I’ve been working from home for five years, and I don’t mean to brag…but I couldn’t imagine having a regular job ever again. For those of you who have never worked from home, welcome, I know we are living in some uncertain times, but I want to thank you for showing up here and I’m here to tell you that you’re not alone. Before we dive into all of my suggestions for working from home, please pause for one moment with me and take three deep breaths. Come on… don’t skip it. Breathe in………breathe out…. Breathe in………breathe out…. Breathe in………breathe out…. I’M SERIOUS. DO IT NOW.
Ok thanks for indulging me. Now here is what you came for, my 10 tips for surviving working from home:
- Stick to Your Schedule
Wake up at the same time that you normally would. Since you don’t have a commute, try substituting some time for exercise, yoga, journaling, meditation, or reading. How cool is that, take the time you would be commuting and use it for self-care. I wake up every morning and start with some bodyweight exercises and stretching. Make sure you take a lunch break when you normally would and step outside for fresh air. Quit work at the time you normally would. Spend the evening decompressing as you normally would.
- Keep Boundaries with Yourself
If you wouldn’t normally binge watch Netflix till 3 in the morning and drink two bottles of wine on a regular work night, then now is not the time to start. Go to bed at the time you normally would. Don’t drink more alcohol than you normally would. Maintaining the boundaries, you normally have for yourself will keep your routine and work life uninterrupted.
- Get Dressed
Ok, so maybe you wear a suit to work every day…I’m not suggesting you wear a suit around your house all day, but put on some jeans and a comfortable top. Ladies, you can substitute a sports bra, for a regular bra, but something about having your tits secure helps you get down to business. Put on a bra, it will do wonders for your productivity. Dudes…. I really do not know what clothing makes you feel like you’re getting down to business, but I’m guessing it’s not just boxers, put on some pants.
- Put on Makeup
MEN DON’T SKIP THIS POINT. This point goes more toward making yourself feel confident. Do your hair. For the men, maybe it’s doing your hair and putting on some cologne. I’m not saying you have to put on a full face of makeup ladies, but do something to your face, moisturizer, makeup…something. Because when you pass a window or a mirror and you feel like you look like garbage it’s easy to start down a spiral of depression and negative self-talk. When you pass a mirror in your house your thought should be, “I look cute, I look sexy, I would want to be stuck in quarantine with me ;)” For me, that usually means I put on some spf moisturizer, a little mascara and fill in my brows every day. It’s not much, but it’s usually all I need to pass the mirror and think “cutie” instead of “garbage face.”
- Open a Window
If the weather is nice enough for it, open some windows in your house. Hearing the birds and sounds of nature can dramatically boost your mood. Catching a breeze on your face and smelling spring in the air can lift your spirits more than you know. Fresh air is a natural disinfectant, so open those windows and breathe deeply.
- Schedule a Video Chat Work Date
This is actually something I do about three days a week. Usually with my mom…but it still counts. Pick your favorite video chat platform be it, Facetime, Google Hangouts, Skype, Facebook Video chat…. You name it, pick a date, pick a friend or perhaps fellow employee and work together over video. You don’t even have to talk that much (in fact you probably shouldn’t in order to get work done) but just knowing there is someone else there, that is also working, goes a long way. Having short little conversations helps you keep your sanity, even if you’re not talking about work, and only saying a few words to each other every hour it can really boost your mood and your productivity. Keep each other accountable and set attainable goals for with each other. “I want to have ‘This’ project done before lunch, what about you?” You can actually boost each other’s work ethic.
- Take Breaks Outside
I know there has been some debate about this, but as long as you’re staying away from other people, I’m still planning on going outside. When I’m outside I’m usually doing one of several things namely; going on a run, sitting on my porch, or playing pick up sticks in my yard. Adopt something outside that you can do even for a couple minutes.
If your work allows for it and you have the capacity to be able to focus on your work while you listen to things then do a lot of listening. I know not everybody can listen to an audiobook while they work, because they can’t focus on both, but if your mind allows you to, then start consuming audiobooks and podcasts. I listen to about 3 or 4 books a month and keep up with about 15 different podcasts while I work. Hearing the voices of other people while I’m working really helps me stay focused and I can happily charge through work while grasping a new book. Try it and see if you can too.
- Keep Boundaries with Your Partner or Roommates
Just because the people you live with may be done working for the day, you might not be. You can ask my husband… there have been many times when he’s come home from work and I haven’t been done yet, and I’ve had to tell him I need to finish my work before spending time with him.
- Don’t Be Afraid to Ask
If you live alone, or are really struggling with working from home, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Reach out to someone today and ask for help with these things.
Those are my main tips for working from home and gosh, I didn’t even mention the benefits… like doing a facemask on your lunch break, or all the commuting time you save, or how if you have a pet, you get to cuddle with them all day long…. the list is endless. Embrace the little joys as you get used to being home. You’re going to have your ups and downs as you work from home, but just know that the rollercoaster will end eventually. If you need to talk to someone, don’t hesitate to reach out, I’m going to try and be there as much as I can.
As always, if you have other ideas of how to work from home well, feel free to drop them below in a comment. If you liked this post or found it helpful, please share it with your friends. I love you all very much and am praying for health and safety for all of us as we all go through this together.