With social distancing looking like it’s going to be a part of our lives for some time to come many people find themselves working in a new way from home.
Working from home has many benefits, but it also has it’s challenges. Some find working from home increases their productivity and others say it doesn’t.
Feelings of isolation and loneliness can creep in quickly if it’s something new to you and then there’s those pesky distractions. Especially if you’ve got children at home or a partner who isn’t as supportive or understanding of the working from home situation.
I’ve worked from home for the last 3 years; I understand intimately the benefits and pitfalls that come with working this way. At first, it’s like learning to ride a bike without training wheels, there’s moments of smooth riding but a lot of wobbling and falling off as you learn to master this new skill and way of operating. With plenty of practice, a ton of patience, a sturdy frame and good set of wheels along with a comfy seat, sound breaks and the unwavering determination to master this new skill, soon you’ll be feeling the wind in your hair and riding like it’s something you’ve done all your life.
Here’s 7 of my favourite hacks to help you build momentum while working from home.
Go to bed and get up at the same time every day
Maintain your routine as you would if you were heading to your workplace. This will help to keep you working efficiently keeping structure in your life. Remember to make your bed as soon as you get up. This small but powerful action gives you a feeling of achievement first thing in the morning and encourages you to get more done.
Moving your body first thing in the morning sets you up for success. It reduces stress, improves your mood, increases your energy levels and helps you feel prepared for the day. It doesn’t need to be strenuous, a brisk walk, gentle stretching, body weight or resistance band workouts are fantastic options to get your blood pumping and your energy flowing.
Get dressed for success
It can be tempting to sloth around in your PJ’s or tracky dacks, but with that comes a relaxed mindset and your motivation slips into day off mode. By getting dressed for success it boosts your confidence, keeps you productive and reminds you that although you’re at home you’re still working.
Get your office space set up
Make sure you’ve got your office space set up nicely so it’s an organised and welcoming environment that you want to work in. Ensure it’s free of clutter, add some personal touches to it along with all the things you need to operate in a productive and creative manner.
Get clear on your boundaries
Create boundaries around your work time, make sure you start and finish work on time. There are 2 scenarios that can come into play. The first is taking extra breaks, treat it as you would do at work and take your usual breaks. It can be tempting to step into the pantry or fridge to see what’s in there when procrastination comes to pay you a visit. Humorous signs on pantry and fridge doors can help with establishing discipline.
The second can be you get so caught up in what you’re doing you forget to take breaks and work longer or erratic hours. Set reminders on your devices or if you prefer a diary, block out these times to ensure you’re taking the breaks.
Plan your day, make sure your day is well planned with a checklist and your top 1 – 3 priorities for the day. This keeps you motivated and helps you see progress made for the day. Like any planning, some days you get everything done on your list and others not so much. Should this happen simply transfer the unfinished tasks to the next day.
Make sure you stay connected with your colleagues, peers and support group. Reach out when you feel you need connection. Seek help and support of people rather than trying to do it all alone. Have an accountability buddy to keep you accountable and on track. Appoint an empathetic person from the workplace to check in with team members. A casual and caring chat is vital in boosting moral and ensuring team members feel valued and heard.
“Isaac Newton had to work from home when University of Cambridge temporarily closed due to the Bubonic plague. It was the most productive period of his life. He theorised on calculus, optics, and gravity. What new discoveries are you going find or do while we’re spending this time working from home?”