It has been a challenging time. We are all adjusting to a new normal, developing new skills and strategies for engaging online socially and professionally. This week and next, I will share some of my favorite tools and good practices for both.
I’ve been working from home for almost 15 years, and here is what I have learned:
1. Maintain a schedule! Having a regular schedule is essential. It creates structure to your day (and week), and it allows you to plan and organize your work and other responsibilities. It could be 9am to 5 pm or 10 am to 2 pm, the time doesn’t really matter. Just have regular hours and days that you work.
2. Time block! Managing your time at home can be confusing. Time blocking is a method for organizing your time and task that helps you prioritize tasks, stay on task, and be productive. It has just enough structure and flexibility to customize your own work and workflow. To learn more, just Google “how to time block”, there are ton of great resources online to help you get started.
3. Take breaks! If you work in an office, your day is typically broken up with coffee and lunch breaks, informal chats with colleagues, errands, and or meetings. So do the same a home and give yourself a break. Take time away from your work station to have a tea or coffee, go for a walk, sit in the garden, make a call to a friend or scroll through social media. It is normal and okay to take breaks.
4. Designate a work space! Imagine going to work and being told you no longer have a desk or work station. Having your own work space helps you to be able to get yourself in the right mind set, stay focused, and get your work done.
5. Be a good boss! I tell people all the time that I’m the best boss that I’ve ever had, and that is because I treat myself the way I’d like to be treated. I challenge myself, and I also have realistic expectations for what I can achieve in a day or week. I take breaks and rest when I need to, and take the time I need for self-care. Be kind and supportive, and listen actively to yourself, your mind and body.
Be patient with yourself, and your friends and families. Transitions take time, and experimentation. You will find a schedule, space, and process so that you are able to be productive working from home.