Working from home can be challenging under the very best of circumstances, but especially during COVID-19, when partners, spouses and children may be home, too. So, we have asked the knowledgeable CarolRoth.com contributor network of business owners, experts, advisors and entrepreneurs to share their own best tips for improving the work from home experience. Their answers are presented below, in no particular order.
You may notice some similar ideas listed, but I kept them separate, as something in the way one is framed may resonate differently with you.
1. Embrace Block Scheduling
Embrace block scheduling! A block schedule is a plan that lets you break down 3 or 4 of your essential tasks into daily periods. This helps immensely when working from home with kids and partners. You can block out your work time to coincide with the children's learning period, then alternate afternoon breaks with your spouse, so you both can have dedicated free time throughout the week.
2. Best Tip for Working from Home
I find a time tracking app very useful. Hubstaff is a time and productivity tracking tool that simplifies remote working. Hubstaff measures your productivity by tracking your activity level; this particular insight tells me how effectively work is getting done.
It allows me to stay on task with ongoing projects. I can also create different projects within Hubstaff and see how much time I have spent on each. That way, I can prioritize work based on the project with tight deadlines.
3. Out of Sight, Out of Mind
The biggest challenge I've found in working from home has been to "shut it down" at the end of the day, resisting the urge to think about or do more work when I'm done. My advice? At the end of your shift, move all work related items out of sight, out of mind. That means moving any notepads, pens, documents, and even your keyboard and mouse off of your desk and into a drawer. Completely shut off all computers. I even cover my computer with a heavy blanket, so I don't have to see it!
4. Get Some Air!
Do you find yourself with your hands on your head singing that same song, "Put my hands on my head, oh no!"
We have to set boundaries when working from home and be sure to include "you time". Take frequent breaks and walk outside, pause and breathe. It is said that a day can be renewed when we are placed in nature.
A simple 5 minute outdoor break can rejuvenate you for another round of focus on your projects. So, grab your coffee & hit the rocker on the back porch, & breathe!
5. Set Alarms to Add Structure!
The biggest challenge when working from home is the lack of routine and, by setting up scheduled alarms, you can set up a routine for yourself. Pre-set alarms scheduled throughout the day alert me of when it’s time to start work, when it’s break time (when break time is over), and when the workday is over.
The biggest challenge of working from home is finding a balance and this has helped me. It keeps me productive and efficient, and also lets me enjoy my personal life with my family.
6. Make it Easy to Work
Try to create a work space that makes it as easy to work and keep your home life separate.
A dedicated space to work is a good start, but it's also important to minimize possible distractions. A good set of headphones can help with that.
Routine matters. Try to maintain regular hours and a good morning routine to get you into the work mindset. If you live with others, be sure to set boundaries.
7. Be Regimented & on Schedule
When you work from home, you can work as you normally do, or goof off. I work from 6 in the morning to 10 am and take a 30-minute break. Then, I'm back at the desk until 1 in the afternoon. I take a midday 1:30 break and walk three miles to refresh myself physically and mentally. Then, I return to my home office and usually work until 6 or beyond. Also, be active on social media. When you work from home, you can disappear off the radar. Be active on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.
8. Communication is Key
Especially at first, over-communicate with your clients, managers, and team members. When possible, use video conferencing and favor phone calls over email and texts. Look at using messaging apps like Slack or RingCentral (what we use) to communicate and collaborate with your team. Lastly, if you can't do lunch or coffee in-person, set aside some time to socialize with friends and colleagues over lunch or after work via video chat.
9. Create Your Daily Roadmap
There can be a ton of distractions when you work from home, and that's why I recommend creating a daily to-do list before you go to bed. This is helpful for a couple of reasons.
First and foremost, you'll know exactly what you need to do. Clarity is power, especially when it comes to getting work done at home. Next, it allows you to say "No" to anything that isn't on your list.
When it comes to being productive, what you say "No" to can be even more important than what you say "Yes" to.
James Canzanella of IMNights
10. Guard Your Time
My number one suggestion for effectiveness and productivity when working at home is to guard your time!
Others may think you have unlimited ‘free time’ when they find out you’re working at home and this can lead to interruptions during the work day. And, it’s quite easy to get into the habit of doing non-work related activities throughout the day, further reducing your ability to accomplish what’s on your daily to-do list.
Set working hours and stick to them!
11. Network Like Crazy
Networking events on Zoom are exploding on the internet. You can increase your network and bring in a lot more clients by attending virtual networking events. Live events that used to be location-specific no longer are. You can attend events anywhere in the country. I'm bringing in more clients now than I ever did before. It's all through virtual networking events.
12. Sign Up, Sign Down
Despite being at home, in order to truly get work done within a particular time frame, it may require undisturbed spans of time. If you put up a sign, such as a door hanger outside the room, it puts everyone on notice that it's work time. When you remove the sign/door hanger, everyone knows it's okay to disturb you, ask a question or come in. Create a habit of putting the sign up and taking it down during your work hours. It sets a tone, protocol & puts everyone on notice, even guests visiting.
13. Computer Vision Syndrome
Working from home means more computer screen time. This creates more potential for eye related issues. This can lead to what is known as Computer Vision Syndrome or CVS. An improperly positioned device can bring on CVS, resulting in eye dryness, irritation, a loss of concentration and an overall negative impact on work performance. Make sure your work station is set up properly with a slight downward gaze, correct light, limited glare, limited blue light, space for peripheral vision and breaks.
14. Give Yourself a Break
As someone who's worked remotely for 10 years, I tell WFH newbs to remember to take breaks and take advantage of location independence. Not all bosses trust staff to WFH and many remote workers overcompensate by working too long or hard without taking a breather to refresh. This may be due to job insecurity but personally, I’m far more productive when I work in short bursts and allow myself time to mentally unwind before, during, and after each shift. Your metrics should speak for themselves.
15. Tips for Working from Home
1) Discipline: make sure to get yourself ready and start work at the proper time on the day you work from home. Similarly, make sure you end the day as you would have done on a regular office-going day.
2) Do not stack up personal work during the regular office hours, even if it is a 10 minute task. Such tasks pile up, and you end up spending a lot of time on them.
3) Take regular breaks, as working from home without any distractions can take a lot and hence, you need to recharge yourself.
16. Create a Daily Practice
Create your daily practice that includes your work but also includes your personal health, wellness, fitness and family. Your daily practice is not a schedule, but a routine of things you do each day. It can still be as flexible as you need it. And for me, flexibility is part of the beauty of working from home. With a daily practice, I can still accomplish a great deal and feel great at the end of the day. I can switch things up to take my daughter for her run or start cooking dinner!
17. Difficult Tasks First
If you're home with family, it can be difficult to work from home and that is why I wake up an hour early only to finish the most difficult and time-taking tasks on the to-do lists.
If you finish off such tasks first, you'll feel accomplished, motivated and also be able to manage stress of finishing up very well.
So, before you sleep at night, take out your notes and make your to-do list for the next day. Prioritize and check off the most difficult task fist.
18. Match the Office to the Mood!
I used to work from home even before COVID— my challenge was more about how to work from home in a house/garden full of people where the mood can change all the time. The easiest and most fun solution was to create different workspaces where, depending on the mood, I can work the happiest— nothing too crazy, just tables everywhere. Now, I can ask myself every morning, or even many times a day, “Where does the mood take me to be most productive and happiest while working?” Works like a charm!
19. Schedule Your Day
For me, I find that working from home has as many disadvantages as advantages. While the flexibility is fantastic, the ability to work ridiculously long days is far too convenient, especially if you're an overachiever. I've found that scheduling every activity on my calendar is critical to maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Most importantly, setting a hard start and stop time helped me regain control of my mental health.
20. Office Hours Mentality
The true test of work from home has not been the last six months, it is the next. With weather becoming more of a challenge, people spending more time indoors & school and work intermixing at home, it is now vital to have an office hours mentality.
By this, I mean we need to communicate to those around us that even though we are home, we are not. We need to think & act like we are at the office, with office hours, demeanor & expectations of others, so when you are working, you are working!
21. Everyone Else is Home, as Well
When working from home, it’s okay to spread out your day and work on things on and off. You have to give yourself permission to do a small amount of work scattered throughout the day. Maybe you check email then take a break with your kids, and then go back to work. Not only will this help you focus when you are working, but you acknowledge that everyone else is home, as well.
22. Dedicated Work Space
The best work from home tip I have is to have one area dedicated to strictly working. You shouldn't be working from your bed, as this causes you to be unproductive because you're used to sleeping there. If you have one area that is dedicated to just working, such as an office or even just a desk in your bedroom, it will help you to maintain focus and be more productive while working.
