Tip Tuesday // Working From Home
When I tell people I work from home, the typical response is “That’s so awesome! I wish I could work from home!!”. I won’t downplay that being able to work from home is great but it’s still not as luxurious as it seems. I will be the first to admit that it can be very hard to schedule my day because the lines of work and play are blurred beyond recognition a lot of the time. Also I live in a studio apartment so I am not able to have a separate office or space where I can shut the door and leave work behind. So here are a few tips for working from home.
1 // Never work from your bed
Seriously. Ignore all the Instragrams you’ve seen of bloggers in bed with lush white sheets, a MacBook Air, and a perfect matcha latte with the caption “Mondays aren’t so bad when you work from bed.” It’s all a lie. Get out of bed. A more professional person will say get dressed immediately like you would be leaving to go to work. There are days when it’s 3pm and I am still in my pajamas. I’m still working on that part. I definitely agree that you should start your day like you are going off to your office, even if your "office" is your desk across from your bed.
2 // Keep work in one place
I always do work at my desk. I never work on my couch and definitely not my bed (see #1). Desk = work time. Even if you don’t have walls separating your work area from the rest of your home, just knowing that you have a designated work space keeps your mind in work mode and helps you not get distracted from the rest of your place.
3 // Make your desk a place where you want to be
I have a monitor set up for Lightroom, Photoshop, and Excel which makes working so much easier. I have a cute desk lamp and little plants. I also have Spa Room diffuser scenting the area with my favorite essential oils. Also have a comfortable desk chair. I have a vintage chair I was given last year and I love it.
4 // Organize your day
Preferably the night before. Knowing what you have to the next day takes away the pressure. Write down what needs to be done with your top priority at the very top and get that done first. Emails can wait. You can go through and see if there is anything pressing that needs immediate action but if it doesn’t, the rest can wait. Remember: Emails are someone else's to do list. Also be sure to schedule time to focus on yourself before you start work. Eat breakfast, take a walk, or hit the gym before you get started in your work day.
5 // Work on one thing at a time
Working from home or not, we all get distracted. Try to work on only one project at a time. Work will never get done if you’re trying to finish a report while editing a batch of photos at the same time. The distractions are heightened when working from home because now you can add in home tasks in the mix. You’re finishing a report, editing photos, and now organizing your closet at the same time. Focusing on one task at a time will make crossing off that item off your to do list much more satisfying.
6 // Pomodoros are your friend
I’ve started using a Pomodoro app to track when I’m working. Pomodoros are 25 minute stretches of time of you doing ONE specific task. You can estimate how many pomodoros it will take to finish your task. For example I think it will be two pomodoros to finish the blog post (actually it was three). Once it’s done you have a five minute break to do whatever you want like get a cup of tea, stretch, or look at Facebook. Once five minutes are done you’re back to work. I use the app Pomodoro Time to track my work. I like it because I make it a little game to see if I can beat the clock (but don’t halfass your work just to finish before time is up).
7 // Work on location
Go to your favorite cafe with lots of outlets and post up for the day. I used to spend up to six hours at a cafe just getting work done. Let’s be honest. Working from home can get very lonely. It’s nice to be around other people. Maybe get together with another friend who works from home and work with each other once a week. Or join a coworking space if there is one in your area. If you have the space for it, maybe open your own home to others for a coworking session.
Every day is a learning experience on how to have a better working experience at home. I’m also happy I got through this post without having to say the P-word. Do you have any tips on working from home? Leave them in the comments below!