Most of us will have recently found ourselves restricted by the Covid-19 lockdown. For anyone who is not required to go into their place of work to do their job is now required to work from home… To some, working from home may be a pretty standard part of their job, but for others this is completely uncharted territory!
Take Mar and I for example… I’ve been in roles where working from home was quite a big part of the job, so over time I’ve developed ways of working to make sure I am as productive as possible and don’t go insane! Mar on the other hand, doesn’t work from home very often… so being stuck inside (with me) has taken a little more getting used to!
Here’s some of my top tips for 1) being productive and 2) staying sane!
1. Do NOT stay in your pyjamas all day…
Some may say this works for them but generally speaking, most people are much more productive when they keep some sort of routine in their lives, including getting showered and dressed as you would usually before work.
I’m not saying you need to wear your usual work attire, but definitely get changed out of those pjs and put on something fresh and clean! Trust me, you’ll feel better for it!
Don’t forget once you’ve logged off at the end of the day, you can jump straight back into your pjs if you want!
2. Get some fresh air
This is one thing that I would go completely insane without! Get outside for some fresh air, whether it’s a quick walk at lunch, standing in the garden or just opening the window whilst you have a tea break.
It’s good to get away from the screen, and getting some fresh air will make you feel so much better when you sit back down to work again.
3. Write a to-do list
This may sound obvious, but writing a to-do list is such a good way to stay focused and make sure you get everything done that needs doing. When you’re working from home, it can be really easy to get distracted by that pile of washing that needs to go in the machine, or the bathroom that needs a clean, so writing a to-do list stops you being as distracted by those things!
By all means, crack on with household jobs before you start or in your lunch break! It’s a great way to break up the day.
4. Create a dedicated work area
Whether it’s a kitchen table, breakfast bar or for some lucky people a home office – make sure you give yourself a dedicated area to do anything work related. This will make it easier to keep a clear divide between work and home, despite not being able to leave the house!
5. Try and get a workout in
I always find I am most productive in the day when I’ve done a workout beforehand. Even just 20 minutes HIIT is enough to get me motivated and feeling good for the day ahead.
6. Stick to your routine
Just because you’re not doing your usual commute or heading to the gym before work, try and stick to your routine as much as possible.
Mar and I are still getting up at our usual time and just making the most of the hour or so before our workday begins – we’ve being getting in a short workout or walk, eating breakfast without the rush and getting ready for the day as we usually would.
7. Take regular breaks
Take those tea, coffee, snack breaks.
Do as you would in the office and don’t skip that 11am tea break! I find that when you’re working from home, it can be easier to get fixated by what you’re doing and not take the breaks you usually would, but it’s good to get away from the screen and stretch those legs, even if it’s just by doing a lap round your home!
Make sure to take a proper lunch break – I like to do things on my lunch break, whether it’s reading a chapter of my book, doing a bit of our ongoing puzzle or do a job around the house.
8. Work your usual hours
Don’t feel that because you’re working from home you need to work more than you usually would as you don’t have to commute. Work your normal hours and make sure that when you’ve finished your computer / phone etc. go off until the next day. Keep those work / life boundaries!
9. Keep work out of the bedroom
It’s so easy when working from home (and from a laptop) to lie in bed and work, but try and keep your bedroom free from the stresses and pressures of work. Have it as your escape in the evening, not as somewhere you associate with the working day.
10. Stay in touch with colleagues
Working from home can be a little lonely, and boring! Don’t miss out on the social interactions of going into work just because you’re working remotely. Most businesses use skype or video calls. Check in with colleagues, it won’t just help your moral and mood, but it will also help theirs!
It doesn’t have to be work related, just stay in touch.
11. Put your phone on silent / do not disturb
It can be so tempting to sit and chat to your friends and family all day but it’s important to not let your phone distract you too much!
I like to keep my phone nearby but often turn it over and only check it when I want a break from what i’m doing – otherwise i’d be scrolling insta all day!!
12. Listen to the radio / playlist
If you’re missing the buzz of your workplace, then turn on the radio, or play your favourite spotify playlist. A bit of background sound is a good way to give you a little virtual human interaction.
Try and avoid watching TV though – I personally find it so distracting and you should really be watching your laptop screen not the TV screen…
Our Wonderboom has come in so handy for listening to Spotify and the radio!
Working from home isn’t all bad!
We’re both trying to make the best of a bad situation. Being in lockdown isn’t ideal but at least it means we have a chance to spend more of our evenings together, stay in touch with family and friends, and get in that exercise that we normally don’t make time for! Self-isolating is BORING but lets make it the best we can!
If you have any work from home tips, let us know as we’d love to hear them!
Adios for now,
Char & Mar x