23. The Right Mindset & Attitude
In the late 1980s, I began to work from home on occasion. My VP gave me this advice, "Don't change your routine, including getting dressed as if you were going into the office. It will make a difference in your mindset and attitude." He was right! Now, work attire is more casual, but there is still a difference between business casual (even very casual) and just hanging around the house.
24. Don't Neglect the To Do List!
My number one tip for anyone working from home is to have that essential to do list nailed down. I write down 3-4 big things I must get done the next day onto my notepad (you can also use an app). I start with the hardest task that I feel like putting off the most. I turn the phone / email off and focus just on one thing until it’s complete. This strategy has worked wonders for me over the last 6 months and I find myself to be much more efficient.
25. Get Used to Working Virtually
Doing your own thing allows you to work from "home". Your home can be anywhere.
The flexible schedule has allowed me to travel the country for pleasure and business without having to worry about vacation days or a supervisor looking over my shoulder.
The time at home will allow you to focus more on improving yourself, and in turn, your business.
26. Hang Hotel Do Not Disturb Sign
It is pretty commonplace when you go to a hotel and want to sleep in or not be disturbed to hang a "Do Not Disturb" sign on the outside of the door handle. Like workers at a hotel, kids and spouses often times are not used to you being home and may not realize when you are on a critical phone call or zoom meeting. To let the family know when to stay out or wait to come in, an easy trick is to get a hotel "Do Not Disturb" sign on Amazon and start handing it on the door handle.
27. Boundaries Are Your Friend
The key to work-from-home success is boundaries. Clearly lay out when you're available to your family and when you need to be left alone except in the case of emergencies. While many people claim to do this, the boundaries are often not laid out as clearly as they should be. Call a family meeting and lay out the details, so your family can support you towards success.
28. The Lunchtime Anchor
If possible, try to take your lunch break at the same time, every day. This might seem like a no-brainer, but it's so common for many of us to skip our lunch, push it back (because it's important, but it's not urgent), or have sporadic schedules. By eating lunch at the same time every day, your body and mind get used to the rhythm. You know when to break. You reward yourself mid-day. You can plan a schedule around it. And it creates structure and normalcy, two things often elusive when you WFH!
29. Bye! Heading to the "Office"
Working on the couch, working at the kitchen table, working on the deck... it was all SO DISTRACTING! Create yourself a unique space just for "work" and when it's time to get busy, head to the "office" and your mindset will shift and distractions will fade away. And since we all know that working from home has its challenges, be prepared for them with a schedule that includes that daily walk, lunch, breaks, etc. Now, go get to work!!
30. Be Flexible
I work from home. My youngest daughter is with me all day. Working from home with a child in tow requires constant flexibility. Thankfully, my schedule allows that. However, I still tend to get in a routine and can, at times, find that hard to break. One of the main benefits of working from home is flexibility, and if I cannot apply that to having my daughter home with me, I am doing it wrong. This is a nuanced subject that I could go on about, but the overarching point is "be flexible".
31. Designate Work Only Spaces
Designate a specific spot that is only for work and leave it when you aren't working. For a couple in a one bedroom apartment, we have one desk in the living room corner, and we signal that the workday has begun by moving the dining table to the bedroom, creating a second "office". Physical separation helps each of us focus and limits the urge to interrupt each others' thoughts with chit chat. Respecting these designated spaces for work only helps us hold the boundary between work and life.
32. Clean Up!
Keep your workspace clean and tidy. Place a trash can nearby to throw away any snacks you may consume while working. File away old paperwork you do not need. Keep beverages at a distance from electronic devices to ensure you do not spill anything. Wipe down surfaces and sanitize often to wipe away any dust that may accumulate in the space. At the end of the day, shut down your electronic devices to ensure you do not spend more time working and are better able to maintain a work/life balance.
33. Stay Connected!
While we work from home, it's important to stay connected with your team. Find a video platform that works best for everyone. We like to start each morning with a good morning video call and share our goals for the day. On Mondays, we start the meeting off with a trivia question while on Fridays, we like to share good news from that week. This helps us stay connected and motivated as a team.
34. Create a Separate Workspace
If possible, create a workspace in your home that is completely separate from your leisure space and don't use it for anything apart from work. This helps to ensure that there is a separation between your normal home life and work, it helps you feel 'in the zone' when it's work time and stops you being distracted by anything else going on in the house.
35. No Slouching or Couching
A normal commute and trips around the office & out to lunch add thousands of steps to your day. A work from home day can be as little as 50 steps/day if you live in an apartment/condo and don't head outside. Ergonomics will quickly take a toll on your joints, as you have less active moments to relieve the static stress. Don't work from the couch; instead, invest in a comfy chair & standing desk and use each for about half of the day. Ensure you're always moving & not getting sore.
Derek Jouppi of Suncayr
36. My Single Best WFH Tip
Work with your natural energy levels, rather than forcing yourself into an incompatible schedule or working style.
For me, this means scheduling must-do tasks when I'm most alert, allowing myself a cushion for midday slumps, and placing strict limits on things that are known to zap my energy.
You're much more productive when you're not mentally and physically straining to get through your to-do list!
37. Take Timely Breaks
Scrolling mindlessly through Facebook or Twitter doesn’t constitute a break. However, you should give yourself some time off from working without your usual structure, so take a short (5 to 15 mins) break after every hour or so. Steer clear from any screens during your break and grab some fresh air.
This time can be spent talking to a friend, entertaining one of your children, or playing with your pet. You’ll be far more productive if you get up from your desk and laptop.
Rameez Ghayas Usmani of PureVPN
38. Schedule Breaks!
When you’re planning your day, be sure you work in work breaks. Studies have shown when employees take breaks every 90 minutes, they report a higher level of focus and productivity. Find a space at home, away from your work station and family, where you can relieve stress and improve your productivity.
39. Have a Lollipop Handy
As a single mother who has worked from home since my daughter was young, I learned the hard way to keep treats on hand. The type may depend on the age and interests of your child, but keep toys, books, or even candy (for when you're really desperate) hidden and only pull them out when you cannot afford a distraction. When my daughter was 3, I was on live radio when she burst into my office and demanded I put her hair in pigtails. From then on, I never did an interview without a lollipop nearby.
40. Organization and Scheduling
My number one tip for working from home is to put extra emphasis on organization and scheduling. I have a few habits that I have developed over the years that help me with scheduling and staying organized. I am not the typical list maker; I find it distracting to have to keep going back to a list. I mainly use Google calendar to keep on top of my meeting schedule. As for task organization, I like to keep the tabs on my computer open to all the tasks I am currently working on.
41. Be Positive
The new work-from-home reality is a huge shift for many. Don't be too hard on yourself or colleagues that are challenged with this transition. The less face time we have with our coworkers, the more reliant we are on written communication. Now's the time to be overly positive in your communication. Check in with people in and out of work that are struggling. Make yourself available to colleagues, and schedule time to virtually connect with your team.
42. Wear Pants!
Wear pants! This simple act will save you from embarrassment should you stand up during a zoom call. Plus, when you are working from home, dressing like you are going into the office helps your brain focus and get ready to take on the day.
43. Creative Mother Nature Vibes
Adding house plants and letting in as much natural light as possible does wonders to boost mood and productivity. It gives a sense of connection to the outside and has helped me to work longer without feeling significant burn-out. A creative break is also a good option to get the eyes away from the computer while continuing to stimulate the mind. You'd return back to work refreshed with a different perspective while progressing in a new hobby. It could be drawing, painting or playing music.
44. Set Up Your Browser for Work
The best thing that happened to me was to have a Browser just for work.
This way, you will avoid any distractions. Your productivity will be much more significant, because you will not be tempted to check the sports, news, or check social media. I keep my work browser bookmarks with only the essential websites.
45. It's OK Not to Be Perfect
Having a mindset of not expecting perfection is one of the ways I have learned to manage working from home and caring for my daughter. The reality is the lines become very blurred between work and family/home and it's simply not always possible to do it all well. Giving myself a bit of grace and allowing for imperfection and mistakes here and there has allowed me to embrace the WFH environment. It's ok for life to be a bit messy some of the time.
46. 80/20 Rule
I focus on the 80/20 rule of pursuing the tasks that will drive the most value and have the biggest impact on my clients and say no to everything else. With childcare being a challenge of working from home, I am more efficient with my time than ever before. With clients, it's either a hell yes or a no. I also apply this principle to any networking phone calls I take.
47. Set Up a Physical Barrier
Set up a physical barrier to psychologically divide work from home.
