As a creative, I’ve spent many a day, month and even year working from home. I enjoy the solitude, flexibility and avoidance of any kind of rush hour. During these stints I’m always asked repeatedly, ‘How do you do it’?!?! In light of recent events with COVID-19 and many of us working from home for the first time, I thought this was a good time to share some tips to help keep you productive, and your boss happy.
First, keep your routine, (but not as much as this guy). Get up at the same time as you normally would, grab your coffee, check your phone — just do what you normally do. The temptation to hit snooze is a huge as you’re saving time on your commute, but that 10-minute sleep suddenly turns into an hour then you’re late to your own desk. You concurrently run the risk of not falling to sleep easily that night and a vicious cycle of becoming nocturnal and unavailable to clients during the day begins — forewarning, they hate that.
Get dressed! Brush your hair and grab some pants — staying in your PJs all day won’t put you in the right mindset for work. Yes, keep it casual, but don’t go overboard.
Create a dedicated workspace for yourself. Pick a spare room or section of the house where you won’t be disturbed and create a space free of distractions. If possible avoid the lounge room or kitchen so there’s no temptation to put on days of our lives and start making complex lunches.
No cleaning or weekend duties. Don’t start mowing the lawn, doing the laundry or cleaning the shower. You are at work and whilst ticking off household to-do items can be satisfying, it’s just a form of procrastination.
Keep consistent the music, podcast or radio station you would normally listen to at work. I follow the Spotify playlist, Your Favourite Coffeehouse — perfect, non-distracting slow tunes and a convenient 7 hrs long.
Have a dedicated lunchtime locked in — this is the time when you can head to your local café, take your dog for a walk and grab some coffee to reset for the afternoon. Time away from your desk is also important as you’ll be more likely to make it through your afternoon stretch. Side note, if you’re on full lockdown consider buying a voucher to your local favourite hospitality venue to help them get through this tough period.
Schedule your workday in a consistent way — I prefer to handle all accounts, emails and admin in the morning before creating a to-do list of jobs that I tackle in the afternoon. Crossing things off is a huge psychological boost as you get a sense of achievement seeing everything in the done column.
Finally, stay connected. Twitter and Slack channels are a great way to stay in touch with other humans and avoid a sense of isolation. Personally I try to avoid Facebook as it’s more visual it can be distracting. Pets are also great to have a chat with 🙂
I’ve linked below another helpful post, Essential apps for running your business, that I wrote previously. I recommend checking this out for some apps to help with working remotely with your team.