Many more people are working from home during this Covid-19 crisis. Some have been doing this for quite a while. It’s an adjustment from going into an office everyday and meeting face to face with people. Your routines and rituals are shifted or no longer in place. Here are a few tips I have learned over the years:
· Show up. Have a scheduled work time. Clock in and start to work on your projects for the day.
· Get dressed. It doesn’t have to be full business attire but think Casual Friday. Trust me, you’ll work more professionally if you are dressed in more than in your PJs.
· Give yourself breaks. Take a coffee/tea break mid-morning. Leave the desk and have a full lunch hour. Stop at the end of the day.
· Check your calendar every day. Have scheduled on your calendar not only meetings and appointments but also times you are working on major projects.
· Before you close down for the day, list the big 3 projects you want to work on for the next day. Have the first one laid out and ready to go.
· Start with a project when you clock in rather than checking emails. Once you check emails you are in a reactive mode rather than a proactive mode. Work on something that is important to you before checking in to see what others want.
· Be flexible. This is especially important if you and a partner are working from the same home and children are involved. Work out a schedule that works for both of you and gives the children the time that they need. Then honor that schedule – while at times being flexible. One can’t control sometimes that an important meeting is scheduled when it is not during your “work time”.
· Keep your office clutter free. Clutter can add to your stress. Use project bins to contain the different current projects. Have action files for keeping the paper that comes across your desk off the surface of your desk.
· Make your office inviting. Have something that beckons you in. It might be a flower on your desk or a family picture. It might be a mobile or whimsical sculpture. Just have something in place that makes you smile.
· If you are feeling overwhelmed reach out for support. This might be a coach, organizer, or counselor. This also might be a close friend who can become your accountability partner or cheerleader.
Having a regular schedule and routines for your personal time also helps keep you grounded. Schedule time for chores and for fun that will not conflict with what you are trying to do with your work. This takes some getting used to and at times you need to be flexible but then flex time happens in some regular offices as well.
I enjoy working from my home office. I also enjoy walking out at the end of the day and yelling out to my husband, “I’m done for today! Meet you on the deck in a few.”