Before getting our studio, WFH is something I did for the first couple of years when starting A Weathered Penny and now here I am again after two-three years - back in my living room where it all started. What a turnaround of events that I didn’t expect.
Though WFH can sound like a great idea it’s not always the easiest to adapt to. Yes, the light is better, it’s quieter, but not having the normal work schedule can play with you, but I have some handy tips that I am putting back into practice from now on, while we all #stayathome.
This may help you adapt to your new way of working and there are definitely tips for everyone.
The best thing I have found is making a schedule of your day and sticking to it as much as you can. Yes, you cut out the commute time, so feel free to sleep in a bit longer but I always find that getting up at the same time daily is very helpful for keeping everything on track.
Shower, get dressed, do your hair, do all the things you would normally do. I have tried the working in your Pj’s all day and it just doesn’t give you the motivation you need. Preparing for your day as normal helps bring focus to your day. Take a designated lunch break and use this time to actually step away from the ‘”office”.
Finish work at a specific time as you normally would. Sticking to a timetable helps bring focus to your day and hopefully your schedule. Distinguish if you are a morning or afternoon person, delegate your tasks to where you will have ultimate momentum. If like me, you’re not a morning person, then break up your day so your more creative or harder tasks are set for the afternoon or visa versa. This way you will maximise your day.
When WFH you need a space that is quiet, non-cluttered and if possible, offers some privacy. If you have a spare room or a lesser used room, like the dining room for example these are perfect to hide away and help with concentration.
If this is not possible (like me) then you need to create a space that is for work only. Set up a desk or table in the corner of the room where you going to work from. Ideally you need a space with light and windows. This helps reduce headaches and eye strain and having the window open can give you fresh air flow to help keep you motivated and allowing you to be more productive throughout the day. I have found adding some plants around your space can also help your motivation.
Keep around you only the things you need. Having too much in your workspace can be distracting, so I always try and keep it minimal while still maintaining the things I need to successfully complete tasks. If like me, you have grabbed loads of things to help you work from home. Rather than having them all piled up on your desk try and tidy things up with storing them in baskets, so they are in reach, but the mess isn’t distracting.
You can always head to our Clarity of thought: D.I.Y Feng Shui tips for your home blog post which gives you some handy tips on how to Feng Shui your room.
Try not to work from the floor, bed or from the sofa, these really aren’t practical to help keep you focused. The sofa makes you feel too homely and can sometimes cause more distraction. You want to keep home life away from work life. Get a good comfortable chair that helps promote a good posture and office environment.
Also, if you have a pet, try not allowing them to sit on your lap or laptop all day. I know they are beautiful, but this won’t help your posture or your legs. The trick I try, is spinning our blinds around so my dog Hitchy has a nice sunspot to sit in. This keeps her away from me for a bit and means I can write this blog post….
Try to take regular breaks where you can throughout the day. Mid morning, lunch and mid afternoon. I am a huge workaholic and I don’t practice this as much as I preach but taking a few breaks throughout the day can be really beneficial.
If you’re a worrier like me, you feel taking these breaks may seem like you're dossing or not taking working from home seriously but having these little breaks can do wonders for your mind and motivation.
WFH may take time or may take a midway reminder when you have been doing it a while, but don’t be too hard on yourself, you won’t be a perfect work role model on either day 1, or day 12 or even perhaps day 21. It will take some time to re-adjust.
Try if you can at lunchtime to take a break outside. If you have a garden, go and have a drink outside or take your allocated walk in the afternoon. Having a rest bite, some fresh air and exercise will help you regain some focus. I try and take my dog for a walk as much as I can, as I suffered with agoraphobia for a while when I first started working from home and that’s not good. A healthy head leads to a more positive you.
Some of you may have to partake in the daily or weekly Zoom meetings but don’t be disheartened with this, it’s something me and my team do three times a day. It can be isolating working by yourself, so take some time to catch up and have a video conference with your work colleagues. We all need to be there for each other, and it can actually help with giving each other assistance and ideas for your project.
Try not to have too many tabs open on your laptop screen, constant bing’s and notifications can be super distracting. Only use your breaks to catch up on WhatsApp messages or visit social sites.
Having music or talk radio on in the background, I find is really useful and can be quite relaxing. Talk radio or podcasts are great to have on in the background to not only help you not to feel too alone but also gives that constant muted flow of noise which can help you stay focused and this is sometimes more helpful I find than listening to your favourite band, where all you want to do is sing along. Though this is a great mood booster, I’m easily distracted by belting out my favourite line, so I try to listen to music which has minimal or no words. We have set up a few playlists via Spotify you could try out? I would suggest trying the Zen playlist or the Concentration playlist. If you want a break there are a few bangers on Party in your pj’s.
I hope these tips are useful for you. Having experienced this myself, from starting my business from home and continued to work here for a few years before the studio. These really did help me get into the swing of things and of course I had up’s and down’s along the way.
Good luck and share any tips you have by dropping us a message here or via our social or email platforms.
*All images sourced from Pinterest
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