Can you believe we are in the middle of August already? I took last week off from writing so I could focus on getting my daughter all set for her senior year of high school and to work on my other business, Avon. I’ve been a work at home Mom for many, many years, but I know many of you are working from home for the first time during back to school season. A position many never thought would happen. It can be a tricky transition from office to home office. First of all, you are no longer surrounded by coworkers, instead you’ve got family and pets, who can grab your attention quickly. Your mindset might be completely different at home than at work, so have grace with yourself during the transition! Despite its challenges, working from home can be a great opportunity to be productive and possibly even take your quality of work up a notch, with these eight simple productivity tips while working from home.
Most people would be surprised to learn that my days start before six am during the work week. Some assume that since I work at home, I can choose to sleep in. While a flexible schedule is a blessing, I don’t take for granted, I thrive on a set routine. That means getting up every morning to get my husband and children up and prepped for their day. I’m usually at work by 7 am. Creating a routine is something only you can do, but here are some idea starters.
Don’t overthink your initial work at home routine. You’ll learn what’s working or not pretty quickly. We are aiming for consistency, which helps you maintain a sense of purpose. A working routine can help you achieve your tasks and goals for the day. Once you’ve established the routine that works for you, stick to it and it will become second nature. For example, I do morning stretches before I get dressed for the day, and I fill my coffee cup with water to drink while my coffee brews every morning. These are just two simple ways I add self care into my daily routine.
Think about how you prefer working in office and try to mimic the atmosphere at home. Some questions to get you started are:
Do you prefer to work in total silence?
Do you absolutely need a table or desk to work on?
Do you like to bounce ideas off your family?
Does part of your home have better Wi-Fi connections?
These questions are essential to determine what kind of workspace you need. For instance, if you prefer a silent workspace, maybe staying in your bedroom is the answer. If you need a solid surface but don’t have one in your bedroom, buy a lightweight desk, or simply work in the kitchen. If you prefer the company of others while you work, set up your space in a common area so you can interact with family or throughout the day. If you do select a common area like I do, be prepared for some chatter and interruptions and maybe even the occasional meow from your cat while on Zoom.
A clean office is a happy office. Truth be told, I spent a large part of my off time last week cleaning, organizing, and staging our den to better suit the needs and style of my daughter since her school started classes remotely. Her school won’t allow them to participate in classes from their bedroom, so I’m thankful we had extra space for her school office. I did a through cleaning and dusting of this room, gave hard surfaces like the desk a wipe down with a safe cleaning cloth and to make it feel and look special I added a mirror and lots of candles to personalize the space. Now, I smile seeing her work in the den and the best part is she likes working there as well. Cleaning your workspace takes time for sure, but it’s time well spent when you see how productive you are.
It’s natural to get stressed or overwhelmed at work. When this happens, it’s perfectly okay to do something that relaxes you for a few minutes. For me, I love to surround myself with nature, so if I feel a pull outside, I may stop and look out the nearest window, or if I feel tired, I’ll go outside and see what’s blooming in my flowerbeds, or garden. Taking as little as five minutes for yourself can help you reset and refresh. Here are some other ideas: Put on some calming music and take a few deep breaths. Snuggle with or pet your dog/cat. Tip Five- Check in with your Coworkers/Office: If you’re used to an office environment, you know how often you chat with coworkers. Working from home doesn’t need to change this drastically. Yes, working from home is an independent endeavor, but if you are part of a team, you should have frequent check-ins with your coworkers and boss to talk about work. As a small business owner (blogging and Avon Independent Sales Rep.), I’ve noticed that zoom meetings and webinars include some small talk. It’s just human nature to want to share more than just work-related topics, so feel free to offer up a bit of your new normal on these check in calls. Getting dressed for your workday is a great way to boost your motivation. Dressing in clothing that makes you feel good, whether it’s a nice dress or jeans and a t-shirt, will keep you in a positive state of mind. Since you’re sitting most of the day, you’ll want your clothes to be comfortable—think knits, stretchy dresses, black pants. Anything you’d consider office casual is good. You’ll also want to keep some basics on hand for the occasional video chat. Most of these you’ll probably already have in your wardrobe from working in an office. The goal here is to remain looking professional and polished so you’ll never be caught off guard if someone at the office suggests an impromptu Zoom call. If your work-from-home wardrobe need an update for the fall season coming up, please check out our fashion collection for everything from cute, comfy tees to wrap dresses to chic flats. Tip Seven- Put on your Best Face: Realistically, most people aren’t going to sit at home in a full face of makeup. I know I sure don’t every day. However, I do take time with my appearance every day, so I feel good and pulled together. I call this my five-minute face. Here’s my routine: