Working from Home – It doesn’t need to be stressful
I know in these strange times many of you will be working from home for the first time and feeling stressed and anxious about how you will get everything done, and manage your home life, or simply stay motivated.
Having worked from home for nearly 30 years, there are a few simple tips that might help
Have a Routine
The working day for most of the UK is 9am to 5pm, so you need to be available to answer your phone and do productive work no later than 9am. If your business working hours differ, you need to stick to these hours. Staying focussed and motivated relies upon feeling that you are at work, so this matters.
Give yourself a break
You are at home. Housework is still there to be done. Machines such as washing machines and dishwashers can be switch on before you “go to work” and unloaded/reloaded when you take a tea break. Everyone needs a break now and then, and right now we should all be regularly drinking hot drinks. Put the kettle on do some chores while it boils and your tea brews. You’ve had a chance to move around and not sit in the same position for ages….which is bad for you.
TV is not your friend
Do not be tempted to put on daytime tv. This will distract you and eat into your day. You will get to 5pm and realise that you have accomplished very little.
Life happens while you are making other plans
You have a heap of work to do before tomorrow, and your five-year-old is sick all over the sofa. She needs some time and attention, as does the sofa. Even if you are in the middle of a video conference, all but the meanest of individuals would accept that family has to come first in these circumstances. Step away and deal with your child.
The work isn’t going anywhere, and even if there are deadlines the beauty of working from home is the flexibility to fit your working hours into your life. It may suit you to work 7am-9am then 2-3pm and 6-10pm as long as you can meet your work commitments and be available on the phone no one is losing out.
Have your own workspace
Even if it’s just a cleared area on the kitchen table, you need an area where you feel you are at work.
Love your lists
To help you wind down at the end of the day, write a list of what you need to do tomorrow before switching off your phone/computer. This way you will be able to relax better and start the next day with focus.
Take your exercise
Make sure you have some exercise every day, it refreshes your body and mind. If you are struggling with a difficult problem, go for a bike ride, walk or run. You can often find that taking your mind off your problems can help you think more clearly and find solutions.
I’m not sitting here feeling smug because I have all the answers, because every day is different, and we can’t always achieve what we set out to achieve, I hope these tips help.
If you find it had to relax – get a cat – watch it. Mine is a lesson in calm (when she’s not beating up the dogs).