01 Sep 4 Tips to Help You Succeed When Working from Home
4 Tips to Help You Succeed When Working from Home
Over the past few months, I’m sure you have read some variation of the phrase, “during these uncertain times”’ in several emails or memos. This phrase has become a rather generic way of discussing the recent changes to daily life resulting from the impact of COVID-19. Though it may seem a cliche, it remains a true statement. Over the past few months, Brandfolk–like any other small business–has gone through changes, as well. I think the most noticeable change for me is the fact that I now work only a few steps away from where I sleep.
Now, I don’t mean to disregard the few perks that accompany working from home. However, it became clear after the first few weeks just how much this change in the environment affected my attitude, motivation, and overall productivity. In sales, it is hard to hide from that. In short, I knew I had to make changes. Being motivated just wasn’t enough, as working from home allows for a multitude of distractions.
To make the necessary changes, I put these few actions into effect:
1. Delete Social Media During the Week
I’m a millennial, there I said it. I’m the generation of the internet, and, boy, do I enjoy it. Working at an office makes it rather easy not to get distracted by the vastitude of the internet, especially when your desk is conveniently located right beside your boss’s desk ;). However, at home, all it can take is one friend to tag you a funny video for you to get sucked down the rabbit hole only to realize what has happened a few hours later. It is for this reason that, early on, I decided it was best to delete all social media apps off of my phone during the week in an effort to keep this from happening. I’ll admit, they do somehow sneak back onto my phone during the weekends.
2. Set up a space that is ONLY for work
I’m sure at first the kitchen table seemed like a wonderfully convenient place to set up your temporary home office. I learned quickly that my brain would place work, folding clothes, doing homework, meal prepping, and putting together my slow-pitch softball team all into one “work” mindset. My first step in defeating these distractions was to set a place in my house that is for work and work alone. So, find a place that works for you, whether it be a spare room, your garage, or, more creatively, a repurposed closet, as your new home office.
3. Make your home office look like your work office
Continuing with my previous tip, I would advise making your workspace look like your office! I’m sure many of you have made due with what you have at home, stacking a few books to position your monitor a little higher or brushing the dust off of an old keyboard. Though this may have been a practical solution for some, I noticed that, for me, these hacks and others only reinforced the fact that I was working at home. I had to find a way to sort of fool myself into believing that I was still working at the Brandfolk office. So, I brought a few things home from my office–luckily for me, I was able to borrow my actual desk from the office! Having some tangible work-related products (excuse my promotional product plug-in) like my handy Brandfolk double-walled insulated water bottle, among other things, really helped me to convince myself I was at the office.
4. Adapt your routine
Lastly, and to me, the most effective when increasing my productivity, was keeping my morning routine alive. As I mentioned earlier, my desk and my bed are roughly 3 & ½ steps apart. Meaning my current “commute” to work takes roughly 2-3 seconds depending on which side of the bed I wake up. At first, this seemed like an awesome perk. I would roll right out of bed and begin my workday still wearing my pajama pants. However, I learned quickly how important my morning routine and 15-minute commute to the office can change my whole workday.
I recommend keeping up with your routine, as usual! Wake up at the same time, do your usual morning grooming ritual, get dressed, as usual, make yourself breakfast, and put your coffee in your to-go thermos as you listen to a podcast, the radio, or the morning news. A couple of weeks into working from home, I decided to change my approach by returning to my pre-COVID morning routine, after which I take a brief walk to give myself that same 15 minutes to prepare for the workday.
Doing all these things will help prepare yourself for the day, both mentally and physically. I can promise you that this will drastically change your mindset when preparing for your workday.