If you have a dedicated home office, close the door when you're done working for the day. If you are working at a dining room table or in a bedroom, buy some room dividers. It's important to signal to yourself with physical barriers where work takes place. You'll sleep better (by not looking at your work) and you'll work better (by not looking at where you sleep and relax).
48. Creating a Reward System
The best tip I have when working from home is creating a reward system. For example, after an hour of work I give myself a piece of chocolate, take a short five minute walk, or watch a YouTube video. This allows me to really work hard during the hour, because I know I'll receive a reward at the end.
49. Creating a Home Office Space
There are three things that have made my life working from home so much easier. In a perfect world, I would have used an additional bedroom as my office, but, unfortunately, that was not feasible, so I am using a sectioned off corner in our family’s living room. Noise canceling headphones and a room divider screen along with a bookshelf have allowed me to create an office space where there was none. The headphones keep external noise out and allows my family to still use our living room, as well.
50. Close the Door to Stay Close
The ability to work from home is seen by some as a benefit of the coronavirus, but this opportunity has challenges. My challenge? My husband now works from home, too. My best tip? Demand your own room, with a door. My husband works best with music. I need isolation and quiet. Our closed-door but close-by version of social distancing helps him with his video conferencing, and both of us get our work done. We don’t feel so cooped-up together. So, forced absence makes working from home better!
51. Secure Separations
Set up a space where you can have video calls without visual or audio disruptions. Put a Do Not Disturb sign on your bedroom or office door. Talk with your family about the importance of the sign. If you need to work in a shared space, set up a curtain or other divider to give visual privacy and an indication to others that you need privacy. Dividers also keep webcams from capturing unneeded people, animals, and objects in the room, and if they are green, they improve virtual backgrounds.
52. Get a Noise-cancelling Headset
Working from home can quickly become a challenge. This is particularly true with other humans around you. Adults want to chat, kids want to play and have endless bursts of questions. Pets can be even more damaging to your concentration efforts than humans. They bark, meow and chirp all day long.
The only solution - noise-cancelling headphones. They will limit the external botherings and after some time, will also serve as a signal to not disturb you. At least to the humans.
Maksym Podsolonko of Eazyplan
53. Cross Off Goals, Not Hours
Many salaried employees and freelancers don't have to work specific hours. If you shift your thinking from the hours that you're putting in to what you need to get done each day, you'll be more efficient and less likely to focus on “clocking out". Start each week with a list of goals that include both specific and flexible deadlines. By looking at what you need to get done rather than the time you “have to” put in, you’ll be incentivized to be productive and spend less time working overall.
54. 5 O'clock Whistle
As a Virtual Assistant (VA) working from home for over a decade, I relish transition time between work and household. My number one tip is to set an alarm to signal the end of the workday. This audible trigger indicates it is time to wrap up the current task, jot down your to-do list for tomorrow, and take a moment for self-care. Go on a quick walk, meditate, journal, or whatever energizes you for a more positive and productive evening routine.
55. Start With Something Cold
My one best tip for working from home during Covid-19 is to start the day off doing something cold! I like to jump in a cold shower for 60 seconds. This shocks the body and gets you in to action. Home can be a little too comforting. Starting off your day with a cold shock is the way to get your body properly energized for a productive day working from home.
56. How to Avoid WFH Burnout
Working from home (WFH) burnout is increasing, due to partners and children being at home with you, countless Zoom calls, etc.
To WFH properly, establish boundaries around when you work, and when you stop working. Negotiate your work hours with your employer to establish your work schedule.
Set an alarm on your phone to signal the start of your work day and another alarm to end your work day. Also, have a dedicated place where you work, and try not to do anything else in that space.
57. Set Work Hours and Stick to It
It hasn't been easy working from home during this COVID-19 Pandemic, especially as family members are at home. My best tip has been setting work hours and sticking to it. I lock myself in the study room for 4 hours a day just to ensure that I'm focused on my task for the day. Everyone in the house knows about it, and they stay away from me until I'm done.
58. Stay Raw & Get a Busy Light
This is a great opportunity for you to stay true to who you are and just BE YOU!!!
Remove those silly backdrops when on a zoom and let your team and/or customers/prospects get to know the real you.
You'll form bonds like never before. Don't miss out on this opportunity!
As for the family? Share your calendar with your family and buy a busy light from Amazon. It's a remote that has 4 lights you can place throughout the house and press a button for when you're busy. So cool!
59. Stick to Your Schedule
Plan out your schedule the night before and stick to it. A lot of the time we waste throughout the day is from trying to figure out what to do or switching between projects. Allocate time for each task you need to get done throughout the work day, and try your best to not let other items distract you. You'll find your workload gets much easier when you stick to your plan.
60. Fix Your Home Office Up
I tried working from home a long time ago and I wasn’t happy but this time, it has been different. I moved back to working from home in March and I really fixed up my office and now I love it. Make your office special by getting yourself the office furniture you always wanted, pictures on the wall that inspire you, multiple computer screens to make it easy to multitask, a great comfortable chair. Anything you can do to improve your space that inspires you.
61. Lighting, Hair, Sound, Make-up
If working from home also means that you will be working with video, be sure to look good and sound good. You might also want to get some professional quality video, sound and lighting equipment, including backgrounds. Wear a professional wardrobe and pick up some pancake make-up and some other good makeup for video, too. Also, be sure to turn the Answering Machine on whenever you go to the bathroom, and don't ever make business calls from the bathroom.
62. Work Around Your Home Life
A lot of us are working from home with kids, sharing small spaces, and not having the same resources an office provides us. If you make your work schedule work around your home life, you'll get more done and have more time with your family. If you have young kids or are a morning person, start your day at 7am instead of 9am, or take a longer lunch and work after they go to bed. Work when it works for you, while maintaining a family life and getting the work done at the efficiency level you need.
63. Fresh Air, Fresh Perspective
The BEST thing I do is conduct at least two of my shorter (20 minute) calls (yes even VIDEO ZOOM CALLS) while I am taking a walk in nature. I leave the basement office, the kids, the husband, the mundane routine and I get outside. It gives me a fresh look and makes work conversations more relaxed and productive!
64. Play Binaural Beats
After creating a private nest - a closed office where you can get the solitude you need to work uninterrupted - play binaural beats to enhance your focus. I can't explain why it works, but someone recommended it to me, and having a light soundtrack of music and sound drowns out external noise and keeps you engaged in your work. If you want, look up binaural beats to learn why it helps focus, but that's less important. Just do it. Find it on most music apps and avoid the sleepy ones.
65. WFH Scheduling Best Practices
A best practice for working from home is setting a schedule for meals and breaks. If you schedule yourself on back to back to back zoom calls and you allow no time to breathe, get the mail, refill your water or go to the bathroom, you will burn yourself out. Also, if you are new to working from home the kitchen and pantry can be very tempting. Setting meal times breaks up the day of morning, midday and night and prevents full-on all day snacking.
66. A Useful WFH Hack
I suggest setting a morning routine, and then deviating from that routine once a week. Routine is good for getting in the groove and remaining disciplined. However, it's also good to introduce variety to prevent work from getting too monotonous. A change in routine can be as simple as working in a different area in your home or working one hour earlier or later than you normally do.
67. Time Your Tasks
Set alarms throughout the day that cue you to begin a new task on your to-do list. By dividing your daily tasks into timed blocks, you can avoid getting bogged down by one task or assignment and encourage yourself to use your time more efficiently. This tip also ensures that you’ll get to devote time to every task on your to-do list for a given day, even if not all of your tasks are completed by EOD.
68. Keep the Family Busy
When working from home, keep your partner, spouse, or children out of your hair more often by giving them missions to accomplish. Instead of hoping they will entertain themselves, put together a list of activities or challenges you can draw from and give them a new one as needed. You can get strategic about your timing and issue the mission so that they are occupied when you need to focus most.
69. My #1 Working from Home Tip
As a mom of a baby, wife, and online business owner, the only way to get my things correctly done is to prioritize tasks, choose the most essential, and focus on one at a time. Even though it is so tempting to try to get so many things done, it is truly almost impossible, to be honest. Family and work both deserve your focus and quality time, so my tip will be don’t get stressed about non-essential unfinished tasks.
70. Virtual Coffeeshop
As a solopreneur, I’ve learned that I actually focus better working outside my house. Pre-pandemic, when I needed to buckle down on computer-based work, I’d head to a local coffeeshop for a few hours.
Since I can’t do that now, I open up the website Coffitivity.com. It provides the background hum of a coffeeshop, and a sense of being around other people.
