For many people, the Pandemic and the associated Lockdowns have resulted in their first experience of working from home and for most parents, the introduction of Home Schooling.
If you haven’t done it before, it can feel overwhelming on how to make it work without feeling totally frazzled. So, here are my top tips on how to make it work better for you.
• Have a daily routine:
have some form of daily routine, such as getting up at a regular time, making time for lunch and have a finish time for your working day. It doesn’t have to be strict but having some normality in your day, will help keep you focused. This can also help give you a sense of purpose and a reason to get out of bed in the morning when you know what is planned for the day.
• Work area:
have a defined workspace for each person who is working from home, whether that is an office in the spare room or the end of the kitchen table. Try to choose somewhere with natural light and ideally not facing a wall, as it helps to see the outside world still carrying on.
if you aren’t lucky enough to have space for a separate office in your home to work from then the daily reset is really important. This is about putting away all your work or school related items at the end of the day, so your space is reset back to home. This gives the distinction between work and life, just like you would normally get when you leave the office. You can then start each day afresh rather than sitting looking at all the unfinished work whilst you are trying to switch off in the evening.
• Take breaks:
you might think you are too busy for breaks but they will boost your productivity. It gives your brain a chance to reset and often will allow you to find solutions to problems when you take time to step away from the screen. You are at your most productive, working in 45-minute chunks, so plan your day to allow breaks between different activities. Keep it simple, it could be a walk around the block; popping on your favourite music and busting out your dance moves whilst making a coffee or using the time to pop on your washing or tidy up the children’s toys.
• Stay connected:
this is especially important now as we can’t meet up in person. Keep connected with colleagues, family & friends. Maybe hold a weekly Zoom call to catch up on those conversations you would normally have had over coffee. If you aren’t used to working from home, it can feel quite lonely so staying connected will help your mental health. You could even set up your own co-working session and arrange a video call with a colleague or for the children, classmate and talk as you complete your work to help feel more connected.
I was really pleased to connect with the folks over at Hotbox who sent me one of their storage boxes to test out on how they could help people get organised and they have just the products to help.
I tested the Hotbox 1 and they are such a great product for helping you to get organised.
Thank you Louise for your insightful and practical tips. Louise is a professional organiser and coach and a member of the Association of Professional Ceclutterers and Organisers.