Are you still working from home? Hopefully you’ve settled in by now. As for myself, I was working from home (WFH) before it was cool. It started off with a laptop and extra monitor on a hand-me-down-desk in a spare bedroom in 2013. I was among an elite group (at least in my mind) of a select few reps who could go where and when they wanted, as long as my job was done. My definition of WFH was very different back then – I wasn’t in the home “office” much. I traveled frequently to meet with prospects/clients across the west regions of US and Canada. Along with the travel, the big enticement was not having to clock in at certain times and commute to a stuffy office environment. It felt liberating and empowering.
Along with the rest of the world, this year has been quite different. I have been doing my work solely in my house for the last 178 calendar days. No travelling whatsoever. With school being shut down early in the spring, my wife and three kids have also been home more than usual for the same time. The amount of commotion and interactions has never been higher.
So…how do I stay focused? Whether it’s been years, or just a few months, here are 3 things I have learned that have helped give me clarity and sanity to keep going:
- A Task List. Being at home during the workday can present many distractions: spouses, kids, pets, home projects, errands, etc. The best way to combat these is to have a “to-Do List” that outlines what needs to happen for each day. Once you have the list, give each item a priority and start with the most important ones. Start at the top and work your way down.
- A Dedicated Space. With more folks having to work remotely, many are forced into finding a space to operate from. Do the best with what you have, and if possible, have a dedicated space for work. That helps separate work-life from home-life. The best is if you can get a space with lots of natural light and a door that closes. Having three kids that run around my house, the closed door is a great thing.
- Take Breaks. It was a legal requirement to take breaks when I punched a clock, so why would now be any different? Reward yourself for a job well done with a walk outside or perhaps a slow sip of your favorite (work-hours appropriate) beverage on a balcony or porch. Take time to relax and recharge. Remember to step outside the office every now and then to give time to yourself.
This is just the beginning, but can help get you started. If you have recently found yourself in the WFH arena, let me know what has helped you transition.