We are now all living in unprecedented times with the Covid-19 dictating where we can go, what can we do and who we can see. It is, without doubt, one of the biggest challenges of the 21st century. By now, most of Europe and some other countries around the world have ordered lock down, for people to only leave their house when absolutely necessary. Those who can started to work from home, which can be very challenging, despite that some may think it is easy and pleasant. Well I am working from home for the last 3 years and let me tell you this. It is NOT easy at all and even less so when your children are not at school. But you need to get the job done. So how to work from home and still stay efficient?
“Create your new working routine”
One of the biggest challenges I found when changing my job from going to the office every day to working from home was to set up a new routine. It takes a while. You need to practice and you need to be committed. When you do that, then soon you start to do your new routine automatically.
5 tips to create routine while working from home
- Get up every day at the same time and go to bed at the same time. This is not holidays, just a different routine and you still have a job to do.
- Change to your normal clothes, clearly you don’t need to be office smart, but don’t give in to the comfort of your PJs. I know, it is a very attractive idea, but believe me, you don’t want to go that route. Your working ethics can easily start to slip if you don’t stay on top of things.
- Eat all your meals always at the same time. If you set your lunch at 12pm keep it every day the same, with max 30 min difference.
- Once a week create your “to do” list for the week, then every morning write down “to do” list for the day. Visit these “To do” lists every evening when you finish working to make sure you are on track with your work.
- If you don’t have a study in your house or flat, choose one place which you will dedicate to work and keep it always same. This will help you settle into your routine quicker.
“Work from home but stay connected”
Working form home sounds great. You are the owner of your time, but at the same time, it can be very lonely. The endless meetings with your team when you were counting minutes till they are over? You might even miss them. We are very sociable species and without social contact we can become very easily sad or depressed. But not only mental health can be affected, we need to pay an equal attention to our physical health as some might fill the lack of social contact with comfort eating. So in order to avoid all of that, stay connected.
3 tips to stay socially connected
- Set up regular call with your colleagues to discuss your work
- Call your friends to maintain the outside of work social contact. Set up time with your friends, if they are also working from home.
- Join discussions on social media, like Facebook or IG that feels close to you in order to increase your social contact, even though it is virtual one.
“Make regular breaks filled with activities”
When you work in the office, surely you make some breaks to stretch your legs, right! And most probably you use that break to have a coffee with your colleague, right? Well, that is not always possible when working from home. However you still need to make breaks. The danger is (well at least for me) that during the break you will go to see what is in the fridge. Maybe some snack would be nice? Well be careful with that one, as this can easily turn into the habit and before you know it you are consuming double amount of calories than you need to. So make you sure you will fill your breaks with something relaxing or meaningful.
3 tips on how to make your breaks worthy of your time
- Plan how often you want to make a break. There is no rule. everyone needs to have break differently.
- Also plan how long each break should take. There is only one rule here – make sure you still manage your daily “to do” list
- Write down activities you want to do during your breaks. These can include anything you would manage to complete within the period of time set for the break. If your work normally include working on computer most of the time, try to have the breaks without it, so that your eyes can rest as well. I personally find that 10 min stretching works wonders. Or have a coffee or tee with a magazine and read it in you favourite place in the house. Tidy up your work space etc.
After all that time, I am already used to working from home and can honestly say that I have days when I am ridiculously efficient. But I also have days, when finishing my “to do” list seems like impossible task. Now, when also children are at home, it is even more challenging. I will not be going into handling homeschooling with working from home as I am sure there are many great parental blogs to focus on this topic.
I hope this post gave you few useful tips for how to work from home and still stay efficient and that it will help you stay on tract with your day to day tasks. We are in this all together and I believe that every little thing can help.
Stay positive, healthy and well
Have a productive day