I am going to preface this article with a mild disclaimer, as I know we are all going through the nightmare that is Covid-19 right now. While I have tried to adapt these tips for 9-5 workers currently working from home, I am a freelancer, I run my own business and for the past 4 years I have had the pleasure of working in my own time and not in a structured 9-5 format. These times are difficult, unprecedented and difficult to manage so not everything will apply here, depending on what type of job you do. This also hasn’t factored in a lack of childcare and everyone having to do all things at all times. I hope you can find some value in these words and can take away something, even something small, to help you through.
I have been a full-time home worker now for over 4 years and if there is anything I have learnt it is how to increase my productivity while doing so. This past few weeks even more so, with trying to figure out how to create my new normal while running my own business plus looking after a baby. If you’re reading this 2020, while Covid-19 changes our world, I hope I can offer you a little strength in a difficult time. I am right there with you, trying to figure out our new normal while we both work from home and try and keep our toddler entertained and I know so many of you are also trying to combine work with home educating. It’s not easy right now but we will get through it, some days will be harder than others and sometimes you won’t know how you do it, but you do, you get there and you make it through. To help you get through this crazy season of life I wanted to share some of my top tips for working from home.
Try and keep some kind of structure to your work day
Parents are going to be rolling your eyes right now because you are probably not able to achieve this in any way, shape or form but stay with me. Whether you will be working from home full time, on a temporary basis or on as a one-off the most important thing you can do is set some kind of structure to your work day. This might not always be easy depending on the situation at home but try and commit to windows of time where you can sit down and do some real intentional work.
Always get yourself ready and dressed
It might be tempting to stay in your pyjamas and not bother to get dressed but I promise you that getting yourself ready for the day helps wonders when it comes to your productivity. You don’t have to be dressed in your office finest and loungewear is totally acceptable, but making the effort and feeling dressed honestly makes the world of difference.
Try and minimise distractions
Again, right now throughout the Covid-19 breakout – big haha, right? This one goes hand in hand with keeping some structure to your work day and this one might mean finding time that doesn’t fit in the traditional 9-5. In fact, most of us freelancers will never work a traditional 9-5 schedule and work in the time we have available to us. While this doesn’t suit everyone’s career you’ll often find that certain entrepreneurs work their job around their life and not the other way round. It’s one of the things that I personally love about working for myself. If you can take some time before the family wakes for the day or (if they are early risers) when everyone is in bed you’ll be surprised how much you can achieve in a very small window with no distractions.
Set aside a work area
Working from bed or curled up in an arm chair might work some of the time but I have always found that setting aside an area where I can work as if I was in an office can really help when it comes to feeling more productive.
I don’t have all the answers when it comes to working from home, while all the kids are home, having to homeschool them and deal with a global pandemic at the same time. These are unchartered waters and not what a normal working from home scenario looks like, certainly not to me at least! I hope you can take some of these tips at face value, adapt them to your own current situation and make some of them work for you. Know this above all else – you’ve got this and this too shall pass.
Stay safe & well friends.