As we shelter in place, many of us are working remotely from home. While for some, this may be an improvement over the office with its obvious distractions and interruptions, but for others, the home environment offers its own distractions. With schools closed, you may have kids to look after, or if you live alone, the laundry and other tasks call to you as you're in the midst of dealing with your work email backlog. Here are some tips that may help you as you navigate your new work environment.
- Start Early.
Get up, get dressed, and get ready for work. Dress for comfort, but get out of your pajamas. Dressing for work puts you in the mood to work.
- Set Your Schedule
Be sure your family, friends, and colleagues know your work hours. While you'll of course be working your regular hours, working from home makes it easier for work to invade personal time during nights and weekends. If you have children, try to share responsibilities with the other parent, or look into getting some help with the kids during work hours.
- Take a Break
Setting a schedule isn't just about working – breaks are necessary too. Plan for breaks and lunch – away from the computer.
- Keep Distractions at Bay
At home, we often hear the call to do laundry, sweep the floor, or fix something that's broken. Resist these temptations during working hours. Likewise, just as you would at the office, avoid diversions such as working with the tv on, texting, chatting on the phone, or indulging in social media.
- Have a Designated Work Space
Whether it's a corner of the dining room table, an unused closet in a spare bedroom, or the entire bedroom itself, create a specific space as your office. Even if you just need a place to plug in your laptop, it should be your place during the time you work, and ideally, be a room where you can close the door.
- Personalize Your Work Space
You spend eight hours a day at your desk, so you might as well make it appealing. Have fun with it! Go online and search for tips for making your home office space light and bright. Paint the walls white to lighten up the room. Use pops of color, like a colorful chair, some greenery, or art to inspire you. Save space with modular shelves and bins for your supplies. Put some personality into your home office and you'll enjoy working there.
- Create an Environment for Concentration
Unless you live alone, working without disruption can be challenging. If you don't have the luxury of a quiet space, try some noise-canceling headphones. Play classical music or sounds of nature to create an environment that makes it easier to concentrate.
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