Working from home has both advantages and disadvantages. For me personally, it’s the flexibility I need in order to be there for my children. As a single parent I need to be able to drop them off at nursery (soon to be school) collect from nursery, be around for poorly days, sports days, parent meetings, stay and plays etc. I want to play as much of an active role in my children’s lives as best as I can.
Recently I have explored returning to an office job but there just isn’t the flexibility there other than work from home positions which all seem to get nabbed before I even see them. Which is not surprising as they are so sought after. Childcare for two small children is also extortionate and availability is practically non-existent. I don’t have any friends or family that can help with the children during the week, so it’s solely down to me.
My options are threadbare and I have had to make do with what I have got. I have been working really hard at gaining new skills and building upon my experience on those skills. I have launched two new online shops and manage social media accounts as well as write for this blog. I do all of this work around my children, so my time is limited.
Often I am asked how do I do it. I think it’s something we all just ask one another because I genuinely don’t know how some parents produce so much work in such little time – we all have our own unique superpowers right?
But one of the main concerns discussed with those that ask is the lack of structure working from home. How can they work more effectively working from home?
Here are my top 7 tips on working more effectively from home.
1 – Show Up
Get ready for work and show up for your job by treating it like you were going into the office. Get showered, dress appropriately and wear perfume, do your hair & make-up. Just show up on time, dressed to impress. By doing this, you feel ready to face the day in a more methodical way, you are armed to deal with the workload and you have trained your brain to get into ‘ready, get set, go’ mode. You will probably find you are more productive and work gets done in super quick time, leaving you more time to do other things or get on top of other projects.
2 – Get A Room
Having a designated area for your work is crucial. You will have less distraction, it will be a place to sit and work and you can close the door on it when you are not working which helps take your mind off work. I am very grateful of my workspace, I have a small office but it services me perfectly and I can shut the door once I am done and I know that the time I am in my office is a time for work. I enjoy the rest of the house too as there is no sign of work anywhere else. But if you can’t have an office, create a space in the house somewhere you know will be free from distractions and that you can walk away from after you are done.
You can also switch things up a bit and work from rented office spaces, cafes and if the weather is nice, somewhere in the great outdoors.
3 – Walk the Walk
Walking is so good for you and if you are engrossed in a heavy project or something that is leaving you feeling stressed then take yourself off for a 5 minute cool down in the fresh air.
4 – Take a Break
Make sure that you take regular breaks and a lunch break. Ideally the same time every day and away from your desk. It should be no different to when you are working in an office for someone else. Ensure you set regular working time frames and try not to go over your designated time frames. It can be tempting to rack up extra hours in order to get a project finished but ensure you are paid for that time or given back with time off. This applies to your own business too. Give yourself the time back in the future.
5 – Get Rid of What No Longer Serves You
Declutter your space, your files and your computer. Get rid of what no longer serves you. Also look at projects you are doing and decide if they are causing you more stress than it’s worth. Taking the time to evaluate your workspace and workload will help see things in a fresh mindset and enjoy your work again. Think of new ways you can approach a task or research ways you can be more efficient at a task. Doing the same thing day in day out can make working from home laborious so where possible shake things up a bit.
6 – Set Up For Self-Care
At the start of your day and the end, express gratitude for your position. Before your day starts, write down 3 things that you are grateful for and at the end of the day write a further 3 things you were grateful for. This will help motivate your agendas for working from home.
Where possible, carve out some time for yourself either do some meditation, mindfulness or something you really enjoy doing. Use some of your hard earned cash to treat yourself.
7 – Get a White-Board
I swear by having this in my office, I use it to brainstorm ideas and write action lists. It helps me stay focused and on top of my workload. I use different colours for different urgencies.
8 – Get Social
Socialise with people in your networks online and where possible, meet them in real life. Go to networking events, arrange coffee shop catch-ups or even FaceTime them. Keep in contact with people as much as you can because working from home can get lonely.
I hope you enjoyed this post and found it useful. Feel free to bookmark to come back to at a later date.