I’ve worked at home for 10+ years so I guess you’d call me a pro! You name it I’ve tried it, and I know I can help you navigate what does work and what does not – from your working environment to what to eat and how to dress to maximise your output, your productivity and your, well WFH happiness
Everyone is different, so you have to work out what works for you, but here’s my top 12 tips to help you work out what works for you, save you a ton of time and develop a healthy, happy, effective and productive working from home life!
P L A N N I N G will save the day!
Plan your Day, Plan your Food, Plan your Exercise, Plan your Day!
Plan for your success!
As tempting as it is to stay in your pajamas all day it’s not good for business. Plan your day like a pro and you’ll get more achieved. Regular routines, daily habits and discipline will make the difference to whether you have a great day, or you’re reaching for the wine at 5pm!
I’d really recommend you get up and start work at the same time every day. Routine is essential for our confidence, our identity and our purpose.
Following on my my recent blog in Thrive Global called Anxiety Action Planning it could have so easily be called How to Thrive Working from Home.
2. Work when it works for you
Split your day into periods of time when you know you are at your best. So when are you most inspired and creative? When are you most sluggish? When are you positive and ON IT?
So work with your own body rhythm – to woo woo?? Separate and chunk your day and play to your strengths and when you know works for you. I work on writing and my thinking in the morning and early evening, and I know I’m not great in the mid – late afternoon, so I walk, or exercise and phone my friends, or watch a catc Do what works for you.
3. Don’t let yourself go!
You might be tempted to work in your pjs, not shower for days and say you haven’t got time! That’s just an excuse – don’t hate me! You have to make YOU a priority. You have to ensure that you are treating you right. So, please I urge you, get up, shower, wash your face, do your hair and get dressed. Be comfortable of course, but get dressed!
You’ll be surprised how important your feeling about yourself is to your approach, your attitude and your performance.
The extension to this of course do what makes you feel good, it might be lipstick – did you know that sales of lipstick always soar in a recession. We can’t afford a new outfit but we can always afford a lipstick!
Or paint your nails – whatever makes you happy!
4. Your To Do List
Go old school – use a pen and paper and write down 3 things you need to achieve.
Don’t get overwhelmed by your “to do” list and get paralysed by inaction and allow your list to spiral out of control!
It’s the simple steps that make a real difference and studies have shown that people perform better when they have written down what they need to do. Also they give us a structure, a plan that we can stick to; and they are proof of what we have achieved that day which makes us happier and have a sense of achievement. If you’d like to read the step by step process I recommend then read my recent Thrive Global Blog How To Get More Done – Every Single Day!
5. Chunk Your Day
Chuck your day into 90 minute slots. Work with focus and intent and then break for 20 minutes. I used to love and recommend the Pomodoro method i.e. work for 20 minutes and break for 5 – but seriously who can do anything in 5 minutes. So instead work with focus for 90 and then reward yourself and take 20 minutes to do something that you love. Get outside in the sunshine, phone your BFF, phone your parents and tell them you love them, make your favourite drink and eat cake! Whatever works for you!
6. Move Your Body
I plan as part of my day to move every 90 minutes, I use my 20 minutes from chunking my day (see point 4) to move. Also when I work at home all day, I usually go for a brisk walk in the morning and the afternoon, now with the guidelines I meet my 82 year old mum and we walk around the block 2 metres apart.
Different, I know but it’s working for both of us. Being active helps reduce stress, increases energy levels and helps keep us alert whether you’re 82 or 22 you need to move every day.
7. Relaxation Technique
Try a relaxation technique, whether it’s focused breathing, meditation or yoga. You don’t need to be a relaxation junkie and do it all – you just need to find what works for you!
All these can help you improve your mental health and lighten the negative feelings you may have.
8. Connect with others
Explore ways of connecting and staying in touch that work for you. I’m a functioning introvert, I have a few very close friends who I talk to and see regularly and my BFF who I have talked to every day for 30+ years. I like my own company but like flexibility of popping in and out. Being home bound is a challenge to me and many people I know. So find a way to ensure you get your social connection fix. Technology is brilliant so use what works for you.
In my membership The Business Club I have been hosting a Coffee Catch Up every morning at 10 since the start of the #coronacrisis and inviting friends and guests to come in and chat.
9. Working Environment
Getting this right is crucial to your success. I have an office but don’t enjoy working in it – instead I work on the dining room table with a view into the garden with the radio on in the background for company.
My working space has to be clear of clutter, and interestingly I can only focus once the dishwasher is loaded and the kitchen surfaces are all clear. OCD? Maybe… but I know what works for me – so find out what works for you and create your winning working environment.
10. Food is Fuel
What are you putting in my body? Plan your meals better, no more last minute crisp frenzied munching, or snacking on biscuits all day. Instead ask yourself does it lift my mood or am I eating for comfort, or just for the sake of it?
If you eat crap all day or your sugar loading, you’ll have a sugar / energy fall mid afternoon and the headaches will ruin your day, and affect your concentration and your decision making.
Limit your coffee and your sugar – you’ll thank me.
11. Reflect and practice self compassion
Make time every single day to reflect on what went well and what you learned. It’s important to recognise and celebrate the successes no matter how small. The act of the celebration will keep your motivation and momentum high and spur you on.
12. Attitude of Gratitude
Consider keeping a gratitude journal where you write 2 – 3 things every night before you go to sleep.
Habits, routine and discipline are your new super powers in this new working regine. The morning and WFH rituals that you establish now, will stand you in good stead and set you up for success to thrive in our new normal.
I know you can do this and we are in this together.