In a time where a lot of us are working from home—maybe for the first time—it can take some adjusting to get into a routine and schedule that boosts productivity and produces our best work. If you’re looking for some practical tips on working from home, check out 7 ways to be efficient and effective as you work remotely.
1. Have A Morning Routine
Commit to a morning routine just like you do when working in the office. Workout, shower, get dressed (that’s right, no pjs), eat breakfast, make coffee, etc. Your routine will help put you in the mindset to start your day well. Don't skip it!
2. Create A Dedicated Workspace
If at all possible, have a dedicated workspace (and don't make it your bed). Work to create a separate place where you can establish the mindset of "work is done here," and not in other places. This will help when it comes to balancing work with everything else that goes on at home and make it easier to check-out of work when you’re finished for the day.
3. Map the Day
Spend the first 10 minutes of your day mapping out your goals and slotting them into a schedule. This will help you stay motivated when you're tempted to squeeze in the next episode on Netflix or tackle a house project that suddenly seems super appealing. Include lunch and a stopping point on the schedule so you can draw some lines as you seek to maintain a healthy work-life blend.
4. Communicate Expectations
What time do you plan to work? Are there any meetings when you need the house to be a little quieter than usual? Grab a small whiteboard and write the day’s “meeting times” on it so the rest of the family can know when it’s helpful to avoid interruptions or to keep the house from sounding like a royal rumble is taking place. They’ll also appreciate knowing when you’ll be free to play.
5. Utilize Video
Use video any time you can for calls or meetings—it helps you feel personally connected to others even when you're sitting in your living room alone. You may be surprised at how many folks pick up the phone during this season.
6. Take Breaks
In the office, you’d be able to socialize or walk around and see people every once in a while. Breaking up segments of your day will help you feel more normal and be more efficient when you get back to work. Take a second to send an off-topic text to a friend, get outside for a few minutes if you can, or just take a few moments to rest. You'll feel less isolated and more connected, too!
7. Call It A Day
You’ll likely find it much easier to walk back to your computer or continuously pick up your phone since the lines of work and home will be more blurred. Don’t obsess over that next email or notification. Shut your equipment down, breathe, and commit to being done for the day when it’s time.
Don’t feel like you have to do all 7, but pick one or two tips that will help you win the week as you work remotely!