For those of you who might be working from home for the first time in a long time, or ever… you may need some guidance. I decided today might be a good time to impart some advice, tips and ways to keep sane.
I will probably blog again on this as the days go by, so be on the look out for new posts. As of today here is the critical list to get you started (or restarted for Tuesday!)
- Stay on a schedule.
- Otherwise, all of a sudden it may be Wednesday and you will realize you are behind on your work. No making up for two days of blowing off or delaying work!
- Get up. Get dressed.
- All jokes aside, there are no bunny slippers here. Work is work and relaxing in your PJs is another. It sets a tone, a positive mindset…plus, you never know when a call will need to be a video call. Nothing will make you panic faster (well, there are, but let’s wait for that) than that green light popping up on your laptop camera when you least expect it!
- Eat regular meals.
- This is more important than you think. You need to follow your day, otherwise…”hangry” isn’t even going to come close to explaining how you feel. Since people won’t be right in front of you, the nuance of a bad mood will be lost on them and they will misunderstand why you are yelling, or demeaning, or crabby, or negative. (Or, not taking a breath and ranting.)
- Walk around. Take breaks.
- Even more important than you think. Get up from the desk, walk around the house, do a couple of flights of stairs, go outside of the house for a bit of fresh air.
- Be honest and open.
- If your dog barks, or your kids start talking to you. Say something. People know there is something going on. Admit that you need 30 seconds to deal with the puppy who needs to go out, or the kids who don’t know the Netflix password. It is better to say “hang on” than to be frantically distracted for 5 minutes trying to focus on multiple things at once. Believe it or not, you can’t multitask over this. You will lose your train of thought anyway, so you may as well as say something and remain clear headed.
- Dedicate space to work and just work.
- Sure, you can move your laptop whenever you want, to the couch in the living room or kitchen table if you need more space. Maybe you just need to change the view. Try not to work from your bedroom. If you have a studio apartment, you probably already “dedicate” spaces to different tasks, this is no different.
- The mute button is your friend.
- If you are not the one presenting, or talking, or “on deck” keep it on mute. Just remember to un-mute when you have to chime in, otherwise, you will miss your opportunity to provide insight that someone else didn’t think of yet. This can be your moment to shine and show that you were indeed, paying close attention to what someone else was saying.
Most of all, make the most of it. (You may want to do this longer than a mandated time away from the office.)
It is a unique advantage that you are able to be working from home. If you need to, take a 5 minute break to throw in a load of laundry, get a snack, make a pot of coffee…or, take 15 minutes of your lunch break to make dinner in the crock pot. In 5 hours, you will be happier for it when dinner is ready and you don’t have to cook! If you need advice, or a suggestion, let me know. I’ve probably been there.
~ Dawn aka Hat Girl