If you are looking for some work-from-home tip so you could stay productive and not drive yourself crazy, well, you’re in the right place.
Due to this COVID-19 situation if you’ve recently started working from home or maybe you’re already a freelancer who works from home and you’re just trying to get some stuff done, let me be honest, working from home can be extremely difficult.
There are loads of potential distractions. Especially if you have young kids.
I work from home myself and I started long before lockdown started. I’ve learned a thing or two about what it takes to remain productive both on the work side of things and the family side of things too.
So let’s not delay anymore let me help you cut the crazy by talking about the top ten tips that I have for you to stay sane while working at the house or remotely:
1. Have a morning routine A.S.A.P
The beauty of leaving the house and going to work every single day is that you get to leave the house and go to work every single day it’s rhythmic it’s automatic.
It’s just what you do!
Unfortunately when you start working from home that routine goes away and that’s a dangerous thing because you can have slower starts and longer finishes.
I remember when I was started working from home I tried to look for the silver lining like Yay! Freedom! I am my own boss I could do anything at any time!
Well, freedom with that routine can mean procrastination laziness and being unproductive or feeling like you’re busy but being busy on the wrong things.
So even though you don’t have to clock in each day and you get to make your own choices I would still choose to have a morning routine that’ll set yourself up for a very productive day that means setting an alarm and getting up at the same time each day
Take that shower start that morning pot (I’m talking about coffee).
Do whatever you need to do to get your day started the right way and make sure you change into regular clothes, not your pajamas, or at least change out of the pajamas that you’re in.
Trust me that ritual of changing out of what you were sleeping in and putting something on, transforms your brain to get you ready for the day.
Define your morning routine and you can even have a checklist that you could fill out each day and you’re gonna get started on the right foot.
2. Find your Spot to Work from Home
When I started working from home I remember fumbling around the apartment for like an entire week.
Just trying to find a spot where I could get some productive work done
Sometimes it was the couch other times it was the dining table but it wasn’t until I took over a corner of my studio apartment.
I recommend you find somewhere whether it’s in your home or another location that becomes your regular spot.
So, when you go in you, can check-in and get things done and on the flip side when you get up and get out of there. When you leave that space you can mentally check out too.
That’s the beauty again of a nine-to-five job at 5:00 p.m. you’re done and you can mentally check out which is really hard to do when you’re at home.
3. Avoid the Temptation of Work
I was a few weeks into working from home and I want to share with you a conversation that I and my flatmate had.
So he was talking and his mouth was moving but unfortunately, I wasn’t even listening to him because I as an “entrepreneur” working from home was so so focused on what my next strategy was gonna be or what my next product was gonna be.
Working both physically and mentally when you shouldn’t be a disaster for relations that you might have and also your overall energy levels.
Just as important as being aware of when you’re not supposed to be working you need to know what you should be working on when you are working.
4. Know what you’re supposed to be doing
Time is precious so do not waste it. When you are set to work, make sure you’re working on the things that actually matter.
So think about it if you are working remotely and your work does not require you to check-in and check out and keep track of those hours.
They just want to make sure you get your stuff done.
Imagine you take an eight-hour day normally and you shrink it down to six but you get the same things done you’re more efficient you get things done and now you’ve bought yourself some time – that’s incredible!
If you’re your own boss though this is where it gets a little tricky.
Because typically if you’re your own boss (I know this from experience) there’s a seemingly infinite amount of things that you could potentially do.
So there’s really no like – okay well, I’ll end early. You just end up doing more things sooner especially if you’re just starting out or bootstrapping.
There’s just so much to do!
So the trick is understanding well what of those things is going to help you the most.
Here’s the problem, though usually after we take care of the two urgent things we then end up doing what is the easiest or the most comfortable.
But those aren’t the things that are gonna actually move the needle. For us, they move us forward maybe incrementally but they definitely make us feel busy.
5. Choose to eat
Well, now that you’re not in the office anymore I’m sorry to tell you there’s not going to be any more morning donuts. Or a cake for Manjunath who’s having a birthday party.
No more vending machines or junk food or sodas that you could just grab.
