Today, I am talking about working from home and I have some handy tips when working from home. I, like a ton of other people, have been working from home now for many years, but as I write this, during the UK lockdown due to the Covid 19 virus, it may be something new to you.
So whether you are new to working from home, or have been working from home for many years, here are some tips that I share with you for a successful day working at home:-
I hated routines as I like my freedom, but coming from a teaching background knew that by having routines, in actual fact, you are creating your freedom.
So, just like I did when I was teaching in college, I set my week up to have certain things on certain days, and Micheal Hyatt created the perfect plan, he called it ‘the ideal week’. You can download a template from the VIP members area to make this easy for you to follow.
I have a day theme, for example, on a Monday, I complete my blog and record my podcast, on a Tuesday I write my newsletter. On Wednesdays and Thursdays, I create content for my courses and on Fridays, I review my week and plan my next week and finally I have a slot called ‘finish Friday’s where I complete any outstanding business.
So then, those are my themes, and then my ideal week gets broken down to time zones. So, for example, I have a morning routine, this is where I have a morning routine before I start work, a work routine, where I do things like check email, do social media and things like that need to be done routinely at set times of the day.
My evening routines start when I finish my work, usually from 5:00 pm, where I have my dinner, do my evening theme routine, ie shopping, washing, gardening and things like that, and finally closing my evening with my nighttime routine, of reading, bathing and laying out my clothes and checking my tops three things I need to do for the following day.
One of the biggest things that people find when working from home is having boundaries. You need to look at the clock and decide are you working right now? Or is it playtime? When you have your routines and ideal week set up, you know what you should be doing saving you a lot of headspace in-between time.
Make sure that your family knows too. When you are working, make sure that you are not to be disturbed, and when you are playing, turn off those notifications on your phone and laptop, better still, turn them off when you are not working! It might help them to put your ideal week up on the fridge so that they know what you are doing and when. I have even put a ‘do not disturb’ notice on my door when I am working.
Talking of boundaries, you need a dedicated place for you to work.
Create a dedicated space for work.
I have a dedicated office set up for my work, and by doing so, it helps my head to know that I am working. For you, you might not have this luxury, but you do NEED to have a dedicated workspace.
So, think about the spaces you could use, you may have to move your furniture around to do this. It could be that you have a writing table set up in your bedroom that you only use for working on. Do not work on your bed, as you need your bed to sleep on, so if you were to work on your bed, you could fall asleep, or when you need to go to sleep, your head thinks about work. Remember those boundaries we talked about earlier!
What you do need is a good chair and desk. Make sure that your chair is one that supports your back and that your desk has all the room need to work on and that they are facing the window if possible so that you do not get that reflective glare on your screen and that your chair and desk is at the right height for you to work on.
Even if you create a little shelf that is a good size for you to work on in that little nook somewhere that is only collecting things… take a tour around your house now and get creative here!
If you are new to working from home, get clear on your why! It will be your why’s that help you get on track and stay on track. I found that reading my vision of why’s keeps me on track and not off into the garden when it’s sunny…
Create a dream board and make a screen? So that you see it all the time. Staying focused can be harder if you have no one around you to say on track.
Make sure you look after yourself
Make sure you take regular breaks. I found that I work best in 25-minute bursts. I then get up, walk away from my desk and look at something far away, this gives my eyes a rest from looking at the screen, I wear blue light reading glasses to help me from eyestrain and the blue light that is emitted from my screen.
I walk around the house, and in the garden if the weather is ok, to stretch my legs and back. I also get a drink, coffee in the morning’s and tea afternoon, with a water bottle on my desk for drinking as I work.
In my morning routine, I make sure I meditate, I use the Calm app, then I journal, and I also exercise, this could be pilates, walking or cycling, this is all weather depended now as the gyms are closed as I speak, but I do prefer to exercise outside if I can as the fresh air clears my head, listening to the birds is good for the soul, I used to listen to an audible book, but realise doing this takes away nature from my soul, so when I am in nature, I am listening and feeling nature.
Also, schedule in your mealtimes and make sure you meal plan. As a diabetic, I follow the ketogenic way of eating as it keeps my blood sugars stable.
Tools of the trade.
Here are some tools that you can use to make working from home easier for you.
Laptop, I use the MacBook Air. It’s light and portable and it’s my main workhorse. I do have a main PC as well in my office, but it’s my laptop that I do all my writing and recording on.
A task management system to help you get on track. You can use something like Trello or Asana. I have used different ones, but my go-to at the moment is Asana. It’s great for keeping you on track, and especially great if you run a team too! It also helps you by streamlining your processes, and it makes sure your team doesn’t miss critical steps and deliver value faster with something called automation
A bullet journal is an analog system for the digital age that will help you organise the present, record the past, and plan for the future. I like to write things out, even if I move them to Asana, I still like the process of writing things out first. I love the Scribbles journal as it designed with creating a bullet journal, with an index and the paper has dots’ on it as well as being really nice to write on too!
Noise-canceling headphones. Use these to help you stay focused on the task in hand and not to get distracted by the noises you hear around your home. I use the Bose noise-canceling headphones, they are a bit tattered now, but that’s only because I use them all the time and take them everywhere with me as they are just so darned good!
Use the Pomodoro Technique, which is a time management method developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s. The technique uses a timer to break down work into intervals, traditionally 25 minutes in length, separated by short breaks. You can use a timer on your phone, I don’t as I turn off my phone when I am working, a kitchen timer work well, but if it ticks it could be distracting, or you can use what I use, a dedicated timer that looks like a cube.
Use the ‘ideal week’ template to plan out your week with time slots and themes for the week. You can also download mine as a sample week to help you plan out your week, you can download this for free over at the VIP members area where you will also find lots of other free resources that will help you plan, build and grow a successful business online.
I have also listed my 10 top tools I use in my business here
Now then, this seems to be a lot of rules, but remember, routines do set you free! It’s only because I have my routines do I have the freedom to work how, when and where I like.
If you would like some support on helping you get and stay on track, why not join me with the 90-day program that will help you to plan, do and review? It will help you to focus on what you need to do for the next 90 days and I am here to help you plan as well as hold you accountable each week for the next 90 days. Click here to read more bout this program.
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