With all of our recent changes in our current environment, many of us have been told that we are going to be working from home “until further notice”.
At first, this can sound super exciting and I am SURE some of you thought, “super long snow day! Helllll yyeeaaaa! I get to stay in my pajamas all day, roll out of bed and open my laptop. This.will.be.great!!” Until it’s not.
Monday morning starts out awesome, you roll out of bed, stay in your pjs all day long. You are feeling free and chill as a cucumber. Then you wake up Thursday morning still wearing the same PJs you put on Sunday night. You can’t remember what day it is or what year you are in. You haven’t brushed your teeth or washed your hair in 4 days. Then you look at the mirror and no longer recognize your reflection. Then you wonder how you can you carry on like this, “until further notice”?!
The answer is none of us really know, and we need to prepare and set ourselves up for successful workdays in the weeks ahead. It’s the only way we will A. stay sane, and B. Once we all return back to work we won’t be walking into a shit storm.
I wrote a whole other blog about “How I Work From Home” that I would highly recommend you check out for more information on my exact work from home schedule.
Today I am going to just go over some general tips that I would recommend you start with when working from home, given our current situation.
Make a game plan.
My old boss would always say, “Fail to plan, plan to fail”. There is too much uncertainty in the world around us, and many of us are going to have to take this day by day or week by week. But plan it out either way.
If you are working from home for the next month what tasks, goals, and projects do you have to accomplish in that time? Then think of an action plan, or how you will chunk that out day by day, week by week.
If you are unsure of whether you will be able to do your normal working business, think about what you can do to add value in that time. How can you help a colleague with tasks? How can you take something off of your bosses’ laundry list of to-do’s? How can you reach out and add value to your customers? Even if it’s free to show them that you are here and you are supporting them, think of a way to add value.
Create a game plan, break that out into actionable steps, then stick to it.
Create a morning routine.
As nice as it is to just roll out of bed in the morning to open your computer and start working. I definitely don’t advise that you do that. You will approach your entire day differently if you have a morning routine and you start your day awake, and ready to take on the tasks ahead.
I wrote a whole other blog about the “5 Things to do to start your morning” because I LOVE my morning routine and I truly believe it sets me up for success each day.
Your routine doesn’t have to be mine and it doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be as simple as, waking up an hour before you start your workday, move your body a bit, shower and get ready, take a minute to relax and have some coffee, then get started. This sounds so small and insignificant, but giving yourself a routine will create normalcy, and a “work-like” feel to the start of your weekday morning. Making you feel more structured and serious going into the day.
Shower and get ready.
I highly recommend this. The saying, “look good, feel good” is real. It FEELS different when you shower, wash your hair, brush your teeth, and put on something other than pajamas. Then add the touch of mascara or a spray of perfume or cologne and you feel like you can take on the world. I truly believe when you feel differently, you will work differently, and in turn, will produce different results.
Remember if we are working from home for the foreseeable future, we want to feel as good as we can to produce top-notch work. This is worth the extra 30 minutes in the morning.
Create a workspace to go to every day. When we go to the office regularly, we have our own desks or general space that we always go to to do our work. Going into that office space, you feel more motivated to get your work done. When you are working from home, unless you already have a designated office, you don’t really have that space to go to, so you have to create it. Every day I set up my laptop and monitor with my planner on the countertop to start the day. Then when the day is done I put it all away again. For me the setting up and then putting away of my “desk setting” puts me in the “work mode” mindset. This has helped me feel like I am at work while I am at home.
Create weekly calls/zoom meetings/google hangouts/facetime with your team.
When I first started working from home, the hardest part was not being with people all the time. I am SUCH a people person, and I love that human interaction. The quick catch up by the water cooler are really special moments. Not having that daily interaction was the hardest adjustment for me to make. I didn’t feel it immediately, but on some days I would get bored then lonely. I would suggest trying to call a co-worker, manager, or friend during lunch, just to keep that daily peer interaction.
Overall, working from home is an adjustment. It can be a great thing, and you can get so much work done IF you approach it the right way.
We don’t know how long we will be here, or how these things are going to play out for the next couple of weeks. But now you do know how to have success while working from home and that you can control. Set yourself up for success, do your best, and keep a happy healthy mind while doing it.
We’ve got this guys!