It’s a strange time we are living in! With businesses closing and insisting employees work from home, this is a huge adjustment for a lot of people. The good news is : it’s easy to stay connected and be productive with all of this technology we have.
Working as a freelance designer for the past few years and entirely remote the past 3 years, I can tell you working from home takes a while to get used to. It can be maddening, but once you get used to it, you will see just how productive you can be. It requires discipline and time management among other tactics, but it’s so doable!
Here are a few tips if you are working from home:
1. Manage your time
It’s easy to bounce from one thing to other whether that’s basic, daily tasks or new projects you’re brainstorming about. At the beginning of the week or each day, create a punch list. What do you need to get done this week or on this day? Prioritize your to dos and get with it!
Write it down or download Wunderlist.
2. Turn on music.
The dryer may go off or the dogs may bark, but you have to stay focused! It’s easy to get distracted at home, but stay on task. Turn on your favorite music or better yet, put on some headphones. Home tasks can wait! You’re at work!
With warmer spring days now here, you can also open a window and listen to the birds. It’s the little things, am I right?
3. Take a break.
If you’re like me, it’s easy to go on and on when you’re in the zone. It’s hard to put down that project when you’re on a roll. Not good! You will forget to eat lunch, and your back will absolutely kill you by 5:00PM. Set break times and stick with it. Eat lunch at noon. Pour that second cup of coffee at 10:00AM and let those dogs out at 2:00PM. Don’t forget to take care of yourself!
4. Create a routine.
Whether you start work at 8:00AM or 9:00AM, stick with it. My schedule is 9:00AM – 5:00PM, but I log off of the laptop at 4:00PM. My last hour is spent on social media engaging, finding new content or reading industry blogs. You may have all the freedom, but there is still work to be done.
5. Create your work space.
Maybe your working from home situation is temporary or maybe it’s long term. Whatever the case may be, make sure you have a good work space. Get a comfortable chair to save your back, make sure there is sufficient lighting so you don’t go blind and clean your space! If you can, set up your office on the second floor or away from the main areas – kitchen, living room, etc. The less distractions, the better.
Get a functional desk too – I highly suggest a desk you can sit or stand at. This helps your back tremendously.
6. Stay hydrated.
Sounds easy, but it’s not! Don’t go all day with loads of caffeine and get all shaky and frazzled. I keep a huge canteen of water on my desk at all times. Water is essential and keeping it around makes it easier to get that necessary H2O intake. You want that glowing skin by summer, don’t ya girl? 😉
7. Stay connected.
If you have a team, you need to stay in touch. For me, I usually have my phone on do not disturb and only check it periodically. I only check my email a few times a day too. The less distractions the better! A great program to use on the computer – Slack. It’s an easy messaging program where you can communicate directly or within a group.
It’s a crazy time we are living in, but things will get better! Hang in there, friends! We got this!
What are your tips for working remotely?