For some reason, this level of light audio input really helps me focus and get way more done in a day.
71. Don't Get Too Comfortable!
When you let yourself get too comfortable while working from home, you don't work as productively. Allowing yourself to get too comfortable while working remotely by sitting on the bed or on the couch might cause you to fall asleep, deliver poorer quality work, or make the day feel like it's dragging on. My suggestion would be to find or create a space where you can stand while you work to help yourself remain more alert. Another option is to work at a desk near a bright window.
72. Use the Pomodoro Technique
If you’re missing your office productivity, it’s probably because of “how busy everyone is and how you compare.” This information is the drive for many people to get busy at work, and WFH will leave you deprived of it. So, I recommend trying the Pomodoro technique, a productivity hack in which you get 20 minutes to finish a task and a 5-minute break. It's a great way to trick your mind that there’s pressure even when there’s none, giving you a productivity boost.
73. My Secret to Working from Home
Exercise: On days where I'm pressed for time, I focus on HIIT style workouts. On days where I have more time, I go for a run and lift weights. Exercise is vital for well-being, especially during this time.
Time in Nature: Walks and hikes in nature are incredibly revitalizing. Something as simple as hearing the birds chirp or the wind rustling through trees recenters my perspective. I get out in nature at least once, but try for twice per week.
74. Tips for Working from Home
When working from home, especially in an open space with kids around, establish boundaries.
Wear headphones that go over the ears and explain to everyone in the house that when the headphones are on, it’s like the office door is closed and you can’t come in until they are off.
Another way is to buy an orange cone and put that up in front of your workspace. It is a cue that when the cone is up, you can’t interrupt.
75. Create Boundaries at Home
If you live with other household members and especially if you have children, make rules about your working space and time. Having a full day of intertwined personal and work-related situations can be tolerated, but if you keep going like that, you may suffer burn-out. Explain to people around you that you need to have some peace so that you can work well. When you take a break, you can attend to others’ needs, but ask them to respect your working hours and promise them your attention later.
Sharon Van Donkelaar of Expandi
76. Stick to Your Old Work Routine
Maintaining a predetermined routine adds a structure to our day and enables us to do more while working less. This means waking up at the same time every day, drinking your morning coffee, and taking time to dress up. These repetitive actions will prep our minds for the day ahead and enable us to dive into our tasks more efficiently. If you stay all day in your pajamas without moving from the couch, chances are you will be much less productive. So, pretend you are going to the office, it helps!
Mikkel Andreassen of Dixa
77. Let it Roll
In the immortal words of Randy Bachman, you just have to "Let it roll". Let people on the other end of the line know you're working from home, and they'll understand if one of your kids shrieks in the background. My cats have taken turns "Zoom bombing" my video calls. People laugh, then get back to business. Make it a humanizing feature; you're a real person, you understand that your clients and colleagues are real people, too.
78. Start Your Day as Usual
This has been helpful in dealing with the lazy mindset I have.
Definitely, working from home with everyone at home was challenging at first.
The noise and distraction were a big challenge. And, the only way I've been able to remain productive is to start my day as if I was going to the office.
So, I wake up early (around 5am), take my bath, and prepare for work.
And that has always been helpful. Any day I fail to start the usual way always ended less productive.
79. Quick Yoga Breaks
Despite having a proper posture while sitting, working for an extended amount of hours can lead to severe back problems, which is why I've been practicing yoga every two to three hours during my working days at home. My tip is to try yoga stretches which will help you reduce any back pain you might suffer, and that time of calmness can help you clear your mind, which is even more important if your job requires creative thoughts. So, try a quick yoga break during shifts for your mind and back.
Daniel Mogensen of Kodyl
80. Create a Dedicated "Work Zone"
Create a dedicated zone in your home that is used ONLY for work! Never do any work outside of that zone and never do anything except work inside the zone. A dedicated room is great but if that's not possible, a dedicated desk in a quiet corner is the next best thing. Having a rigid structure around this will help reduce your work and home life spilling in to each other. If you are easily distracted, this could be a game changer.
81. Best Work From Home Tip
You need to make sure you have one place that you consider your work-space. It doesn't necessarily have to be an entire room, but make sure you're not confusing your office with your leisure space. Make a specific time and space for work every day and be consistent. It can be confusing to differentiate between work and home when the two are the same. Lay down the ground rules as soon as possible, so that there's no room for confusion about your availability.
82. Zoom Fails Be Gone
In a time where Zoom conference calls are the norm, it's not out of the ordinary to have a family member accidentally burst into the scene during a conference call (we've all seen the funny outtakes).
Having a sign on your designated home office space to remind family members that you are officially in work-mode can visually share that although you are technically at home, you are working. Using these visual queues can help you stay focused and more productive by clearly setting boundaries.
83. Have Fun with Zoom
Have fun with zoom. The best communications always start with humor. Log on a few minutes early - put on a silly hat, wear some silly glasses, use a funny or odd or unique zoom background. As the other participants log on, encourage them to play along. Maybe have an entire zoom conference wearing something silly. Not only will it liven up the meeting, but it might inspire some creative and out of the box thinking.
84. Elevate Your Video Meetings!
I co-founded the social media agency, Socialfly, and back in March we took our entire company remote due to forced lockdowns. We realized in April how dull our video team meetings were becoming. That sparked our idea for DigiCards, which have quickly become a must-have for your home office and all virtual meetings! We tested out our idea with our internal team at Socialfly and our meetings became much more enjoyable and exciting. So, we decided to launch DigiCards as a retail product.
85. Diversify Your Work Locations!
Where you work matters. Our brains are incredibly associative, strongly correlating locations with tasks. Strive to have 2-3 locations for effective work. Then, complete different types of tasks in each area. One location may be for content creation, another for business maintenance, and another still for virtual client interactions. The specific use can vary, but intentionally correlating a type of task with a location does wonders for focus and saves a remarkable amount of willpower.
86. It's a Family Affair
I am a full-time teacher and problogger. We live with friends, so with my husband and daughter, we are five living under one roof. I use my family for help. My daughter is my consultant and my husband is my business manager. They both have experience in the areas of blogging where I use their skills. There's an expression, "If you can't beat them, join them." Your family will be around due to the pandemic. Instead of trying to tune them out, use them for any kind of help.
87. The Only WFH Tip You Need
Design your workspace well. Do it from scratch and invest in all the equipment. Build it in a way that would induce productivity, while being comfortable for you at the same time.
This is a space you'll spend hours in, so it will be worth the investment.
88. Follow This Proven WFH Tip
Don't forget to take breaks. Just because you're working at the comfort of your own home doesn't mean you should have unlimited work hours.
Set at least a ten-minute break after an hour or two to either take a walk, do some pushups, or meditate. Your mind will thank you for it.
89. Make a Short To-Do List
I keep a running list of tasks I need to accomplish and start each workday by identifying 3 things on the list that I will commit to getting done. This helps me to be as intentional and productive as possible with my work time, especially because my attention is divided with my four children at home. Some days, I am able to check off more from my list, but setting these realistic goals for myself keeps me motivated and allows me to end each day with a sense of accomplishment.
90. Stop Multitasking
I have seen many digital nomads have multiple task habits, like checking emails, chatting with colleagues, watching videos, etc. while also getting tasks completed to relax, but it makes them less productive. To avoid multitasking habits, make it clear that you are distracted, turn off email and phone notifications, prepare a to-do list, etc.
91. Take a Break!
The best tip for working from home is take a break! We tend to work longer hours because our workstations are always near us. I see colleagues and employees complain that they are working longer hours since they have been working from home. Its important to demarcate time to stand up, take a walk, take a lunch break and get away from our workspaces for a short period of time.
92. Advice from a WFH Parent
I have an office at home, good internet connection, and quiet neighbors; yet my two boys distracted me from work. But since I bought a soccer ball, they stopped asking me when we would be able to go to the park. If you want to avoid distractions coming from your kids, find a hobby they can spend hours doing and don’t get tired. It can be painting, dancing or any sports; they will be learning new skills, while you can focus on growing your business - it’s a win-win situation!
93. The One Tip That Helps Me
One strategy that has helped me to maintain my productivity while working from home is dividing each work-related task into smaller segments, and working on each mini-task (on order of priority) for four hours each day until they are complete.
By doing this, I ensure that I am working on priority tasks every day, and I wake up knowing what to tackle, for how long, and the next task that follows.
94. Use Noise Canceling Headphones
We live with two young kids, both under three, who aren’t yet at nursery, so our home is a noisy and very distracting place to run my business from.
