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Forced to work from home due to the global coronavirus crisis? The initial joy of being able to work from home can be quickly replaced by worry, a lack of motivation and never-ending distractions.
How on earth do you get things done when there are so many distractions? While home working can deliver a lot of benefits, there are a lot of challenges it presents too.
Here, you’ll discover some useful tips you can follow when it comes to transitioning to working from home.
Set up a quiet working space
With all of the distractions at home, it can be really hard to concentrate on work. This is especially true if you have kids at home. So, if you want to ensure you can get things done in peace, it’s worth setting up a quiet working space.
Try and use a room that isn’t frequently used during the day. Place a sign on the door when you’re trying to work to let others know not to disturb you. Make sure the workspace is comfortable too as you won’t get a lot done if you aren’t comfortable.
Some Options When You Don’t Have An Extra Room
Many people have taken to setting up a small office space in their bedrooms. Some have literally cleared out closets and made offices in them. You can also carve out of a bit of room in the kitchen or pantry. If there is a will there is away.
Dealing With Kids
I have learned through the years that if I know I’m going to be working from home to give myself enough time PRIOR to working to feed my kids’ need for attention. Another word, I make sure they have food and snacks ready for them to grab while I’m working, I give them the chance to say anything that they want to say, and shower them with kisses and cuddles ahead of time.
Then I tell them exactly how long I have to work before they can bother me again. I have them set a timer on their preferred devices for that amount of time. I stress to them that unless it’s an absolute emergency to NOT bother me.
I give each of the kids a list of chores to do WHILE I’m working. So, that gives them things to accomplish on their own. Then I tell them what they can do once those things are done.
Now if it’s not a project that I need absolute silence for, I let them be in the room with me but they MUST treat it like a “library.” They are NOT allowed to talk to each other or to me! They are only allowed to read, do school work, or play on their computers/tablets. No other toys are allowed, and if they want sound then they have to use headphones.
As far as other family members, ie. husbands and in-laws, I tell them the times I’m working and put my phone on do not disturb. I stress that if they want me to text me. I’ll answer WHEN I can. If it’s a dire emergency, then yes they can interrupt me, but the house better be on fire!
Start as early as possible
One of the main challenges that can come from working from home is delaying the time you usually start. It’s tempting to have a lie-in and take longer to relax in the morning before starting. However, this only zaps your productivity.
If you want to ensure you stay productive, you’ll want to start as early as possible. The positive side to this is that the earlier you start, the earlier you’ll get to finish.
Now if you’re like me and tend to have creative spurts at night, then save those kinds of activities for after the kids go to bed or are settled doing their own thing for the night.
Set social media limits
You’ll have a lot more time to check in on social media when you haven’t got the boss breathing down your neck. However, it’s easy to waste hours using social media accounts if you aren’t careful.
Many home workers find it useful to set limits on their social media use during working hours. It could be simply committing to using it during a specific time for example. Having limits in place makes you more aware of how much you’re using it.
Maintain your usual “get ready” routine
It’s really important to try and maintain your usual routine. This means, getting ready for work in the same way you usually do. So, wake up at the same time, have your usual cup of coffee and get dressed in your work clothes. It’s amazing how much of a difference this can make to your productivity.
These are just a few tips you can follow when transitioning to working from home. It can be a big adjustment, but there are lots of tools and tips out there to help. Trying to maintain your usual routine is one of the best things you can do during these changing times.
What types of transition to work from home tips would you add to this list?