It was easy to choose the unhealthy foods because that’s all that kind of was there and you’d even go out to lunch with your colleagues and eat that Biryani. That’s how it was like every day when I worked a nine-to-five job and I remember
It was just so easy because it was there but now you are at home or working remotely and you get to choose you to have the freedom and the option to choose healthier this time your body and your mind will appreciate it.
Your work will show it so make those wide choices.
Oh, and drink lots of water too.
6. Take breaks
This is pretty obvious to you but even though it’s obvious trust me I know that you’re going to not do this sometimes or at all.
You need breaks mental breaks physical breaks get outside remove yourself from the work environment and then come back even stronger.
Even though you may be cranking on a deadline I know it’s hard to just walk away from that but like cramming for a test you’re going to be much better off by taking a little bit of a break re-energizing.
I promise you you’ll come back even stronger maybe it’s just a 10 to 15-minute walk or a water break with a little bit of social media time may be in the midday maybe it’s even a nap.
And no! just walking outside to take a call doesn’t count.
7. Schedule all Parts of Your Day But Remain Flexible
Your calendar is sort of your best friend in this situation when you’re working from home or working remotely as Chris Ducker says if it doesn’t get scheduled it doesn’t get done
You probably have your meetings in your calendar already but there are some other important things that you should be placed in there too.
Like your morning routine, we talked about earlier. Put in a block of time when your morning routine starts so that mentally you see it on the calendar.
But remaining flexible is really the key there and mentally that’s gonna be quite tough.
Especially if you’re used to remaining within those hours and only doing those things while at work.
Now we’re in a different environment you may have the kids you have other distractions you have your spouse or partner at home. Understanding that yes you will be interrupted every once in a while and yes you do have the freedom to be flexible.
What’s gonna allow for a lot more productivity work when you are in the flow but also not De-railing you when you get out of it.
Next schedule your breaks yes your breaks again if you don’t put them in there they’re not gonna happen.
Next, you want to schedule when your checkout time as well.
Split up your work hours throughout various chunks during the day even then the end of each of those chunks you can help yourself by mentally checking out seeing it on the calendar.
8. Control how you intake the News
The media, especially in times of crisis, can definitely throw us off and just mess with our heads for sure.
Typically I’d recommend just not checking the news because it’s just sometimes very toxic. However, I understand that sometimes in crises we need to have a pulse on what’s going on.
So here’s a solution for that. Let somebody else let you know if something drastic is happening that you really need to know about giving them permission essentially to interrupt you.
9. Connect with people face-to-face
Working from home or remotely can be extremely lonely.
I remember when I got laid off from my nine-to-five job this was the number one thing that bothered me the most.
Not having the connection to anybody around me. There was nobody to talk about cricket. There was nobody to just randomly chat about what we were gonna do over the weekend.
No casual Chai-Breaks.
I’m not gonna lie I felt very lonely and we being human we thrive we want a connection that’s a survival mechanism we want to connect with other people.
So how might we do this when we’re working remotely or working from home?
Well, we have the internet obviously and you connect via email, yes and I know you connect via Twitter social media and even text message others but it’s still just not the same.
That’s why I recommend no matter who it is. See what you can do to connect with either voice or face-to-face like using FaceTime or zoom or Skype or anything that allows you to see the other person.
Just seeing the other person or at least hearing their voice goes a long way in making us feel like wow there’s somebody else out there in the world and we could still feel a little bit connected.
I feel the realness there versus just a text that somebody could be writing when I don’t know they’re doing something else.
10. Communicate as much as possible with the People Around You
The most important thing you can do especially if you have other people in the home with you or other people that you’re working with is to communicate as much as you can.
Communicate your schedule give people access to your work calendar make sure you communicate with especially loved ones and partners so that you both can come to an understanding.
If you just create the schedule yourself and don’t share it with others then that’s not fair to the other person too.
And it can benefit you to have the other person know when you should be in the work mode but also it can benefit them to know that okay at this time you promise that you’re gonna be checking out.
The last thing is I want you to communicate with me in the comment section below which one of these tips is the most helpful to you.
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