Using noise canceling headphones has made a big difference to me; they tune out predictable background noises and help muffle other noise, such as the noises children make!
It also helps to play tunes on them; always ensure that the tunes you listen to are ones that you are familiar with, so that they don’t distract you from work.
95. Get Some Closure
The second you finish work, leave the house/apartment.
Even if it’s just to walk around the block once, it can do wonders. It helps your brain switch modes from work to leisure, and gives your work day some closure.
Without this buffer, the line between work and leisure is blurred, which (a) makes your work day feel longer and (b) makes it seem as though you have less free time.
Lawrence Calman-Grimsdale of Jump
96. The Most Important Thing First
First, I wake up in the morning at 4.30 AM. The Sun hasn't come out yet, everything is still and quiet, and I find my mind is calm, focused and also bursting with creativity.
Second, I do the most important thing first. The one thing that, when done, I can say I had a productive day.
Of course. I try my best to keep working and do as much as I can, but having finished the number #1 task first keeps me calm and confident that I can knock off a few more items off my to-do-list.
97. Reward System Works Best
I prepare my favorite snacks (a specific number) and decide that I will award myself with one only after I finish a specific amount of work. You can try to substitute snacks with playing with your cat, drinking a cup of tea, reading a book for 15 minutes, etc. Just divide your daily workload into segments and reward yourself every time you finish a portion of work. You will have something to look forward to when dealing with a task, which can be very motivational.
98. Work From Home Trick
Try to be friendly and playful about the boundaries, but make sure you stick to them. One fun idea is to make a sign for your office door which indicates whether or not you are working. You can even have your kids help you make the sign, so they don't feel left out.
99. Make Time for You...
Establish a routine and a schedule that defines the boundary between home and work.
- Wake up at the same time every day, shower and get dressed for work.
- Schedule in "face time", both social and work focused, with colleagues and team mates via Microsoft Teams.
- Book in regular breaks and exercise time every day.
- Create a dedicated work space that you can close the door on at the end of each day.
- The right technology is essential, for us that has been Microsoft 365.
100. Be Optimal
My best working from home tip is to find your optimal time range and make the best out of it. This is the period of the day where your mind and body are at their highest functioning levels. Once you identify this window, let your family know so that they can give you ample space and privacy. Working in your optimal hours can have you more productive, focused and efficient than when working during the rest of the day, even if the hours are longer.
101. Find YOUR Rhythm
With SO much home working advice floating about, it's easy to find yourself thinking you're getting things wrong.
In reality, there are no black and white answers. Some workers excel with early mornings, some do their best work burning the midnight oil; Some people need a dedicated workspace, others are perfectly productive curled up on the couch.
So, don't be afraid to discover what works for you. Take other people's advice as guidance, not as a list of prescriptive rules.
102. Grounding Mats
Since starting to work from home during the pandemic, I've been using a grounding mat under my office chair every day.
I've noticed a definite increase in focus and energy since purchasing a grounding mat from Amazon. The most welcome change, however, has been the disappearance of my typical afternoon crash. Where I would usually need a quick power nap or a cup of coffee around 2 PM, the grounding mat has allowed me to stay productive throughout the day without them.
103. "Just Leave It!"
I have asked all my staff around the globe to take a "Me" break every few hours. There is no work too important that they cannot get up and go for a walk to the fridge, the mailbox, the coffee shop. Just get away and just leave it for 30 minutes. Refocus the mind and the body to drive your personal health, and success will let you foster growth forward.
Chris Carter of Approyo
104. The Best Seat in the House
While working from home, a must buy is the best office chair you can afford. After all, sitting, even with timed breaks, is now an endurance sport. Zoom after Zoom, class after class, hour after hour, your back needs your support. Buy the best without breaking your budget.
Like Little Red Riding Hood, "this chair is too soft, too hard... this is just right.", proceed patiently. Read the return policy, order in, and as Mom always said,"You get what you pay for." Mom always knows what's best.
105. Block Out the Noise
There are so many things at home to distract you from work. Kids, pets, noisy neighbors... all of those things can interrupt your concentration.
It’s easier to stay on track if you can cut out the noise around you.
I used to get distracted by the sound of traffic outside my house, but the noise-cancelling headphones I bought eliminated that problem. Now. I'm able to work all day without losing focus!
106. Moving While Working
Adding movement to your work from home day is often overlooked. For me, movement is a way to ensure balance in my life. When I am moving, I feel calm and a sense of peace. If I just sit all day, I feel lethargic. Even 5 minutes at your desk will increase your productivity, motivation, and creativity. If you have children with you, get them moving too. I personally enjoy “walk and talk” meetings while on the phone with my internal team members. I also encourage my team to get out and move.
107. Keep it Clean
Keep your work area clear with no distractions and clean at all times. Your workspace is where you will be spending the majority of your time, especially in a home office. This promotes focus & clarity and can also boost motivation as you get through your tasks.
108. Don't Overwork Yourself
In the midst of the unforeseen crisis, I made it a must to take things easy and cut out unnecessary tasks by outsourcing.
Before the crisis, I have always been too hard on myself. I overworked myself.
I run a few businesses and when the crisis set in, it was more like an opportunity for business reflections.
What I did was to outsource some part of my work process, while I doubled-down on essential tasks.
If you think you need to outsource some tasks to focus on essential ones, do it.
109. Get Into Your FLO
Set, write down, and stick to your “Off-Time". Working from home is seductive in that it allows us to work, anywhere, anytime, and on anything. That’s efficient right? I learned in 1st grade that “any” may not be healthy. The key in your ability to maximize your efficiency at home is a healthy-focused YOU. One must schedule “off-time” with family/friends, to workout, or to just do nothing. Be gentle and present! That’s your FLO!
110. Collaborative Time Blocking
I’ve found it helpful to block out time based on those I live with's schedules. We live in a small space, so it can be a challenge not to distract each other. I get around this by dedicating the quiet morning hours to focus tasks and completing more mindless tasks in the afternoon once everyone is up and moving.
111. Give Structure to Your Day
I have been working from home with my son for a good while now. I have found that creating and enforcing a schedule gives structure to my day. Schedules have allowed my family to respect my work time, since they know that there is room for them, too. I try to hit deadlines early to allow for unforeseen interruptions. Also, as with all new work environments, you need time to decompress. As such, I spend some time away from the house, so as to refresh my mind.
112. Get Dressed Up
Just because you’re stuck in the house doesn’t mean your wardrobe has to collect dust. My tip for meeting work-from-home goals: get dressed up!
When the world was open, you would put on your best outfit and be ready to face the world. There's mental preparation in getting dressed for work. When you do this, it’s easier to get into a productive mindset and lets others around you know that you’re not available to do chores or other tasks around the house.
113. Smart Techniques in Planning
During COVID-19, working from home can be very stressful. Here is what you can do in order to support work-life balance:
1. Drink more water during the day
2. Start a day with a 5-minute meditation
3. Use an effective task planning technique:
- Always plan your daily tasks beforehand
- Write each task from your plan on a separate sticker
- Put the stickers with the tasks in front of you during the day
- When the task is done throw this sticker away
This will help you to stay focused.
114. Recreate Social Pressure
Recreate social pressure - Nobody wants to slack off when they can feel the eyeballs of their highly productive coworkers right next to them in the office. When you are working remotely, it's easy to get undisciplined when nobody is watching. You have to turn yourself into social pressure. Make commitments to yourself around the habits you are going to stick to. Things like: I get my big task done by 8 AM or I spend thirty minutes getting to inbox zero every day at 4:30 PM will help you stay disciplined.
115. Set Your Own Space
Set up a separate office space for your work, avoid spaces like working in your bedroom or on your couch. Set up a desk and a chair and separate the professional from the personal. Get up every hour and get out a least once a day, whether it be walking around the neighborhood, or even around your yard to get a breath of fresh air. Schedule workouts and use the flexibility to your advantage.
116. Commute Around the Block
The easiest way to segment your day and let your family understand when you're available is to "commute" to work by getting dressed, having breakfast, and taking a walk through the neighborhood. Do this again in the evening by leaving the "office" and when you come back, change into 'home' clothes and put all of your work away. Not only does this help you keep a divide between your work and home life, but it's easy for your family to know when to leave you alone!
117. Daily Game Plan
One of the best work from home tips is to create a daily game plan and to stick to it. This will help you prioritize your workload and set realistic deadlines for completing all of your tasks. It is important to manage your time effectively and set daily, weekly, and monthly goals to focus on what needs to be done and not feel overwhelmed.
