I have always loved working from home! I’ve been lucky to have a job since college that has given me that option at least a few days a week. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the company I work for has had all of its employees working from home full-time, and now I’m moving to full-time at home permanently! It surprised me that working from home isn’t quite as easy as I expected it to be. Some days are great, but other days or weeks can be challenging and make me question if I can make it work. Now that I’ve been doing my job full-time from home for over a year, I have learned a few things about how I have made being at home work best for me. I want to share with those of you that may be working through the same struggles.
Create a workspace that you love
Surrounding yourself with things that inspire you in a space that is comfortable and functional for your work is key to making your workspace work for you. Even at home, your workspace should be set up in an ergonomically so that you are in the best physical position to work throughout the day.
When it comes to looks, dress up your workspace. If you are having trouble getting inspired, check out these Pinterest ideas!
Keep your work space separate
This is the tough part, especially if you are in a smaller apartment: Make a space that is just for work. Creating that separation so that you have personal space at the end of the day can be challenging, but is necessary to allow your brain to disconnect from your work and relax. If you don’t have the space to be able to shut a door and go into another area of the house or apartment when you are done for the day, consider turning off the laptop, closing up the books, and storing them out of sight in a drawer or box.
Take mental and physical breaks
This may seem like you are taking time out of your day that should be going to the work you have in front of you. But taking a few minutes every hour or so can make a huge difference in your ability to concentrate on the work you have to do. Whether you go on a short walk or take a long lunch to make your favorite dish, you’ll come back refreshed and recharged to tackle your to do list.
Flip the switch
Whether you are working in an office or at home, ‘flipping the switch’ between professional and personal is hugely important for your mental well-being. Setting time each day that is dedicated to work is key, but when that time comes to an end it’s time to flip to personal time and relax. You brain and body need those nights, weekends, and days off to be able to recharge and have the capacity to jump into the workdays with the energy needed to tackle what’s in front of you. When we don’t create that separation for ourselves to recharge our batteries we burn out and that is the last thing you want!
Schedule your time
Being at home may seem like the perfect time to do whatever whenever since everything is in the same space. However, this can lead to getting nothing done at all or losing focus on the things you need to do. Blocking off your time on a calendar whether on paper or digitally can help you more than you might think. I have found that the weeks that I have mapped out are the weeks I get the most done. I like to look at each week and block out time to tackle the major to-do’s and meetings I have ahead of me. Taking a few minutes each week or each day to plot out how you will break out your time to get things done will help you to stay on task and avoid missing deadlines.