Working from home is definitely a new experience for a lot of individuals in the United States right now. Most of us are happy to get out of the house and can leave all the stresses from home at the door, and the same for work stresses at the end of the workday. Having the separation of work and home is what allows us to be effective at work and relaxed at home. Now that this breakup of our home and work doesn’t come from a 30-minute commute, we ourselves must find ways to stay effective at “work”. Here are 4 tips for working effectively from home.
While this seems entirely too simple, many Americans are forgoing this step due to our current working conditions. Since everyone is working from home, getting dressed (no sweatpants or pajamas do not count) may not seem like it is very important, but by just following your typical morning routine, you are already starting the day off being productive. By starting your morning by getting dressed and being productive, you already have momentum moving into the rest of your tasks for the day. You’d be surprised how just how much that little bit of effort when you get up will change your whole day.
Designate a Dedicated Workspace
With almost everything taking place at home because if the current pandemic, it is hard to have the room to get everything done. With kids, spouses, and pets at home, things can get chaotic. It is important for you to find a nice fairly quiet place for you to get all your work completed. A place where your 9 A.M. meeting won’t be interrupted by barking dogs or screaming children. If possible, find a place that will be dedicated to just work, whether that be a spare bedroom, a corner of your bedroom, or even in the basement. Just somewhere that will have the essentials: a place to set up and charge your computer, a place to take calls relatively unbothered, and somewhere that you will know is where work happens. Having this space allows work to stay at work, and home to stay at home.
Keep a Schedule
Now that the whole world has practically shut down and everything is happening through Zoom or other video conferencing services, there is no time like the present to create and adhere to a schedule. When work happens in an office it was almost impossible to miss a meeting, now that meetings are happening in chat rooms though, it is way to easy to have it slip your mind. To stay on top of tasks and chores create a schedule as well as a list of To-Dos for the day. While expert planners will have no issues planning their entire week out in advance, people who typically do not plan may want to start with just creating a To-Do list for the day the night before. Having your schedule and To-dos for the day planned out will help keep you on track and sane during this crazy time.
Know and Limit Your Time Wasters
It’s no secret that we all waste, at least a little, time at work, but we sure waste a lot more at home. With all of the home distractions during the day taking your time and attention away from work already, try to limit unnecessary time wasting especially in your “office”. While we all have different work time wasting vices (Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Etc.) it is important that you avoid bringing these time wasters into you new “office”. For example, if every time you answer a text, you go straight to checking Facebook for 15 minutes, set your phone to do not disturb. This will keep your eyes and your attention away from text messages coming to your phone and will still allow you to see calls from clients and receive work emails.
Working from home may be new to a lot of individuals but it doesn’t have to be stressful. By setting a schedule and goals for the day, along with keeping home distractions out of your “office” we can all get through this whole work from home experience and maybe even learn a thing or two about time management that we can use when we return to our normal schedule.