Hi, Polished People! I really hope you’re all staying safe and doing well. Since so many people have been working from home, I wanted to give you guys a few tips on how to do it. If you’re new here (hi!), I work in marketing, social media management, web-design, and I’m also a writer. I myself have been working from home, fully and partially, for almost nine years, so I’ve definitely gotten good at it. I want to help you get comfortable in your home office and be successful, so read on for some quick tips.
#1 Get ready in the morning? You decide
Most people recommend getting up and getting ready in the morning just like you would for a regular job. Especially if you’re used to a certain routine, there’s no reason to stop just because you’re not going anywhere. Wake up, shower, get dressed, do your makeup, do your hair, etc. However, this strategy doesn’t work for everyone. If you want to wear sweatpants and no makeup while you’re working from home, go ahead. Some people say this makes them less productive and more lazy, but you can eventually get to a point where your outfit doesn’t affect your work ethic.
I’ve been doing this for so long and I’ve really gotten to know what helps me be my best. Personally, I really enjoy being comfy. If I can wear leggings and skip the makeup while still getting stuff done, that makes me feel happy, relaxed, and in a better mood to work. I know this absolutely doesn’t work for everyone, but I’ve found it does for me. Basically, whatever makes you feel good, whether it’s putting on a suit or sticking to a sweatshirt, that choice will help you have a better day.
#2 Couch or desk?
You do you. A lot of people prefer to work at a desk where they can set up all their things and not be so inclined to take nap or something. It can help you maintain good posture and keep you more awake. But, once again, it’s up to you. If you’re a happy camper on the couch or even sitting up in bed, that’s awesome.
I’m with the comfy club again for this one. I absolutely love setting up my laptop and anything else I need while as comfortable as possible. Blankets are a great bonus, too. However, if I do need a boost of energy or a little more structure, sitting at a desk or table really helps me focus.
#3 How to schedule your day
If you’re used to a schedule that you follow at work, keep it up at home. You might even find you have extra time since you’re not commuting. But working from home schedules might be very different from a regular one, especially if you have little ones or other family members around. If you have to start work later in the day, schedule other things in different time slots so you don’t lose track of your tasks. You don’t have to stick to a schedule, but if you want to grab a Word/Google doc and make a firm plan, that’s great too. Again, it’s all based on your needs and your preferences.
My scheduling habits vary depending on what’s going on. For example, earlier in the fall, I made a very strict/structured schedule for myself, focusing on the order in which I did things. When January rolled around, I changed it a little and went by a more hour-by-hour process, setting more time limits for things. Lately, though, I’ve let my workflow be exactly that: a flow. I don’t box myself into a rigid schedule, I just do what I feel like when I feel like it. If I want to finish one task more than another, I will. And if I end up in a fluid routine like that, that’s great too. Just try out a bunch of different tactics until you find one that fits your personality well.
#4 How to stay motivated
This can be easier said than done. If you’re always in your house twenty-four hours a day, it can be difficult to stay motivated and energized. Some things you can do to combat the monotony are…
- Change of scenery – don’t stay in the same place all day if you feel yourself starting to lose interest; if you started at your desk, move to your kitchen
- Don’t forget to exercise – get your body moving and refresh yourself often; if you’ve been sitting all day, get up and move around
- Take a break – if you find yourself losing interest in your work, take a break from it; switch to a different task, have a snack, move around, text a friend, etc.
- Pinterest – it’s such a cliche thing to offer, but Pinterest is really helpful when you need some inspo; search for some pretty pics to remind you of what you should be focusing on so you can find some good quotes and inspiring graphics
- Get some fresh air – staying cooped up inside all day isn’t always the best, especially if you’ve been inside for many hours or many days; step outside if you can and take a moment to soak in nature (sunshine and fresh air are so magical sometimes)
I absolutely hate losing inspiration. There’s nothing better than being excited about work and being super inspired. My job is very creative, so feeling that burst of inspiration and wanting to create new content is always so great. But, I don’t always feel this way, so when I don’t, it really helps if I take a break from everything. If I’m feeling uninspired, forcing myself to be creative doesn’t always work well. If I can take a second to step away and do something completely unrelated, once I’ve given myself long enough to creatively “recover,” the spark will come back. I really enjoy what I do, so it brings me so much joy when I have a good inspo streak. However, if you do lose your motivation, fear not–it will return if you give it time.
#5 How to stay focused
Especially if you have kids and/or other family members around, it can be really tricky to concentrate and get work done at home. If you need some time to work, find a place in your home where it’s quiet. If you’re unable to do this because you have little ones to keep an eye on, try to get everyone to settle down for a little while or have them “help you” with your work so you can concentrate. Make sure you’re not constantly watching TV or doing things on your phone; it’s so easy to fall into an Instagram rabbit hole if you’re not careful.
Like most people, if I’m working from home for a long period of time, I have a hard time staying focused. I find that if I eliminate distractions and really concentrate on what I’m doing, it helps me get things done. However, sometimes distractions that make me comfortable are a good thing. If I want to put on a YouTube video as background and it’s not distracting me, that’s great. If I want to work on something while some family members are around, that’s good too. It all really depends on your level of focus, so whatever your needs are, stick to what makes you the most successful.
I hope you found these tips helpful. If you have any other questions about working from home, let me know in the comments and I will do my best to offer you some advice. Also, these tips can be helpful if you’re a student who is now having to work from home!
No matter what your situation may be though, I hope you’re doing well and staying healthy. Just stay positive and hopeful; we’ll all get through this together and be an even stronger world afterward.
Have a polished rest of your day,