118. Dress Formally
I know it is shocking for most of the remote workers. Dressing casually is one reason that they want to work remotely. But, our surroundings and dressing have a substantial impact on our subconscious mind. Even colors have different effects on mood. For example, orange is the color known to stimulate cheerful emotions. Dark grey colors are known for triggering inhospitality, stress, and depression.
119. Engage Family Members
Working remotely does not mean to become aloof. Yes, it is good to have a separate workplace. But, if you want a second opinion on your work or you to have multiple options and have to choose one, then take a second opinion of your family members. Engage them in your work. Little sessions of their healthy engagement could disappear the feelings of loneliness.
120. Stay Away from Social Media
While working from home, the most disturbing habit I found was checking on my social media from time to time. It proved to be a giant time-suck and decreased my productivity. I then started working with my mobile and social media notifications off. This helped me greatly, as I only pick the phone when I need to discuss anything with my staff or colleagues. With fewer distractions, I became more focused and more productive.
121. Keep Healthy Snacks Close
One slightly unusual tip I have for working at home is to keep healthy snacks in your workplace. There's nothing more distracting than getting hungry, so being able to grab something quick to eat helps to keep your hunger in check and stay refreshed and focused throughout the day. I make sure to keep these healthy foods near to where I work too, so that I don't even need to get up from my desk and lose focus.
122. Set a Specific Place
A proper workplace area in your home is required where you work on a daily basis. It can also be considered as your primary setup for your business because here you are going to do all the remote work, meeting with your clients, invoicing, making phone calls, ordering, and receiving supplies in that setup. So, a peaceful area is all you need for a proper and constant remote working where you can work easily and calmly.
123. Peace and Quiet
A common theme you hear is people feel that they need to be at their computer more. This can be very counterproductive. You need those regular breaks. You need to give your mind, and eyes a rest; however, distractions can often cause work to slip to the side. It’s a hard balance to find but these tips should make it a lot easier. Find yourself a quiet, comfy spot. Allow for less distractions. Set time limits and boundaries with spouses and children. Set regular breaks and step away.
124. Success Working From Home
Working from home requires discipline. I maintained discipline by sticking to my normal routine prior to COVID-19. I maintain a routine by calendar blocking to do items for the day the night before to prevent procrastination. This also adds structure to my day. I physically write down to do’s for the following day and physically cross the items out as I complete them. This gives me a sense of satisfaction and completion at the end of the workday.
125. A Consistent Routine is Key
With so much going on while working from home, what has worked for me is having a consistent routine. I have set up a 30-60-90 day plan that has helped me prioritize my most important goals. Time blocking has also helped me optimize my days and avoid procrastinating. In addition to this, before winding down for the day, I jot down my intentions for the next day, which helps me feel less scattered, gives me a sense of purpose, and keeps me focused.
Vincent Scaramuzzo of Ed-Exec
126. Get That Lunch Ready!
Prepare your meals beforehand. In this pandemic, I learned how easy it is to be distracted by children, hanging out the laundry or the internet and that it's important to limit your distractions. Let's say that you haven't prepared your lunch, then what is a simple task takes you a lot longer:
You start looking at recipes- 15mins
You haven't got an ingredient so go to the grocery store-3 0mins
Stop for a quick coffee on the way back- 15mins
That's an hour taken up before you've even started cooking.
127. Act Like You are In the Office
Treat working from home the same as if you were in the office. Set up a space for your home office and have set hours for work. Don’t take personal calls, throw in a load of laundry or surf the internet during work hours. It can be tempting, since you are at home, but your productivity will suffer. When your work time is done, close your computer and walk away. It is also tempting to keep working long into the night because you are working from home and the work is right there.
128. Keep Work & Workspace Sacred
Productivity starts with prioritization. Working on the most difficult tasks during the stretch of time where I experience the least interruptions (e.g., early in the morning) allows me to achieve what I need to for the day. Speaking of interruptions (I have three kids), setting boundaries for your workspace also helps. I made the mistake of allowing my son to sit on my lap and watch cartoons on my computer, and he has wanted to do the same ever since. Keep your workspace sacred if you can.
129. Give Your Tired Eyes a Break
As we spend more time at home and in front of screens with work or virtual learning, our eyes are exposed to blue light. Blue light, shortest in wavelength, is the highest energy of all visible light. It’s harmful to the naked eye when emitted by devices for excessive time. It may cause eye fatigue and affect sleep quality. Wearing blue light glasses blocks blue light, helps reduce digital eye strain and gets you a better night’s rest so you can improve productivity and focus while you work.
130. Dress for Success
One of the simplest yet most effective tips for working from home is to dress professionally even though you aren't working in an office. Waking up and making your professional image a priority can have a profound effect on your self-confidence, productivity, motivation and likelihood of achieving success. If you don't wash your face, fix your hair, maintain proper hygiene and dress for success each day, you will likely experience a decrease in confidence and job performance.
131. Separate Work from Home Time
You have to find a way to separate work and home time.
Even if you don't actually have a separate office or workspace, find a way to draw a line between the two parts of your day. If you don't, your workday will bleed into your time off and your non-work distractions will start to nag at you while you're supposed to be working.
Try changing clothes, going for a walk, or at the very least, putting all of your work things away and out of sight.
132. Create Rituals
At Dribbble, every morning begins with employees waving to each other with an emoji. At 4 pm at Allbirds, employees stop what they are doing to drop for 40 push-ups – sometimes including their family members and even pets. The common thread is that they are using rituals throughout the day as a way to connect with others and themselves. Bringing our human to work when you can't go to work is NOT an oxymoron. Rituals have many benefits and can help us not just survive #WFH, but also thrive.
133. Set a Daily Agenda
Working from the office may be replete with inefficiencies, but it still wraps a layer of structure around the day. Working from home often lacks this structure.
Have team members start their day by setting out a high-level agenda for what they plan to accomplish by close of business. In addition to promoting self-accountability for making the best use of their time, these agendas are also principle assets for the one-on-one check-ins managers will be carrying out with greater frequency.
134. Get a Standing Desk
Here is my #1 tip for work from home: GET A STANDING DESK!
Standing desks make it easy to walk in and out of the office if you have family or distractions. If you have kids they - can’t reach, and if you’re zooming - they can’t be seen. They are simple to setup on an existing desk, table, or counter. Finally, studies show that standing improves focus, productivity, and mood.
135. High Productive Period
We all have a specific time in the day where we are more productive as compared to the rest of the daytime. The productive time varies from person to person. Some are productive in early mornings, some get productive after 12-in-the-noon, and many are more energetic in the evening. I have built my work schedule around my peak productivity periods. Since I am more productive early in the mornings, I wake up at 7 am and sit down on my home desk to start soon.
136. Set Work Hours
Initially, working from home made me lazy and I used to start work in the afternoons wasting my morning time. This reduced my productivity and I always end up with backlogs. Then I set specific work hours similar to my office timings. I state the work hours in three intervals, so that I can check on my family side by side. It was hard to follow the time at first, but then it became my everyday routine. Now, my productivity has been increased & I feel more energized.
137. Invest in Communication Tools
During work, it becomes hectic to keep check of all the relevant emails, and it disturbs the whole workflow, as well. The advanced communication tools make the collaboration and communication process more accessible and straightforward. These tools keep the entire work streamlined. Moreover, such tools also include the option of video or audio calling. So, members feel no need to switch to a third-party platform.
138. Get Away from the Screen
Allow yourself a five to ten minute break to go outside and take a quick stroll. Relieve your eyes from blue light and give your brain a quick break! Even if it’s just five minutes, the act of getting up and going outside, stretching your muscles, breathing fresh air, and getting your blood pumping again will increase your focus when you sit back down and keep you from going stir-crazy in your house!
Nina Jensen of 8x8
139. Dedicate Your Work Spot
My tip when working from home is to create a dedicated work spot. It allows you to separate home life and leisure from work, which is key for staying focused and not getting distracted. Ideally, your work spot would not be the same as your bedroom but if need be, to make it work, face a window or away from the rest of the room. A dedicated work space also allows you to separate from other distractions in the house such as family, etc., as they know to not bother you whilst in your work space.
140. Do Not Disturb Mode
My best work from home tip is to tell everyone who is home with you a few hours each day that are "undisturbable work time". During this undisturbable time, everyone in the house should know you are not to be talked to or contacted unless there is an absolute emergency. This allows you a few hours each day to get a lot done, knowing you have no distractions or anything that will pull you away from work during this time.
141. Juggling to Reset Your Mind
Taking short breaks from the computer every half hour and juggling for a couple of minutes improves productivity and creativity. Juggling helps prevent eye fatigue, gets you moving and helps declutter the mind. Juggling takes total focus - so it's a great mental break from the computer screen and lets you return to your work with a fresh perspective.
