03 Apr Tips To Help You Work From Anywhere (Including Home)
Well, there’s no denying that 2020 will be a memorable year, even if it is for all the wrong reasons. In an unprecedented event, almost everyone in the country who can work from home is doing just that, leaving offices looking like ghost towns as Covid-19 keeps us all safely tucked away in our living rooms.
So, welcome to the virtual world! We know this world very, very well. You see for us, not a lot has changed. As a virtual admin, the clue’s in the title – we have been working remotely for years now. Our offices have always been at home, and we’ve got this whole work-life balance down by now. But we know how hard it can be to adjust to, especially if you have little people running around your feet that demand constant care as well. So today we wanted to share a few tips that might help you manage working from home (or wherever you’re spending your lockdown) a little easier.
Write A To-Do List
Even if you’re not really a list person, now is the time you need one the most. When you’re at home all day it can be really easy to lose track of time, and what you’re supposed to be doing, and before you know it the day has slipped away and you don’t have much to show for it. A simple to-do list can do wonders for keeping you organised, motivated and productive as you work from home. When you’re creating your list, think of your big, long-term goals like finishing a project, as well as the small goals, like completing the tasks that lead to that big goal. Checking off those smaller goals lets you know you’re making progress, giving you positive reinforcement and making your work seem much more manageable. And if you can, write out your list by hand, rather than on a computer or worse, trying to remember it. Trust us, you will never remember everything, and with a physical list you get the endorphin rush of crossing off the things you’ve finished.
Give Yourself A Break
We’re all stressed, worried and not entirely sure what the next day holds. Anxiety levels across the country have skyrocketed, and no one can really focus on what they are supposed to be doing. Don’t worry – everyone is in the same boat right now. So give yourself a break! Accept that you might not be as productive as you were in the office, and instead focus on making sure you’re keeping yourself physically and mentally healthy. Don’t add to your stress levels by worrying about how much work you are, or aren’t getting done. No one expects you to be perfect right now! Instead work when you can, and as you start to find a balance you will see your productivity improve again. A few things you can do to help you switch off (and therefore be much more productive) in your work-from-home days include:
- Only check your news app once a day
- Go for a walk (only once a day though!)
- Have some family time
- Watch a new TV show
- Try ‘unplugged’ working for an hour (no internet, at all!)
- Use the pomodoro technique (where you work I 20-minute chunks, then take 5-minute break)
Looking after your mental health is important when you’re working from home at the best of times – but in the current climate it’s critical. Give yourself permission to relax and focus on your own wellbeing.
Create ‘Work’ Triggers For Your Brain
On a normal day, there are things you do that tell your brain to get into work mode. Your morning routine of getting ready, commuting to work and making your morning coffee all tell your brain ‘it’s time to focus’, and help get you into that productive mindset. But when you aren’t doing that, your brain can get out of whack, and start thinking it’s the weekend and it doesn’t need to work as hard, making it really difficult to focus. So you need to create those triggers at home. This routine might look different, but things like exercising, reading the news, making coffee and actually getting dressed for work (I know, shocker) can all help trigger that ‘ready for work’ mindset. If you can, create a dedicated workspace for work as well – this will help tell your brain you’re in the right place for working without distraction.
Work In Productive Periods
Part of the whole ‘working when you can’ thing brings us to what we consider a cornerstone of working from home. You see, everyone is productive at different times of day – and all of that time rarely fits into the 9-5 window you have in an office job. Odds are you probably know when you feel most productive during the day, and now you have the chance to take advantage of it. So if you know you feel super energised in the morning, but tend to slump after lunch before your energy picks up again in the early evening – use that knowledge. Work in the morning, and use your afternoon to take a break, spend time with the kids, go on your government-sanctioned walks or do something for you. Then when you’re feeling productive again, go back to work. The joy of working from home is that you can set your schedule to your productive periods – not the standard work day. Bear this in mind when you’re setting your working hours, and you may find you actually get more work done in less time than you did when you were going into the office.
At Starfish Admin Services, we’re used to this whole remote working malarkey. It’s kind of what we do every day! As VA’s, we work from the comfort of our own home, giving your business the support it needs to run efficiently. We know how difficult things are for everyone right now, and how valuable a bit of support can be. That’s why we’re currently offering a free consultation, to help you understand working from home and create a plan that works for you. Just get in touch to find out more.
Stay safe everyone!