Helpful tips to make your home office transition easier
The COVID-19 virus has changed our world. I hope you and your families are safe in these trying times. We are all in unknown territory now as we learn to live a life in quarantine. For many of us, that includes working from home. I started Greiner Communications out of my home office 20 years ago, on April Fools Day, and I’ve learned a few things along the way. Here are my 4 great tips for working from home effectively:
1. Make a schedule and stick to it! Wake up at the same time every day. I recommend getting up at the same time you got up when you were going into the office. Take a shower. Eat breakfast. Get dressed. Then get to work. Create a routine for your work tasks, review emails, schedule meetings, make phone calls, etc. all at certain times of the day if you can. I use the timer on my Apple watch to allow myself limited time for certain activities. Likewise, take breaks and lunch at the same time every day. Breaks are essential to recharge yourself and come back energized with fresh eyes. Breaks are also important for your body. Standing up and walking around will do wonders for your legs, back, and neck.
2. Remove the distractions! Keep a separate space for your office. If you have the space in your home, set a room aside for your office. This will get you into the mindset that when you are in your office, it’s time to work. You can leave distractions like TV, food, and roommates or family members behind. It also sets boundaries so that other members of your household know that you are working and shouldn’t be interrupted. Cats are not distractions! Dogs, maybe, because they always want to go for a walk. Stay off the internet, except to listen to music or podcasts if they aren’t too distracting. Leave the office for your breaks, lunch or when you need a snack. At the end of the day, when you leave your office, leave your work behind you.
3. Keep being human! Hold virtual meetings. It’s important to have human contact, especially if working from home is new to you. Virtual meetings help you stay in touch with team members, clients, and vendors while helping you feel like you’ve left your house for a while. When you participate in video conferences you, are also more likely to dress a little better, shave or put on make-up, etc. This also helps with your self-esteem and makes you feel better. The struggle to avoid wearing pajamas all day is real. You do not want to do this. You may also want to make an extra effort to keep your office tidy and organized if there’s a chance that people will see it. Zoom is one of the more popular video conferencing websites, but there are also some free apps like Houseparty.
4. Keep motivated! Set goals and make lists. It helps to keep your goals written down or hung on the wall. Make daily “to-do” lists as well as long term and short term goals. Long term goals should have checkpoints along the way. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. A long term goal can be overwhelming if you don’t break it into smaller goals. Staying motivated can be hard when working from home. You may not have your boss or coworkers looking over your shoulder. One thing I like to do is find a colleague that can hold me accountable. We tell each other our goals for the next week, then check back at the end of the week and report our progress. Being accountable is great motivation.
Good luck and please contact me if you want to talk… about anything.
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