My work recently let us know that we will be working from home for at least the rest of the year. I was happy to have clarity, but another 6 months of working alone at home seemed sort of ominous! For the last few weeks, I’ve really tried to level up my work from home experience, and thought I would share some of my best strategies.
- Leave your house. If you work from home, you can end up spending your entire day within the 4 walls of your house. You should not feel like you are under house arrest, so find a way to get outside of your house each and every day. If its running to the store, going to pick up Starbucks, or going outside for a walk or run. Make it a goal to leave your house in a safe manner at least once a day.
- Designate your office space. I’ve struggled a lot with separating work and home now that my home is my work. I’ve had to make it a point not to work in my bedroom or when I’m eating meals, and it has helped. When I’m in my office working, I’m working, but when I’m not, I’m not.
- Call your coworkers. It’s easy to forget how productive a simple phone call can be. Instead of back and forth IM’s or emails, pick up the phone! Not everything has to be an hour long video call either.
- Block your calendar. If you really need to focus on something or if you need to take personal time for this or that, just block off your calendar, close your email, and do it. For me, feeling like I need to be “available” all the time, actually takes away from my focus when I just need to get something done.
- Upgrade your space. If you are like me and working from home for an extended period of time, its time to invest in your desk space. I finally got a second monitor, and I can’t believe I didn’t do it sooner. No more hunching over a tiny laptop screen all day. Also consider a comfy chair or standing desk so that you have good posture throughout the day.
- Prioritize your day. Back in the office, I did a better job of prioritizing work based on how busy my days are. Now that I have less structured time, I find myself putting things off for a long time and then feeling overwhelmed. I’ve tried to get back to prioritizing work each morning, and then assigning a time when I will work on it. It seems kind of silly to have to manage myself, but I find myself being much more productive this way! You can download the planning sheet that I created here!