As governments and companies brace for local outbreaks, you may find yourself working from home sooner rather than later (if you aren’t already). Are you worried about staying sane while working from home?
As someone who is used to working from home, here are some of my best tips:
Set up a schedule.
Set up a schedule and stick to it. This includes starting and stopping work at set times.
I know when I first started working from home, I had zero boundaries. I would work at all times of the day, whether it was before the sun came out or long after the sun went down. Not only is this hard on relationships around you, but mentally, you’re putting yourself at risk for serious burnout. Your brain needs downtime.
Further, I’ve noticed that if I don’t have a schedule, then tasks can really expand in time. Just think about a time when you’ve woken up late and had to get ready really quickly. Why were you able to get ready in 20% of the time that you usually do? Because your schedule only allowed for that much time. While I don’t think you should schedule yourself only 20% of your usual time, the same principle applies here. Give yourself boundaries within your schedule of what you will get done within what time frame.
Get dressed and ready for the day.
I’m not going to lie and say that I wear a dress every day or even jeans (I love my Lululemon leggings and have no shame about that), but dress and get ready so you feel good about yourself. You might think the break of not having to get ready for the first few days is nice, but after a while, you will notice that you just don’t feel good about yourself. The whole saying about dressing how you want to feel is true!
For me, this means taking a shower, putting on some makeup, doing my hair, and wearing nice athletic clothes. Personally, I find I work best in comfy clothes, but not so comfy that they are my pajamas.
Building off the first point, schedule in breaks. Seriously. When you work from home, it can be tempting to work for hours upon hours. I get it; you’re very busy, but your brain needs time to rest and re-charge.
When you’re working at the office, you probably don’t notice how often you take short breaks to chat with a co-worker, walk to the bathroom, grab a drink from the break room, etc. These short “breaks” add up. I think taking a few minutes off every ever is the best way to give your brain the downtime it deserves and allow you to refresh yourself.
Get in Movement
Add in movement. Similar to the above, sitting for hours upon hours and not moving is not only bad for your health, but I find not moving for long periods of time hurts my creativity. For some of us, we have set gym routines, and while those are great, I would still encourage you to get movement throughout the day. Personally, I love my Apple Watch because it tracks my steps. If I’m getting in enough steps, then I know I’m getting in enough movement.
Some ideas for movement:
- Go on a walk around your neighborhood.
- Consider walking during one of your conference calls. This can be to walk outside or even just walking around your house.
- Get a small trampoline and jump on it for a few minutes a few times a day.
- Use YouTube for short workout inspiration. Note: Always consult with a health professional before starting a workout routine.
- Take your dog on a walk.
Eat for Energy and Brain Health
With the kitchen so close, snacking can be tempting. Be sure that what you’re putting into your body results doesn’t leave you with anything but brain fog and in need of a nap.
You know yourself best. If having a bag of chocolates in the kitchen is too tempting for you, give the chocolates away. If having soda pop in the fridge is too tempting, give it away. Get things out of your house that will not make you feel good..
That being said, I love sweets and really believe everything in moderation is okay. So, you bet I will have some fun treats in my house. The difference is that I don’t snack on them all day long; I just have them sparingly.
Take Advantage of Technology
There are a ton of tools available to support working remotely. I could make a huge list of tools available to use, but since this blog post focuses on working from home, I will discuss two of my favorite tools that I believe almost anyone working from home can enjoy.
- Zoom – Are you looking for a way to hold meetings? You’ll definitely want to check out Zoom if so. Zoom supports video conferencing and online meetings. I use Zoom to hold meetings with my staff, contractors, clients, and… friends. Yep, Zoom is great even for chatting with friends.
- Slack – Slack is a great way to communicate with your team. If you were from the instant messaging/ AIM days, you can think of slack like instant messaging on steroids for teams.
Both Zoom and Slack offer free options, so if you’ve never checked them out, I definitely encourage you to do so.
Build Your Online Network
There is no better time than today to network online with people. Just because you can’t meet in person, you can use this time to build online relationships. I have had so many relationships start online that turned in mentors, friends, business deals, and so forth. If you aren’t already networking online, I highly encourage you to start.
Those are just a few of my favorite work from home tips.
What are some of your best work from home tips?
Katie Thomas, CPA
Connect with Katie on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/katiethomascpa/
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