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5 Tips to Work from Home Effectively

July 13, 2020

If you’re new to working from home full time, you could be in the midst of a significant adjustment right now. Many Texans found themselves unprepared to turn their living space into a dedicated workspace. If your spouse and kids are also home, this can make things a bit … crowded. For those who thrive on daily social interactions with co-workers, the feelings of isolation could be hard to handle. Here are a few simple tips for a less stressful and more productive remote working experience.

1. Get Ready Like Normal for The Day Ahead
Make sure you stick to your usual morning routine by taking a shower and getting dressed (as tempting as it is to stay in those comfy pajama pants). Designate some work clothes, even if they’re more comfortable than your typical professional attire. If you prefer to do your hair and makeup, go for it, even if it’s only for you.

If you normally go to the gym in the morning, switch up your routine with bodyweight exercises or free online Pilates routines from home.

2. Set a Schedule & Stick to It
Instead of moving through your day with a vague plan, create a daily schedule, and put it in writing somewhere you can see frequently. Generate a digital schedule or jot it down with pen and paper, and stick it in a high-traffic area of your home—may we suggest the fridge? Come up with a detailed to-do list broken down into categories based on importance and even consider putting times to those tasks.

3. Create a Clear & Pleasant Workspace
An efficient mind needs a clean and calm atmosphere. Clean your desk or “work area” by organizing the clutter at least once a day. Use an essential oil diffuser or candle to send some luxurious scents through the air that make you happy. This space should be somewhere you want to go.

If you don’t have a designated desk or office, it’s OK to improvise. Place a cushion on the floor and use a coffee table, or find a small portable folding table that you can move throughout your home.

4. Working with Children at Home
If you have young children with you during the day, you’ll have to focus on their needs first and fit your work in during naps or playtime. However, older children can take on some extra responsibilities around the house if you give them very clear instructions for occupying younger children or completing household chores.

Also, consider working in the early morning or late evenings while your children are sleeping, especially on complex tasks that require focus.

5. Stay Active, Keep Your Body Moving
Incorporate more exercise into your day and make a point to get out for some air if you can, even if it’s just to the backyard or the rooftop of your building.

Some work-from-home experts swear by the Pomodoro Method, which is a time management technique. The way it works is you set a timer for 25 minutes of uninterrupted work (may not be suitable for those working parents we mentioned), and then you get a 5-minute break. After four 25-minute sessions, take a break that’s 15 to 30 minutes—a great time to get up and move your body. Continue these intervals throughout the day, and you’ll be amazed at how much you accomplish.