I’ve been working from home full-time for almost a year and have some tricks up my sleeve to help those of you who desperately need some working from home tips during this time! Fellow remote workers know that sometimes it can get lonely and suffocating and you may even feel like you’re going to go crazy (and you might be) lol. But, I’m hoping these tips will ease all of that and actually make you enjoy your new work from home life all the more!
The Best Working from Home Tips
1. Set up a desk space
This might seem obvious, but working from your living room couch won’t cut it if you actually want to be productive. You’ll need an actual desk set up that you can go sit at (or stand at) each morning to stay productive throughout your day. It’ll make you feel less distracted and I promise it will make you get more done!
I bought this standing desk that you can set on any surface to act as a taller desk although I also love this portable one. This monitor is also great so I can have two screens, making me that much more efficient. I also have this mouse and keyboard for my Mac and love them. Having a desk setup (even if it’s in the middle of my apartment dining room lol) makes me actually want to get started each morning! Oh and don’t forget your favorite pens to make your home office complete! These are my faves.
2. Leave The House
Don’t forget to utilize your break time when working from home. Taking just a short walk around the block can do wonders to for your energy and your mood while working from home. Being cooped up inside without co-workers to distract you all day can get a little lonely and isolating. Taking a quick walk and potentially seeing other humans can clear your head and can make you feel like a new person.
You can also use this time to get out of the house and into a fitness class. Whether that is yoga, cycling, or even meditation. A lot of fitness studios offer lunch break classes for a small fee. This will get you out of the house around people. This also means you won’t have to work out after work, making your time off just a little bit sweeter.
Any type of exercise on your break will do wonders for your brain. The serotonin spike will give you an extra shot of energy and help you clear your mind of tasks you got locked in on. If you don’t want to exercise, that’s okay too. Something as simple as going to the store to grab groceries or checking something off your personal to-do list can be beneficial.
3. Schedule out your day
Oftentimes when I don’t schedule out my day I find myself in my spare time emptying my dishwasher or laying on my couch. When I take a second to schedule out my day and fill the empty slots with specific tasks it makes me more focused and able to get more done. I also utilize my Amazon Echo quite a bit throughout the day to set alarms for myself if I want to finish something within a certain time frame.
It is important to note that you should schedule your lunch and breaks too. Try not to be tempted to move it around every day and force yourself to take a break away from your screen. Getting yourself into a routine of this will help prevent you from working outside of scheduled working hours. Besides, you are forced to take breaks in the corporate world, so you should treat it the same way, even if you are your own boss.
4. Get ready for the day
Pretending that you’re going into the office can do wonders for your mood and mindset. Starting your day by getting up and getting ready like you’re actually going to see people can make you feel much more prepared to tackle the day than if you roll out of bed onto the couch in pajamas. I will usually put on leggings or something comfy on the bottom, but dress up the top (makeup, hair done, nice top) for client video calls. I think the key here is getting out of your pajamas into something else, and doing your usual routine like showering, doing makeup/hair, making coffee/breakfast, meditating and then “commuting” to your desk.
In addition to your appearance, you want to make sure you are mentally ready for the morning too. Getting up a half hour before your day starts will help you go to work motivated. Get up, and grab your favorite coffee or tea before jumping online. Eating a healthy breakfast is also known to help your mind stay extra focused during the morning.
You can even get up a little earlier and take a quick walk outside. The fresh cool air will wake you up and help you appreciate your desk a little bit more than usual.
5. Don’t work longer hours than you would in the office
Honestly, when you’re working from home it can sometimes be hard to ‘turn off’ your work. Setting working hours and a time you can be done for the day will really help you stay sane. Create your schedule and tell people when you are free and when you aren’t. Remember that when you work in an office you typically have a bit of a commute and also take breaks to talk to colleagues. Try and do this at home too! Basically, try your best to not work more than you normally would in the office. Work-life balance is so important and you do not want your WFH energy to affect your personal life.
6. Make your to-do list before you end each work day
Waking up and having your to-do list ready to go so you can get started on your tasks will make things a lot easier! You’ll know your priorities so you can get started. This always helps me stay organized throughout my day and I try my best to do it at the end of each day because I’ve noticed it makes a big difference in my productivity. It is nice to see your work schedule for the next day laid out in front of you too.
7. Try work productivity tools
Try using the free tool, Focus Mate, which allows you to get a task done with someone else who needs to get a task done. You both virtually work alongside each other to complete the task and neither of you leaves until the work time that was scheduled is over. You can also try focusing by using the ‘one tab rule’ on your computer. Basically, just close out all other tabs on your computer so you can finish one project at a time. There are so many great productivity apps out there. Some others I like are Time Doctor for time planning, ToDoIst for task organizing, or StayFocusd Chrome extension for monitoring your time on time-wasting websites, yes that includes social media.
8. Get yourself on camera
Like I said above, working from home can sometimes get lonely, so embracing the built in webcam or camera for conference calls can make you feel a bit closer to your colleagues and like you’re having a genuine connection. Sometimes chatting with your colleagues or clients via video calls can make your day that much more enjoyable! Many people do virtual happy hours as well which can be a great way to bond with your clients and colleagues as well.
9. Plan out your meals
Just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean you should make it a free-for-all in your kitchen. Trust me. You will get stressed or bored and find yourself in your kitchen as I have on MANY occasions. Designating certain foods as snack foods for the day and not straying from those foods can really help. Also, thinking about what to eat for each meal in the morning so you can make sure you have enough food to make each will be helpful when the time comes to eat. That way you won’t scrounge around your fridge for snacks. If you can step away from your desk to eat, try and do that as well–it will feel like a nice break in your day.
10. Work From Anywhere
Remote work is so common these days and so many people are taking advantage of it. It provides a certain sense of freedom that is really invaluable. This means you can go to a coffee shop to finish up for the day while sipping your favorite latte. Or maybe you want to take a break from your family members and spend a week in a different city. All of these things are possible when you work from home because your “home” could literally be anywhere.
Just be sure to research time zone changes in advance and clear it with your manager (if you have one). You should prepare for bad Wifi too, so always ask the property in advance what speed they have. You can also make sure there is a Starbucks or local coffee shop with free Wifi nearby for a backup. Either way, take advantage of your freedom and explore, all while getting paid!
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