Working from home has become the new normal for some during these crazy and uncertain times. While it’s an incredible privilege to be able to work from home, it’s not without challenges. Here are my top seven tips to make working from home a little easier:
- Make Your Bed
Making your bed might not seem like a big deal, but trust me, it makes such a difference. Even though it’s such a small thing, it will make you feel accomplished first thing in the morning and it will make your space instantly feel more organized.
- Get Dressed
You don’t have to dress up, but just throwing on something casual like nice jeans and a slouchy sweater can make a huge difference. At the very least, change out of your pajamas—whether that’s into leggings or a pair of sweatpants (no judgement) just make sure you’re changing into something else to help switch into “work mode.” I ignored this advice for about a week and a half into my work-from-home situation and while it was great at first, eventually it started to feel like every day was a lazy Sunday. As soon as I started getting ready in the morning, I noticed a huge improvement in my mood, focus and productivity.
- Find a Good Space to Work
Whether you work at a desk, dining room table, from the couch or at your own makeshift standing desk, make sure that the space is just for working. If you spend all day working from the couch and then watch Netflix all night from the same spot, you’re probably going to go a little stir crazy. It’s also going to be harder to switch out of work mode at the end of the day if you’re still in your “work zone,” which could lead to you feeling like you never really stop working.
- Make a Daily To-Do List
What do I love more than making lists? Checking things off my list! A daily to-do list is such a simple tool, but it really helps you prioritize your tasks and gives you a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day. Even if you do the same things every day, it’s great to get those tasks down on paper (or on your phone) to just clear those things from your mind. You don’t have to go out and buy a fancy planner either—although it’s certainly okay if you do—instead, you can just use a notebook, your Notes app on your phone or even a random piece of paper.
- Take Breaks Away from the Computer
Don’t feel like you need to be available 24/7 while you’re working from home. You should continue to take five or 15 minute breaks as you normally would throughout the day and, if possible, try to take your lunch break away from your work computer. I am definitely guilty of working over my lunch break during busy times, but I’ve noticed that even taking a short 15 minute lunch away from the computer helps my afternoon productivity immensely.
- Keep Your Space Clean & Tidy
You know that saying “Clean space, clear mind” — well, it’s so true! I always find that I have a hard time focusing when things are messy and unorganized so I highly recommend tidying up your work space before you start work each day. It’s also a good idea to keep the rest of your apartment or house clean and tidy as well.
- Establish Working Hours
Do what works best for you, but in general, try to stick to the same work schedule every day. Of course, there may be times when you have to work a little later than usual, but it’s important to know when it’s time to sign off for the day —you don’t want to end up in a situation where you’re working around the clock. It’s also a good idea to pack up your work computer, notebooks, papers, etc. and put them away so you’re not tempted to finish one last thing or check email throughout the night.
What are some of your work-from-home tips? Let me know in the comments!