142. Compartmentalize Your Stress
My best work from home tip is to compartmentalize the stressful and possibly toxic work environment you now have due to covid-19. Many of my friends are working from home after moving back in with parents, and the situation is often less than ideal. What works for me is to imagine the stressful person or situation in a room with no key in a different country. This might sound strange, but it helps me to stop ruminating about future stressful situations and allows me to sit down and get to work.
143. Work in a Separate Space
My number one tip is to set up a separate physical space to work in. Do not try to make an office work in a shared living area. The kitchen table will not work. Use your home’s home office or a separate private area like the basement. If you are in a shared apartment, stay in your room. Enforce these boundaries with those whom you share the living space with. This will also eliminate distractions you might not even be aware of.
144. Create a Dedicated Work Area
The best productivity tip I can give your readers is simple and pretty doable. I recommend getting a dedicated space as your work area, preferably a workstation free from any distractions. A dedicated home office helps condition your body to go into a productive state of mind whenever you’re in the area. As such, it would help boost productivity levels the more your body gets used to the environment.
145. Make Yourself a Priority
My top tip is to find time to work when everyone at home is busy doing their own thing. Or take a timeout and let your family know not to bother you! You deserve time to yourself just like everyone. Make yourself a priority! My son’s school is completely online, which means he is home with me. I used to get work done while he was at school, but now I work around his schedule. He has his school session in the morning with this teacher and then he has therapy. I get work done during these times.
146. Work With a Schedule
Working with a schedule helps ensure you get things done. Otherwise, you might be tempted to delay doing tasks if you do not have a specific work timetable. One benefit of working from home is you can do your assignments outside of your usual working hours. I recommend doing them during a period when you feel most productive.
147. Multitask Wisely
Don’t overdo multitasking. Studies show that once you divide your attention among multiple projects, the quality of your work diminishes. You’re not giving 100% of yourself to any one project. But, some projects don’t demand 100% of your attention. The secret to remote worker success is learning to differentiate what projects demand your full attention and which can be done in conjunction with other tasks.
148. Master Self-discipline
Leave the comfy couch, and have a proper & personal working space to increase your efficiency and productivity. Dress up like you’d for the office. Focus on adhering to the established timings for office hours. There will be plenty of distractions. A child needing your attention will have the precedence! But, there will come a time when your self-discipline will pay off. It always does! Ultimately, you’ll be able to establish a routine, with occasional hiccups, of course!
149. Work Vertically, Like a Cat
Work on multiple physical levels. Being based in Japan, I’m used to sitting on floors. I like it. But at times, I want to stand or to sit at a desk. For wfh, I use all three. It keeps me sharp all day. I alternate my laptops between a standing desk, meeting table, and floor table. Angle changes are good for back and wrist health. Post-lunch drowsiness? I stand. Sore feet? I sit. Heavy reading? I floor-sit or kneel. You can arrange all three in one room. It helps to have monitors to plug into.
Adam Goulston of Tsujiru
150. Getting Enough Natural Light
The best investment I made is renovating the room to get enough natural light inside the home. Natural light is 100x brighter (10,000 lux) than indoor light (100 lux), using a “Happy Light” at a consistent time and above your head can greatly improve mood. I've also saved electricity from making this minor adjustment.
151. Working from Bed Won't Help!
Fixed working hours and a separate working area/room/corner is a must. I have a guest bedroom. It is my new office. My working hours are strictly followed and none of my family members disturb me during those hours. Apart from that, I have set-up a desk in the guest room and an office chair. Working from the bed won't help you. Setting up a proper working place is very important.
152. Mini-Mastermind Group at Home
Encourage your kids to build their own businesses. It's like having your own mastermind group at home. It's a great way to motivate yourself. I get a lot of ideas from my teenagers on how they do business. They encourage me to try new things. And when I mentor them, I really hold myself accountable because I'm leading from example.
153. The Best WFH Tips
One tip that I'd like to give you is to use a VPN when accessing your company's network from your home systems.
Working from home brings a lot of security risks and since the company data is critical and confidential, allowing you to work from home poses a lot of risks. A VPN takes care of that problem.
A dedicated IP is also used to white list employees to access the company domains and systems remotely. So, it is required to make sure that the VPN you choose offers a dedicated IP.
Muhammad Mustafa M. Aslam of Gaditek
154. Stick to One Digital Workspace
Any remote worker and their team should set up a digital workspace. One place where the entire work happens, where the tasks are created and assigned, where the communication takes place. The most important part of the process is to stick to one such workspace and one communication channel. This way, your digital work elements will stay organized and easy to find, while communication with your team won't be scattered across emails, chats or other platforms.
Agnieszka Kasperek of Taskeo
155. Best Work from Home Tips
As a fellow passenger in this global pandemic, many have been forced to work from home. While this may seem ideal, there are factors that can affect productivity. The most important thing is to set your work environment, not only in terms of time and physical setting, but also with your co-habitants. Organize a fixed period where you can focus on your work, free from any home obligations and distractions. Once it’s established, you can build the other facets of your remote workplace.
156. Work Phone Makes a Difference
Working from home is appealing for some people, but devastating for others. Dedicated working space, time schedule, and so-needed privacy are good, but there's one more thing that makes a difference when the border between work and life blurs. Maintaining a separate phone number has proven to justify itself. It can be a landline, a new sim card, or a Skype number for work only. Don't underestimate the opportunity to switch it off when the day is over and get some quality time with beloved people.
157. Make the Most of To-do Lists
Make a point to break up tasks into bite-size pieces if you're struggling to get something done during the lockdown. Remind yourself that you aren't expected to do everything at once. Instead, work on your tasks a bit at a time and reward yourself for making progress.
That's when written to-do lists come in handy. One of the core advantages of using a written to-do list is that they give us a structure, a plan to stick to, which helps dampen the anxiety associated with the chaos of life.
158. Fun Alarms
Working for home MUST be FUN! Otherwise you might get burned out. The BEST advice we can give you is to find something that’s FUN TO DO and obligate to that as part of your work schedule. These Fun Activities will make sure you stay ENERGIZED!
For example, when Covid-19 started, one of my employees started BeatBoxing, he created Fun Alarms for himself and after every 50 minutes of work, he takes a 10 minutes break for a Fun Activity.
What will you ENJOY doing on your breaks?
159. Play That Concentration Music
Working from home isn’t easy, but with the right methods, it can be very practical.
One of my top tips for getting the most out of working from home, especially during COVID-19, is to find the right music. One of my favorite playlists to listen to during work is Music for Concentration (available on Spotify) which features a focused blend of classical music. Invest in a quality pair of headphones, press play, zone out the chaos around you, and power through your to-do list.
160. Strict Working Area Rules
Section off a portion of your living area for work. Treat it as a home office where nothing else but work takes place. Condition yourself into habits that help you get into the state of flow. Feel like opening your phone to check the news or want to have a snack? Physically get up to do it outside of your work area. Build a strict association with the work environment.
Domantas Gudeliauskas of Zyro
161. Drink More & Move More
Place a water bottle on your desk.
A lot of people don't drink enough in their home office, since there's no water cooler and no colleague asking for a joint coffee break.
Drinking enough helps you stay hydrated and efficient throughout the day.
It also helps you to be a little more active, either to go to the toilet or to refill your water bottle.
And we all know we move way too little when sitting in front of a computer!
162. Categorized & Prioritized
To stay focused amid spouses, children, and other distractions when working from home, use a To-Do list. It should be handwritten, and it should have 3 categories: one for stuff you have to do, another for things you can get to but can be put off if necessary, and a third for minor things you can knock out on slow days. Prioritize items according to when you're at your best. Early risers should schedule heavy lifting in the AM; night owls should pencil-in significant work for the PM.
163. Develop Your Business
As the CEO of a business that is committed to helping businesses achieve their goals, I’ve always been a huge advocate for using the spare time you have working from home, where there isn’t the distraction of office life, to develop your business.
We hosted Transform 2020 in September, an event that has been designed to do just that. The talks from the likes of Steven Bartlett and Nicole Yershon are available to those looking to grow their business via our academy.
164. Best Work from Home Tips
The best tip I have for working from home is to get a separate room (or a space) just for work. For me, a room works the best because I have small children and they don’t really know what “daddy has a meeting” means, so they’ll just walk in as the meeting takes place. It will also help you focus on work only.
Dmytro Okunyev of Chanty
165. Get Outside!
You'd be surprised how impactful a little bit of fresh air can be on your productivity.
