I have had the luxury of being able to work from home full time for the past 12 months, I call this a luxury as I was able to work from home a couple of days per week in roles leading up to this and have truly embraced it!
As such I have built myself a lovely little home office (if I do say so myself) in the hallway leading up to our bedroom and next to the kid’s playroom… we will come back to that later.
I have put together my advice on working from home from my past experience.
Can I please add that this is how I manage it and everyone is different, create an environment that works for you to get the most out of you!
Location: Just like Kirsty and Phil say, location, location, location. It’s key! Do not sit on the sofa in front of the TV! Try and find a nice quiet spot with limited disruptions! The only benefit of me being next to the playroom is if I ever appear on TV my interview might go viral…
Breakfast! I always try and start healthy. This means getting up with the kids (highly unlikely before them in our household) and helping with the school and nursery prep. Believe it or not this for me is key family time, making breakfast for everyone!
Planning: A particularly important part of my day is to plan. I start reviewing my diary for the day, planning meetings and calls as well as meetings for the coming days and any prep that may be required. If I don’t set targets and write it down, it simply won’t be done.
Attire! Don’t forget to dress appropriately and for productivity. Trust me trying to work in your PJ’s is not recommended!
I often go to the gym in the morning (it’s on the school run). It helps motivate me for the day and I am typically back at my desk ready to crush the day for 09:30. I ALWAYS get out of my gym gear (not least because it’s hygienic) but I need to be in a working environment and mode.
Routine! It’s okay to get up and make a coffee, have some water or a healthy snack, but don’t take the p*ss. No one likes the employee that’s always in the office kitchen or by the water cooler (so American) so don’t be that person at home. If you’re struggling to focus then set targets.
Top hack: If I want another coffee or a snack? I set a target, only once I’ve sent these two emails, after I cleanse Hubspot (other sales CRM’s are available), once the email campaign is set up etc.
Lunch! It’s not always possible but I try to eat healthy where possible, a large heavy meal is only going to make us feel like so. I always try my best to take my 30/60 minute break, it’s so easy when working at home to feel like you need to be contactable 24/7 that’s simply not the case.
Maximising productivity: Getting outside if I can, fresh air and a 30-minute walk really help me with productivity, revitalise my day. Often I’ll put my earphones in and listen to a podcast or audiobook.
The uber-productive people might even use the time to run errands, that post office trip or quick supermarket shop, maybe even get tea sorted for loved ones coming home…
Review: Reviewing my day. Did I get everything done that you planned to? What were my highlights? What do I already know you need to do tomorrow? – I write it down on tomorrows to-do list
One thing my planner helps me with is reflecting on all the positives. This might sound naf for some but it really helps me focus and stay motivated.
SWITCH OFF! I’d often find myself in front of the laptop at 9, 10 or even 11 pm so for me it’s important to be conscious of this and once I have finished for the day try to switch off completely.
People say try not to bring your work home with you. Have a clear line between work and home. Well, when you work from home that’s even harder.
I snooze or silence my email notifications and work messaging apps when possible. If I need to work after hours, I plan for it. Take more time off during the day and then work in the evenings focussing clearly on the task at hand.
This blog is about me me me but remember, everyone is unique and works in different ways, work out what’s right for you, your lifestyle, your business, your goals!