Thousands of people will be working from home, some for the first time, others more consistently as companies make the move to working remotely so they can safeguard their employee’s health and continue to provide their goods or services. If this is your first-time working from home for an extended period of time, here is a list of my top 7 tips to work from home efficiently.
First know that I work from home regularly, even when I was employed full time, I was working from home at least twice a week and I always got my work done – If I can, you can too!
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Get organized the night before
This is particularly important if you also have your kids at home! If that is the case, read this post on how to keep your kids entertained, happy & learning while at home. This post has tips on how to get them busy and getting organized.
- The night before, go through the commitments you have for the next day and list your top 3 or top 5 must-do tasks or projects. Note to the side how long you expect each to take. If you have more detail to add to each point you can note 3 bullet points to each main task or project. If you need more structure on your to-do list or for your projects, use an app like Trello or Monday.com. These apps are great to manage teamwork and collaborate on projects and they are free!
- If you have not planned your meal for the next day, the night before is also the right time to plan that. I am a big advocate of meal planning! If you have read other posts you know I like to plan weekly meals. Read more about meal planning here. So if you have a plan, check that you have all you need for it and move anything that is in the freezer out or to the fridge.
- Before bedtime, ask your kids/partner to help you tidy up! Just go around each room and put things in their places, bring dishes to the kitchen, toys to the rooms… In the kitchen, don’t leave the dishes for the following day, get the dishwasher running overnight, if you have one, or do the washing up and tidy the surfaces.
Get dressed in the morning!
Don’t fall into working in your pj’s. It’s important to separate the work you have to do as part of your job from all your other distractions in the home. This is the most important tip to work from home efficiently, I can give you!
When you get up, do your bed (as you would if going to work) and get ready for work.
Have a designated space to work
Not everyone as an office at home (I don’t!) but it’s still important to have a designated place where you can work from and are less distracted. Even if you are working from your kitchen table!
- Keep what you will need in a box next to you, so you are not getting up every two minutes.
- Have water with you and make sure the lighting and seating conditions are appropriate.
Work The Efficient way
If you are employed by a company, stick to your standard working hours. If you have your kids at home, it might benefit you to complete some of your must-do tasks before the kids get up, or you can use that time to do the planning. Take that into account and do what works best for you and your family situation.
Let your family know that you will be working and can’t be interrupted. If you are going to be on the phone, let them know so you don’t have surprises. Close the door and set your favourite playlist if you are not always on the phone.
use your time efficiently
I like to work in 45-minute blasts – this does not suit everybody but it works really well for me. I use 5 minutes at the start to plan and visualise what I’m going to be working on. Then I work with a real focus for the following 45 minutes. Developing each of the points, giving examples, noting down anything else I need for that part of the project and moving to the next point until all three are complete or the 45 minutes are gone. I take 10 minutes and have a break! After that – REPEAT:-)
have frequent breaks
I like to have a break every 45 minutes for 10 minutes. I also take 30 to 45 minutes for lunch. This is really important to get your head levelled and to interact with your family if they are with you.
Go for a walk at lunchtime if you can, or sit in the garden for 10 minutes. Playing a short game with the kids or just talking about what they did in the morning!
set social media timings
Don’t let social media distract you from your goals and to list. Set specific times to both check your emails and social media. I like to use time blocking apps for my 45 minutes of blast blocks. Apps like Plan can help you blocking time directly from your calendar and they offer a free plan too!
Are you working from home and enjoying the experience or maybe you are struggling with making it work for you? Let us know in the comments below, share your experiences and your tips to work from home efficiently – let’s help each other!
Stay healthy, stay safe!