Working From Home: 7 Tips
If this is your first time reading our blog, I’d like to welcome you and I sincerely hope you enjoy yourself. I’ve made it a personal goal this year to blog more often. Embarrassingly, I studied Literature in University, so you’d think I’d be pumping out blogs like crazy. Turns out not so much…
So, I decided to do a series of blogs about what it’s like to work at a Property Management company. I think there’s a lot of misconception about what actually goes on behind closed doors in Property Management, so I think a peak behind the curtain might answer some questions (If you feel like encouraging me, leave a comment or suggestion down at the bottom.)
As many of us will be working from home in the next little while, I thought it a good time to talk about some of the challenges many people face and how to overcome them.
This is Day 1 for me, so I’ll be experiencing some of these challenges for the first time, so hopefully I can follow my own advice! If you see anything I’ve missed, or a challenge/strategy you’ve found help full when working from home leave a comment down below!
1.Keep Your Regular Work Hours (ish)
This one I actually can confirm is essential. A while back I was working from home one day a week to learn how to use Google Ads, and I found that this helped me a lot. It’s SO easy to get distracted at home…
“The floor is dirty, I’ll just sweep it up real quick then get back to work.”
“Just one quick episode then I’ll be in the right headspace to get some work done.”
“When is the last time I dusted in here?”
For real guys, I just Googled ‘How to Clean My Keyboard”…
I actually found that by resisting the urge to “putter” and sticking to my regular work hours made me more efficient. Both in terms of work accomplished, and chores around the house! I just kept a running list during the day so I had somewhere to put that ‘thought’ or ‘task’ for later, and I found it didn’t bug me as much.
That being said, as long as you’re honest with yourself, I don’t see any harm in sleeping in a little. As long as you make up for it!
2. Maintain Healthy Eating Habits
Man, this one is tough! You have your whole kitchen at your disposal, as opposed to your packed lunch, why not make use of it…
Well I found out pretty quickly that I had to be very strict with myself in terms of eating habits. It wasn’t so much what I was eating but how much.
Also how much time it takes out of your day. I really love to cook, so resisting the urge to take an hour and a half to make lunch is something I struggled with.
Everyone will experience this differently, if at all, but I found that planning out what I was going to have for Breakfast/Lunch/Snack the day before helped me not indulge in so many ‘nibbles‘.
3. Create a Morning Routine
I don’t know about you, but I can’t remember the last time I popped out of bed ‘ready to face the day’. It usually takes me a while to get out of that sleepy fog, and during normal times its my morning routine that snaps me into wakefulness.
For me that’s quickly brushing my teeth, throwing my clothes on, grabbing my lunch, and rushing off to the pool. A quick exercise and a hot steam fixes me up pretty darn quick. With all the fitness centres closed though, I’ll have to find a new routine… anyone know of any good exercise apps?
You probably have a different routine, but the effect is the same. The act of going through those familiar motions tells your body it’s time to get going. For some people it’s a cup of coffee (or 3), for others their morning shower or reading the newspaper (does anyone still do this?)
I’m betting many of you, when beginning to work from home recently, sat on the couch for a bit until you ‘woke up’. Nothing wrong with that, but I’m also betting it took longer than you’d like.
I’d suggest jumping right into whatever that thing is that gets the wheels moving and snaps you out of the sleepy haze.
4. Set Ground Rules with the People in Your Space
This will be a new one for me. The Missus and I will both be at home, but she won’t be ‘working from home’. I foresee challenges in setting boundaries for myself when it comes to staying focused.
We don’t have children (other then our plants…), and that, I imagine, would make it especially difficult to stay productive. With schools closed I’m assuming most children are home at this time. I don’t want to make any suggestions as I am not a good resource on the subject, obviously, so here is a good article from CNN.
I think having clear goals for what you want to get done each day should help to keep you on-task, but mostly I’d suggest my next point.
5. Have a Dedicated Work Space
Not everyone has an office or spare room for this purpose. But even a bedroom or basement would work. It just needs to be somewhere you can close a door and set up an established zone that others know not to enter unless necessary.
I would stay away from common areas like the living room or kitchen if you can.
By creating that ‘bubble’, you’re not only signifying to others that you’re working, but by entering that space yourself I bet you’ll find that you are in a better headspace to work.
6. Schedule Breaks
I expect the time and frequency of these breaks depends on your work, home situation, and personal working habits. If you have kids you might need to take shorter, more frequent breaks; if you’re writing (like me) you may be ‘on a roll’ so you might take less frequent breaks that are longer.
I think the important thing here is that they are scheduled. By having set breaks, you have something to look forward to which will help you push though those moments when your focus strays.
If your job involves any collaboration with other teams members, it’s important to be very clear in your communications. So much of human interaction relies on tone and body language. It’s very easy for humour or emphasis to be lost via email, so over-explain yourself. Everyone will be better for it!
Well, I hope this helps! Like I said earlier, if you have any suggestions or contradictions I welcome the feedback. Leave a comment!