I work from home most days (and have done for 12 years) but for those of us for whom this is not the norm, it can be tricky to know how to successfully work from home. Being positive and having some discipline are essential tools for a productive day so I’ve put some of my top tips below. It may take some time to adjust but WFH can be a great thing to do.
Get up at the same time as you normally would.
As tempting as it might be to have a long lie in, keeping your normal wake up time is really important. Not only because of working hours but also because if you get into a habit of getting up much later, your body clock will adjust to it and then going back to the office will be a real shock. Use your commuting time to have a longer shower, a bit more of a breakfast or enjoy reading a chapter of your book or catching up on the news without being squashed against other commuters. Bliss.
This may sound really obvious but putting actual clothes on is something that everyone who works from home has tried to avoid. Trust me, it just doesn’t work. Not only will you not properly wake up (so your brain will be slow to get into gear) but you’ll get to a point in the day where you feel really gross. Nothing about working in pyjamas (or in bed for that matter) is conducive to a good working day. By ALL means wear the comfiest clothes you have; this is definitely a time for leggings and baggy jumpers, just as long as you’re putting something on that isn’t PJs.
One thing that’s really important to me is having nice nails and wearing lots of bracelets. It may sound silly but when I was writing my book I would be typing for hours. Given that I was writing about the confidence that fashion and beauty can inspire in us, it was nice to look down at my keyboard and see manicured nails. Go with whatever makes you feel more work-ready: jewellery, a home manicure or make up.
Stick to the times you’d usually be at your desk, have lunch at the same sort of time as normal and remember to properly switch off at the end of the day. Breaks are vital to brain power: make a cup of tea, text a friend, step outside (if you can) or even walk around the house for a bit. Working from home doesn’t mean you have to be rooted to your desk. Find the positives where you can; you can make a lunch that you wouldn’t normally be able to for example and when it’s the end of your day, you’re already home to relax.
Working with children
This can make working from home a lot trickier, whether you’re used to home working or not. If you have a partner at home with you, taking shifts is essential. Make as much use of nap time as possible; we’ve changed our routine slightly so that Mackenzie, Honor and I eat together and then she has her nap so I’m not then using extra time to prepare or clear up lunch. If you can work whilst they play on their own then that’s great but if not, putting them in front of a film or TV programme will buy you some time to get some good work done. One lovely idea I did see is some older children who made Stop and Go signs for their mother’s office so they knew when they could go in and when she was not to be interrupted. A great idea if you’re on a call or in a virtual meeting.
I make sure I have a good working space (the Kitchen table will do just fine), a chair with a supportive back and a proper surface to work on. Stretching, meditation and healthy snacks are all great ways of making sure you have a successful day. Working from home can be really enjoyable; focus on the pros rather than the cons and good luck!
Watch my video below.
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