Working from home sounds like a dream to many people. It was a big goal of mine after I had my son in 2018. I mean, you can’t beat the commute, right? Well, once everyone was forced to start working from home with the quarantine, this illusion begins to fade. They find it hard to stay productive and miss the social interaction with their colleagues. If you struggle to work from home, then follow these tips to stay productive.
1. Create a Grind Space and a Flow Work Space
You don’t need a plush home office, but you do need a dedicated space, and I recommend you actually carve out two. Dedicate whatever area you can as your “hustle & grind place”. Find somewhere relatively quiet and a bit uncomfortable. I know what you are thinking, who wants to be uncomfortable while working from home??? Well your grind hustle and grind space is where you go to bang out work, and get shit done! It should not be cozy!
Once you have created that space, let other people in the household know about it so they can be considerate during your grinding hours. I have created an “”Hustle and Grind space” in our spare bedroom and it works perfect. If you’ve watched any of my lives, that where I usually shoot videos at my desk, and it actually says Hustle on the wall. While working from home I also realized I needed to be able to change it up a bit and so I created a little outdoor “Flow” workspace, which is more of my creative, thinking space. It allows me to break up the day, get a change of scenery and fresh air, and gives me some creative flow when I need it.
2. Do a Time Audit
When I coach my clients, it’s the first thing I make them do. Many of us usually feel like we don’t have enough time to pursue our goals. In actuality we waste a lot of time, and we are not aware of that until we audit our time, minute by minute. Its the most painful and necessary thing I’ve ever done. If you did one with me before the quarantine, its important to also do one now, as your schedule has changed drastically. Because you know if we are all being completely honest Netflix and naps have become a big productivity suck.You can find my time audit sheets here
3. Set Bold Boundaries With Your Loved Ones
#1 Don’t let anyone waste your time with BS! #2 Limit distractions. You should make sure that your friends and family know when you are working. You should also inform them that you shouldn’t be disturbed during work hours. Be bold and unapologetic with your boundaries. An emergency is one thing, but someone asking you where to find the milk is the type of distraction you need to squash right away. This is also important for parents working from home, setting that time for your kids is important too.
4. Embrace Your Productive Hours
After you do your time audit, you will quickly figure out when you get your best work done. For me I wake up at 7am, get 30 minutes of quiet time, sometimes I attempt to meditate, but most of the times I just bask in the complete and utter silence in the house and then I dig into work until 9am when my daughters homeschooling starts. Its the only quiet time I get all day until about 9pm when the kids are both asleep. Once you find a time that works for you, double down on those times. If you are a morning person, consider getting up a bit earlier. If you get your best work done late at night, adjust your routine accordingly.
5. Carve out time to implement what you are learning
Left and right I see friends committing to learning something new while they are at home. And if you are like me I piled up on free and paid courses in addition to teaching a few myself. But while you are trying to rapidly acquire knowledge, don’t forget to block off time for implementation of what you are learning so that you can begin to see the fruits of your labor. This of course doesn’t mean that you put your extracurricular before everything else. What it means is that when you plan your day, you plan it around an hour block of implementing what you are learning as well. So, if you are learning a new language commit to speaking to someone for 30 minutes to an hour a day and actually block it out on your calendar. If you are learning new social media tactics for your business, then actually spend time implementing and not just watching all the course videos.
6. Learn How to Disconnect
Breaks are important right now! Many people feel like they are working more, now then they were before. If you don’t set clear boundaries, no one around you will.
Working from home blurs the lines between work and rest. You need to be able to disconnect when your workday is over, or you will never feel rested. There is nothing wrong with working long hours, but when you do feel the need to get away from it all, you will need to learn new ways to do that. My my husband and I both cut off at 5pm to give full attention to the kids. We stop taking calls and barely checking emails after that time.
7. Find a Routine That Works For You
Routines are a great way to stay productive and get things done almost mindlessly. Creating and fostering these routines while you work from home is a great way to stay on track. Create a morning routine for when you first get up. Create a routine for when you are done with your working hours. Any actions you repeat regularly can quickly become part of a routine.
8. Find Ways to Stay Social
Even the most introverted of us need a bit of social interaction. Working from home can feel lonely at times, so ensure you take steps to stay connected with your social circle. You can schedule more virtual happy hours, meet up with friends in an online Zumba class. Technology is your friend right now. Apps like Skype or Zoom make staying connected easier than ever before.
9. Make Sure To Stay Active
When you work from home, you lose out on a lot of your day-to-day activity. It might not seem like a big difference, but it adds up over the long run. You may need to increase your exercise load or begin exercising if you haven’t been.
10. Don’t Forget About Personal Grooming
I haven’t had to wear a bra in over 6 weeks and it feels great! And if you follow my IG, you know that I have now also accumulated a collection of hats, because bad hair days are really real right now! It’s easy to slip into a routine where you wake up, pour a coffee, and shuffle over to your computer for the day with no attempts at personal grooming. Some people will tell you to prepare for working from home like you were going in to the office. My neighbor gets dressed in a full shirt and tie, and sweat pants everyday and sits in front of the computer. I have no idea what he does, but I make up cool stories in my mind.
Do what allows you to be productive and also get work done. That’s not bad advice, but it might be overkill. You should, however, ensure your clothes and body is clean, at least. It’s good or your health and spirit.