5 Tips To Work Successfully At Home
March 2020 will forever be a historic time in years to come, and we’re all re-adjusting and figuring out how to stay productive, stay on top of what we need to in order to stay ahead, stay safe, and stay healthy (physically, mentally, financially) during CoVid 19.
During the past several years, remote work has become both more common and easier to accomplish. This article offers those of you who may be new to working from home due to the current situation, 5 tips for successful remote work that you may not have considered.
1. Your Workspace: Create It
Working from home does not easily provide the natural boundaries of time and space that a workplace / office environment provides.
Therefore, it’s important to create some sort of physical boundary at home. Although you may only be working from home temporarily, or it might be your goal to build your business to allow you to work from home full time, you might not have a dedicated home office.
It’s important to find a room or a part of a room that you can use as an office space to help you develop your boundaries between your work and your home life.
Ideally, it will be a quiet space where you won’t be interrupted by family members or other distractions. But do not use your bed, this is your designated sleep / switch work off zone.
For me, I have 2 main spots within my home that I prefer to use, standing and seated.
My seated work space is outside on my patio so I can work in sunlight, and my standing workspace is on my kitchen countertop area where I can stand with my back and vision away from TV or outside distractions.
2. Develop Your Morning Routine
It may be tempting to roll out of bed and start working right away, or even check your Instagram feed, texts, emails on your phone while you’re still in bed. This is never an option for me, work and digital attention needs to be on your terms, becoming physically awake, hydrating, setting your immediate surroundings and setting yourself up mentally before committing to any kind of digital communication / work is by far the most productive way to attack the start of the day.
It’s best to develop the same type of routine you would have if you were commuting to work.
Get up, hydrate, move your body, get sunlight, shower, get dressed, organize your space, then attack your work tasks and begin your communication.
3: Create A Project Schedule
It is important to make or have a list of projects you are working on, and assign timed priorities to the projects. For example if you have 3 long term projects that all need a handful of tasks completed within them, assign a realistic amount of time to each one whether it’s to complete the tasks or simply to make some progress. Remember you don’t have to always complete everything, things can be a work in progress, but make sure you make the progress.
It also helps to share your task list, projects, completion goals and progress with your teammates, clients, business partners, work colleagues, etc. to remain accountable and keep open lines of communication for overall efficiency.
Sticking to a timed plan is far easier when working remotely because you are less likely to be pulled into unexpected meetings, everything can be scheduled on your terms.
If you’re working in a team where some are onsite and some are remote, then your strength as a remote member of the team is being able to complete projects.
Some project management apps you may want to look into if you’re not already using them:
4. Take Care Of Yourself
Don’t forget to eat. It can be easy to get caught up in what you’re doing and forget to stop for lunch, to hydrate or to snack to fuel the brain. Take a good half hour away from your computer at regular intervals, I never sit and eat while working. Keep water next to you all the time, consume throughout the day. Water is oxygen, the brain needs oxygen to function at its peak.
Getting caught up in the work and sitting for hours can mean you forget to simply get up and move. I like to work standing or if seated it’s in sunlight. Try to get up and move for at least a few minutes every 45-60 minutes. If necessary, set a timer to remind yourself. Go outside, walk up and down the stairs, walk around the house, do 10 mins of mobility exercises, wrestle the dog for a bit, do what you can to keep the body moving, it keeps blood flowing to the brain so you can perform your tasks at your best.
5. Create A Hard Stop
When you’re done for the day, make sure you are 100% done; shut down your computer, turn down the lights, leave your work area, do not respond to work related communication until the next day, and unless there’s a very good reason, don’t continue to check your email, texts or anything that may trigger more work related tasks throughout the evening.
Establishing good remote work patterns is just as important as developing good sleep patterns and it will go a long way toward making your work, your business, your career a successful endeavor, whether temporarily or long-term.