggest mistake we make when transitioning to a remote work environment is not setting clear boundaries between work and our personal time. Just because your home is now your office doesn’t mean you have to work 24 hours a day, but it also doesn’t mean you don’t need to hold yourself accountable to the expectations of your job, co-workers and employers. Color code your schedule for different types of tasks, give yourself deadlines and ask someone you trust to hold you accountable to your schedule and your space.
Do you have a daily practice to keep you focused? Having a daily practice whether it be cleaning your living space in the morning, moving your body, journaling, mediating or doing yoga can help you focus throughout your day. Give yourself permission and the time to get yourself centered and ready to work.
Feelings of isolation can take over quickly when we transition from an office to a remote work environment. Talk to your co-workers, supervisors, colleagues, and friends. Schedule it if you have to. We are all in this together and we are all facing this as a community. Ask for advice, tips, and guidance throughout this process. Not only will you learn something, you will help other people learn things along the way. Schedule a zoom lunch meeting or a virtual game night with friends, set up a group chat with co-workers who help motivate you. Remember social distancing does not mean social and emotional connection has to fall by the wayside, it just means we have to get more creative.
Change Your Mindset.
Although these times are challenging for all of us, our mindset matters. Are we going to tell ourselves we are stuck working from home or are we going to be grateful that we have the ability to work at home. Reframing your perspective can help you find the gifts in these challenging times and help you to focus on gratitude. Embrace these obstacles, and try to reframe the negatives as much as you can. Start a daily gratitude list, put affirmations up in your work space or start a vision board that you can continuously add to in your home office. Visual cues can help bring us back to center and shift our energy. It is easy to get overwhelmed with fear, scarcity and loneliness; when you start to feel those feelings take over reach out, take a walk, find a way to reset your brain, reframe your situation and get back to work.
I hope these tips help you think of creative ways in which you can effectively work from home. It is important to find what works for YOU! What works for me and others, may be completely wrong for you and your situation. Be kind to yourself and be kind to your expectations as you and all of us navigate working from home.