How to actually be productive working from home
This global pandemic has forced us all into this strange new world, which for many is filled with fear and uncertainty.
I want you to know that I am with you in this, supporting you to continue your business dreams and aspirations even with the chaos that is going on.
There has never been a more important or relevant time to be starting and growing your online business, to be offering support to others online and to be focusing on making money for you and your family.
So grab a drink (Chilli Hot Chocolate is my current obsession) and learn from my 5 years of experience working from home. I’ve had to learn the art of avoiding procrastination and being productive.
I’ve learnt how not to succumb to the temptations of the fridge, endless hot chocolates, playing with my furbaby Isla and all the other distractions that are everywhere when you work from home and ACTUALLY BE PRODUCTIVE.
I’ve definitely felt overwhelming loneliness at times and now know how to find community and support when I need it.
So check out my 6 top tips for working from home even when the world around you is changing.
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Work from Home Tip 1: Plan Your Day
It can be hard not to have a set structure to your day as you do when you are in a 9-5 office environment, so you need to make sure you plan your day properly. I like to:
Review my appointments and to do list for the next day the evening before
I set my top 3 goals for the day and do them first thing when I am most energetic
Block out time for lunch and breaks and make sure you actually take them
Make sure my time is spent on things that will actually move me towards my goals
It is too easy to procrastinate and waste time when working from home so set aside time specifically for household chores so that I don’t get distracted by them throughout the day
Work from Home Tip 2: Find Your Community
Working from home or simply spending more time at home can feel lonely, so seek community wherever you can.
Find a safe space to connect with people, ask questions, plan. You could join a Facebook community of like minded people, create a weekly online meeting with other people working from home or start a What’s App group with work colleagues who are also at home.
Just make sure you connect with real people everyday.
Zoom is an online conferencing and meeting platform and is great for work meetings and also to catch up with friends and family
House party is a great app for catching up with friends
Work from Home Tip 3: Set Up A Proper Office Space
Create the feeling that you are ‘going to work’ everyday but creating an office space at home. It can be as simple as a section of the kitchen table.
This also helps to create some balance between work and home life, especially if you can physically shut the door of your office or tidy away you work each evening so you can’t see it.
Also try to set yourself up as ergonomically as possible to protect your back and joints.
Work from Home Tip 4: Take Time For Yourself
Life is often finely balanced, with stress and pressures on one side of the scale and your energy and resources on the other side.
During uncertain times like these, there is likely to be more on the stress and pressures side of the scale, so introduce things which support your energy and resources to balance out the scale.
Ideas could include:
Having a morning routine which sets you up well for the day
Having dedicated prayer and quiet time
Listening to uplifting music
Focusing on gratitude by listing 3 things you are grateful for each day
Spending time with family and friends – you could host an online quiz
Watching a movie
Doing some crafts or painting
Listening to a podcast or read a book
Spotify has some great music playlists
Calm is great for meditation and relaxing music
My top list of podcasts for entrepreneurs should give you something to listen to
Work from Home Tip 5: Have Set Hours
Choose the hours you are going to be available for clients, family, friends etc. and clearly tell them when you will be available.
This is all about setting up expectations and boundaries so people don’t just assume that because you’re at home that you’re available all the time. I like to have a morning ‘coffee break’. This gives me a specific time to connect with the people around me, making it easier to focus during my set work hours.
As much as others need to respect your time, you need to respect your own time as well. Set a time when you will stop working and stick to it, otherwise you will end up resenting your business or work, stifling your creativity and getting worn out.
If you find yourself getting distracted and being less productive because you are home, then you could try the Pomodoro technique. It is a time management technique designed to maximise productivity and concentration. You can find our more here
Work from Home Tip 6: Get Moving
As you’re no longer commuting, you need to consciously build movement and exercise into your day.
When planning your day, ensure you put in times for walks and stretching. If you are not allowed outside at the moment then jump onto YouTube and find a video exercise class you can do to keep your fitness up and get you moving.
Centr App for exercise & healthy habits (they offer a free trial)
Gymondo has a variety of at home workouts
Proper Active has a brilliant blog on free ways to stay active
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