With the recent COVID-19 virus, many of us are finding ourselves working from home. If you work for yourself or have a non-traditional job, you may be used to working from home. However, the vast majority of the United States (and the world) is currently making a huge adjustment to their daily lives by logging in, taking calls, and making deals from home. Whatever your circumstance, here are some tips for making the most of working from home..

Create a dedicated work space. 

This doesn’t mean you need to clear out an entire room and do an HGTV- style renovation (unless you want to!) Simply dedicating yourself to working in one consistent spot in your home will do the trick. The idea is that having a specific place you always go to do your work will help keep you more focused when you’re in that space. 

Have you ever heard not to work in your bedroom? This is suggested because keeping your bedroom a dedicated space to sleep will allow your body and mind to relax into sleep when it’s time. If you sit in your bed working on your laptop, your body no longer differentiates your sleeping zone from your working zone, which can make it more difficult to shut down and go to bed. 

This idea works both ways, meaning it can be more difficult for your mind to switch into “worker bee” mode if you’re working in the same place you watch Netflix, snuggle your puppy, or go to sleep. Keeping your zones separate while working at home will help keep you motivated and on-task! (Plus, it’ll make non-work time better too.)

Start your day with something other than work.

Tell me if this story sounds familiar. Your morning alarm goes off, and you roll over to silence it. You’re already holding your phone, so you might as well flip through social media and check your emails. Ugh! You got a really important email from work, and now that you’ve seen it, it’s top priority in your mind. So, you slide out of bed, grab your coffee, and sip it while you work in your PJs. Pretty soon it’s 4pm and you haven’t done anything besides sit and work all day! Yep… we’ve all been there. It’s pretty much the curse of working at home. 

This is why it is imperative that you start your day with something other than work. Yep, I said it. When that alarm goes off, go on a morning walk, do some yoga, write a journal entry, or do some morning chores! Get your body moving for even a half hour- I promise, that one email can wait. 

When we work at the office, we have the morning routine of getting ready, getting out of the house, and driving to work. Treat your office- at- home the same way, and you won’t feel nearly as overwhelmed or overworked while you’re working from home. 

Get dressed. 

Along the same lines as above, you need 👏 to 👏get 👏 dressed 👏 in the morning. When we work at home, it’s so tempting to stay in pajamas and work all day. But pretty soon it’s the end of the day, our teeth aren’t even brushed and we’re getting right back into bed in those same pajamas. While you may have gotten a lot of work done, you won’t feeeeeel very productive, because you are still wearing the same thing you woke up in! Sometimes that change of clothes can also help you make a mental shift, dedicating the day time to productivity and a rad pair of jeans, while night time is for chilling out and wearing those bunny slippers. 

The working-from-home “to-do” list!

Starting your work day by writing out a “to-do” list is always helpful to manage your tasks. What turns a standard “to-do” list into a working-from-home “to-do” list? Adding in non-work items! Adding in your shower, your daily run, your time to cook dinner, and your face mask at night will help you to make those items a priority. Nothing feels better than checking off a box, and non-work items are a great thing to look forward to during your day. Seeing them there on your “to-do” list will make your day more exciting, and you’ll be more likely to get them done!

Limit eating while working. 

This one is a biggie. Most of us have a dedicated “lunch time” at the office. We’ll go to the breakroom fridge and pull out our lunch, or even go get a good slice or salad with coworkers. When we work at home, it is really easy to begin eating our lunch while working. There are a few issues with this…

  1. It’s good to give your mind a break during your day. Moving locations in your home and eating your lunch while taking a break from your work will help you return to work more refreshed and energized.
  2. Eating while we work can turn into all-day-snacking. While snacks are a good thing, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. Keeping your snacking mindful will keep you feeling healthy, purposeful, and focused. 

Give yourself a “closing” time.

What the heck, it’s already 9pm? How did it get so late?? Chances are, when you’re working at home, your clock is going to be a bit off. You don’t have coworkers counting down the minutes, you don’t hear everyone grabbing their bags and zipping their jackets to head home. If you aren’t careful you could be working into the night, which will leave you feeling unbalanced and overworked. Give yourself a dedicated closing time, and set an alarm for that time, to keep yourself accountable and balanced. You’ll be more likely to work harder during your work day, and you’ll be able to relax at night. 

Hopefully these few tips will help you make the most of working from home. While it can be quite a change from your traditional work situation, you miiiiight just find you enjoy it better. 😉