Having been self employed for most of my working life, there have been many times where I have worked from home. Whether it has been when I’ve been producing shows, choreographing, running clients’ social media accounts or when my work’s internet went down. I have a fair few years’ of experience working from
I’m going to pass on some tips that I found helpful if you have found yourself self-isolating or even if you are newly thrown into the current ‘working from home’ market due to Coronavirus. These tips have helped me have a more stable work flow and I’ve definitely found myself getting less stressed and my ability to cross more tasks off my list has greatly improved!
Stick To Your Working Hours
Whatever hours you are used to working at work, keep them the same when you are working from home. This working from home malarkey is hard enough without you changing your daily working hours as well.
It’s so tempting to stay in your dressing gown, but don’t! I’m not saying put your usual office outfit on, just put any sort of clothes on. I have a casual working wardrobe, it consists of trackies and comfy clothes, usually 8463654 layers as our studio is freezing but comfort is essential. Fuck shoes like, slippers it is!
Bear with me on this one. I know I sound crazy, but when I worked in an office I used to really appreciate the commute time. It only took me 20 mins or so to drive in but it was a little bit of me time. Now when I’m working from home, sometimes I commute to the office. Yes that’s right I will walk out of my door, go for a little 10 min walk and then walk directly into the studio. Sets me up for the day. It’s bizarre but it helps me to get into the mindset of going to work.
Set Up A Work Area
This is a definite must. Mine is the studio, if I stay on the sofa, I get so distracted. I’ll notice a speck of dust, next thing I know it’s 4pm and I’m 3 quarters of the way into a deep clean. Now, I know not everyone has a dedicated office space but get somewhere away from where you usually sit to relax. Kitchen table is fine, so is a dressing table. I find anywhere works as long as it’s not the sofa. Once I’m on the sofa, the cats are all over me and the remote is only a slight stretch away, then it’s game over.
It’s so easy to put breaks off when you are working from home. I’ll just get this email sent off and then I will have a break, then you get a reply and you’ve still not had your lunch. Try and set break times and stick to it. It’s quality of work over quantity. If you are still working at 3pm and you’ve still not had lunch, there is a chance that all of your latest work isn’t up to scratch as all you’ve been thinking about is food! Take breaks every 3 hours even if it’s just a quick, fresh air walk around the garden.
Don’t Get Distracted
Don’t put a wash on, it’s never as quick as it seems. Don’t just think, while I’m making lunch I’ll just prep the tea. Nope, be strict with yourself. Only work during the working hours. Chores, food shops, popping to the shop can all wait!
Schedule calls, video calls, meetings and the like for the morning. This way you’ve got no excuse. Make a list of your tasks and stick to it! Crossing off as you go. I find if I split my day up it helps. I usually do a morning list and an afternoon list and spend the last 15 mins of my day prepping for the next day so when I start again tomorrow I can pick up exactly where I left off.
Have A Post Work Wind Down
Whether that’s you commuting back to your house, doing some yoga to wind down or even having a little bit of meditation. Do anything you can to switch off your mind. Get a shower, change of clothes and then start your usual evening routine. Try and not answer emails, or respond to any work-based messages until the next day. Easier said than done, especially if you’re self employed.
It’s not easy but hopefully with these tips you can make the transition that little bit easier. You do need to be strong with yourself to avoid distractions but I find it way more productive than working in a usual office to be honest. Good luck!
Thanks for reading!