Tips for Working from Home
Updated: Apr 9, 2020
Many business owners and team members have been adjusting to the challenges of working from home, amid the ever-evolving COVID-19 pandemic. While working from home offers several perks, it can also create many challenges. It can be especially challenging and distracting if your spouse, children, or roommates are at home, too.
As a professional who began working from a home office quite a while ago, I realized early on there were certain aspects of working remotely that I found to be difficult or distracting. Items that made the list were:
A never-ending home improvement “to-do” list,
Household chores like laundry, dishes, meal prep, cleaning,
Managing your household, it’s members, and its finances.
Being attentive to your spouse, children, and pets’ needs.
And then there’s work.
The temptation to finish up a project or make a few last-minute changes to that important proposal can be enticing when your office space is just a few steps away.
There is always one more thing to work on, one more person to email, or one more phone call you need to make.
Trying to balance it all can leave you feeling unfocused, frustrated, and unaccomplished. Although these challenges can seem overwhelming, there are some best practices that have helped me and I would like to share with you:
Time Block: Time blocking and planning out my day has really been a helpful tool. I schedule my workday in a way that works out well for me and my family. Making a list of personal tasks and a separate list of business tasks helps me separate my work from my personal world. It also takes the tasks out of my head where they are swirling around, so I can better concentrate.
Start/Stop Times: Establish a set start and end time to your day. I used to work all day, break to eat dinner and see the family, then come back to my computer to “just check on one more thing”. I would end up staying up late working and really struggled with boundaries. Establishing start and end times will help you set healthy boundaries. Have a family member hold you accountable if you think you will have trouble in this area.
Maintain Sanity: It is OKAY to take a little time in the day to throw in a load of laundry or take a little bit longer at lunchtime to go ahead and prepare dinner in advance. It is OKAY to take a pause to check in with the kids or to make a run to the grocery store at an odd time in the day to avoid a crowd. The “to-do” list will always be looming. As long as you are communicative with your team, meet or exceed expectations and hit your goals, it’s okay to maintain your sanity through those activities.
Set Expectations: Create realistic expectations on what you can get accomplished in the day. I used to set myself up for stress and a sense of failure because I planned too much. There was no way I could accomplish all of it in a single day. There are only so many hours in the day.
Take a Break: I forgot to schedule in time to get up from my desk, take breaks, and breathe! Everyone needs a breather! And it’s good for your health to get up from your desk and get moving every 1 to 2 hours throughout the day.
Track Progress: Along with having a realistic schedule for the day, I found it very helpful to track my progress. I take my goals very seriously so having a system to track results is very important. It gives you a chance to recognize and celebrate the small wins along the way, and it keeps you motivated to keep going. Accountability check-ins in the morning and the afternoon with your team are also very helpful.
Adopting these tips into your remote work will help you prioritize, reduce stress, and do your best during your work time and your home time.
Wishing you a safe, healthy, and productive month,