As someone who has worked from home for over seven years, I think it’s safe to say I’ve found a few things that work for me. Now with this global pandemic, more and more people are finding themselves working from home. But every list I see has all the same tips–none of which work for me. So I’m excited to share my unconventional tips for working from home, even if they may not work for everyone!
1. Get comfortable
One of the biggest perks of working from home is comfort. Unlike every other working from home tip list, I do not think it’s important to get dressed every day. Of course, change out of your pajamas, but what’s wrong with wearing loungewear while you work? Nothing. Half the time I’m wearing a robe since I’m always cold. When I’m working, the last thing I want is the restriction of jeans or work pants. The same goes for makeup. I very rarely wear makeup when I’m home. I feel much cleaner with a bare face and I feel like I’m letting my skin breathe. This is my favorite thing about working from home and I will not feel guilty for not following the most popular working from home tip! My current favorite comfy loungewear are these seamless leggings. So comfy and totally appropriate for a walk outside!
2. Specify a dedicated workspace
Years ago when I first started working from home, I would end my nights with my laptop in bed with me and then of course there it was when I woke up. I’d often find myself starting my day off by answering emails in bed, getting distracted on Facebook or whatever, and then before I knew it, it was 1pm. By the time I was done with the workday and it was time to go to sleep, I’d be wide awake. Not only due to looking at my screen too late, but my body had gotten used to associating my bed with working, not sleeping. I’ve now made it a point to leave my laptop downstairs and use my bed for sleeping only!
3. Take care of yourself before work
Once I get started working, I can’t stop. There have literally been days where I forget to eat until past 5pm. You can imagine how much water I drank or how much movement I got on those days. Not good! I’ve started prioritizing myself before work, which does require waking up a little earlier on some days. I admit, I do check my email first thing in the morning and flag any important emails, but I have started making sure I eat and drink a full glass of water before opening my laptop. Some days I’ll get a short stretch in, but I’ll admit it’s not as often as it should be. Either way, take care of yourself before you get started with the workday so if you do get caught up, it’s ok!
4. Put your phone on do not disturb
Do not disturb is by far my favorite feature on the iPhone. I hate having any notifications on my phone so I have to check them immediately as they come in. It’s very distracting and once I get out of my groove of a specific task, there’s no going back right away. The world will not end if I don’t respond to a text or email immediately. Putting your phone on do not disturb will help you stay focused and set boundaries for yourself.
5. Make a weekly to-do list
Instead of assigning yourself specific tasks for each day or a certain time of day, allow yourself some flexibility. I see people on Instagram posting their daily schedule by the hour, and that just sounds like my worst nightmare. I’m the kind of person that needs to go with the flow and work on things when I feel inspired. In fact, I don’t even write to-do lists. I keep everything in my head, but I do always have a running list and organize my time by the week.
6. Take a shower to clear your mind
Whenever I feel stuck with writer’s block or a lack of motivation, taking a shower always sets me right. It’s like I’m getting a fresh start and I can all of a sudden settle into my workflow so much better. This is another major perk of working from home since it would obviously not be an option in any other scenario. There’s nothing wrong with taking advantage of these perks!
7. Move when you can
There’s no doubt that working from home requires balancing your priorities. One thing I’ve always done is walk while I’m on the phone. I seriously can’t stay still when I’m on the phone. So since I know that, I’ll schedule calls at times that would be convenient for taking a quick walk outside. Now more than ever, it’s important that we get outside when we can, but if you work from home, it’s easy to realize you haven’t left the house in days, even under normal circumstances. Ryan’s not a walker like me, but when he has a call, he will put out his yoga mat and do a few poses and stretches as he chats. It can be so hard to fit everything into a work day, so multitasking and moving when I can helps a lot!
What are your best working from home tips?
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Photos by Ryan Carpenter.