Working from home while the family is there can be tough, but we have to make it work for a little bit. Eventually, as a way to refocus, I get outside by myself for a little walk and it makes a world of difference.
If needed, throw on your walking shoes every hour for a 10-minute walk. When you get back, you'll feel recharged and ready to get some work done!
166. Segregate Work from Home
When working from home, it is important to segregate the workspace clearly from the living space. Work and leisure simply do not mix well together. Having the workspace located in your bedroom or living room exposes you to distractions and significantly lowers productivity. I would advise setting up the workspace away from these distractions to improve focus and concentration.
167. Kitchen is the New Break Room
The kitchen is the new break room in our house! It should be used for conversation, coffee, and eating, not laptops and conference calls that disturb everyone. We have found this to be helpful with 4 adults working from home.
Designating spaces like the dining room as shared work space also helps define space and set expectations which everyone seems to appreciate!
Theda Blackwood of Theorem
168. Have a Designated Workspace
With the rise of remote work post COVID-19, many people have mixed their personal and professional lives within their home. One of the best ways to stay on track is to have a designated space for work within your home. This helps keep you organized, focused on the tasks at hand, and also mentally sets you up to "check-in" to work when you enter this space. It's a quick tip but works wonders for those of us who may have other "coworkers" in the home that can distract us from work time.
169. Put on Your Dress Shoes
Approach your work as if you are a professional and that includes continuing to dress like you are going to the office. Men, put on your dress pants, hard shoes, and tie that tie. Women, put on the skirt or dress, heals, and make up. Don't use our virtual workspace as an excuse to only dress professionally above the waist. This includes deodorant, perfume or cologne, and even your underwear. Keep your work life as close to normal as possible and improve your attitude about your job.
170. Eat, Move, Breathe
My best work from home tip is to take a lunch break where you actually leave your home office, cook a meal and eat it with any family in the home. If you have time, you can use this time to do some squats or take a walk. Any chance to get out of the house refreshes the body and mind and takes you out of "work mode", so you can return refreshed and ready to work. I am so much more productive when I've had some fresh air and a bite to eat; it's like a reset button.
171. Work/Life Balance -Imperative
Better work life balance is definitely key during this pandemic. For the most part, all you have is WORK and limited things that pull you in different directions. This can in turn yield greater productivity and an ability to be more “present” for life. Enjoy those family dinners, cooking, taking walks, just sitting back and reading or taking a bike ride. Technology makes it all simpler... so, take advantage of it.
Thanks to: Alison Bernstein.
172. Early Mornings & Quick Breaks
I work from home both for my employed job and for my side business. Despite my flexible schedule, having structure helps. First, I wake up at 4 am daily to get some solo productivity time. This gives me a solid three hours without distraction, and I can pretty much bang out a solid day's worth of work in this time. Secondly, I get outside every hour to take a 5-10 minute walk. I find that this brief break allows me to relax and re-focus to remain productive throughout the day.
173. Multi-tasking Does Not Work!
Set a schedule, follow it, and make sure you focus your full attention to one thing at a time, be it your children, spouse or a specific task at work. You'll be amazed at how much more you can do at work and how much better the quality of your interactions will be with your family. Multi-tasking does not work!
174. Beat the Sun!!
Get up before (not with) sunrise! Many entrepreneurs have partners and children, in addition to leading a team. It's so important to get up before everyone else. It is amazing what you can accomplish in the minutes and hours before the emails, calls, and text messages roll in. I see it as a temporary sacrifice. This uninterrupted work time, with zero distractions, will help you be more productive the rest of the day. The earlier you can wake up, the better you'll be proactive vs reactive.
175. Learn to Say No
Give yourself permission to say no. Whether it means sleeping in (no to an alarm clock), meditating, taking a walk, or just turning off my phone and computer (no, I will respond later on my own schedule), simple acts of letting myself relax and enjoy the moment are the very best gifts I can give myself. You can fill a calendar to stay busy, but what matters most is having impact on people’s lives, which has nothing to do with volume of activity, it's about touching people in meaningful ways.
176. Separate Non-distraction Work
As a work-from-home mom for the last five years, my top tip is to separate your distraction work from your non-distraction work. Tasks you can afford to get distracted from are like checking emails, doing research, or tracking business expenses. Tasks you don’t want to get distracted from could be creative or strategic work. This way, if you can only get a couple hours of childcare in a day, then you save the priority work for then, and everything else is done while caring for your children.
177. It's About Balance
It's about balance - the door can't be closed all the time. I installed a red light above my office door; on means 'in a meeting', off means, 'come on in'. My toddler loves it!
178. Set Up a Home Office
If you get easily distracted at home, build your own tiny office and make it a bit more formal, so that you have a sense of responsibility when working. It doesn’t have to be an entire room - sometimes, a simple corner will do. This work station of yours should be equipped with all of the tools and supplies you need, as well as with lots of natural light. If you shut yourself in a dark corner, you will struggle a lot with staying awake and focused on work.
179. Know Thyself!
To be successful at remote working, it's necessary that you have a deep understanding of your psychological needs. These needs will vary from individual to individual. Introverts might find it easier to work from home, love all the time alone and even thrive. Extroverts may just need to approach their day differently. For example, they might find a "work buddy" to team up with and get work done "separately together". If you are new to remote work, experiment with your routine. Know thyself!
180. Separation, Not Balance
I'm the Founder and CEO of Mergers & Inquisitions, a finance site with over 500,000 monthly visitors. I've operated as a remote CEO while living in places like Australia, Spain, Argentina, and South Korea.
The best way to succeed in working from home is by designating spaces for work and life. Convert an underutilized room such as a second bedroom into a home office. Not only will this maintain an established professional environment, but it also helps you relax and enjoy home life.
181. Best Work from Home Tip
In the beginning of the pandemic, I juggled virtual school, the kids and business as the day unfolded. Over the summer, I create a "Block Schedule" for the fall that would work for the whole family and my business. Block scheduling my days has helped me stay on track with the homeschooling, the house, and my business. Each hour of the day has a purpose and I focus only on those tasks at the assigned times. Once you have created the schedule, make sure to share it with your team and family.
182. Work from Home and Stay Sane
Are you at risk of losing your mind by having to work from home what with kids, pets, and spouses all under the same roof during a pandemic? The very best way to maximize efficiency and minimize stress while working from home is to have a designated work space that is strictly yours to stay focused and organized. If you don’t have a separate office, create one in a corner, a closet or a refrigerator box. Desperate times...
183. Choose a "Stopping Time"
The key to working productively from home is to pick a "stopping time". When we lack physical boundaries between work and home, it's important to create this time boundary. This strategy ensures that my work doesn't bleed into all aspects of my life and that I'm more mindfully productive because I've given myself a defined period of time to get things done (invoking Parkinson's Law, which states that work expands to fill the time allotted).
184. Wake Up Before Your Kids!
If you have children at home, wake up two hours before they normally do. If you can get a solid two hours of uninterrupted work in before they wake up, it will set a good foundation for efficiency during the rest of your day’s work.
185. Playing Tetris® or Calendaring
My best tip for staying focused and not forgetting your life is calendaring! Just create Tetris type blocks on your calendar to hold time for walking the dog, finishing a report, helping your kids with homework, project work, or yoga. It sets expectations on deadlines and your availability. If you’re struggling with “shutting down” for the day, include it in your blocks to be accountable for logging off and unwinding with family.
186. Get the Kids in on the Action
The pandemic has changed a lot of things, especially how we work. Regardless, some give and take is required to stay motivated and make this experience a success. If you have children at home, alternate shifts, with one working and one teaching or playing with the kids. Give your children little tasks to do, so that they feel as if they're a part of your work day. We like to let the kids feed the chickens, or even clean up our makeshift work spaces. Keeping things clean can also be productive!
187. Have a Designated Workspace
The Remote Nation Institute polled 850+ remote workers & found that the #1 indicator of working from home success & satisfaction is a designated space to work in. As an expert with 20+ years of experience leading virtual teams to top productivity, I say that whether it is a home office or a spot at the dining room table, having a designated space allows you to focus free from distractions and return to where you left off, similar to going into a physical office.
188. Change Your Scenery
When working from home, the same four walls may get a little boring after a bit, which is why you have to change things up to stay creative. Stay at a hotel for a few days, where you can take your breaks poolside. Many hotels are even offering "remote work" packages for this new surge of home workers. If you want to REALLY get away, several Vegas casino hotels offer these remote work getaways. If you need to stick close to home, though, your patio or deck can be a fresh change, as well.
Angela Ash of UpFlip
189. Communication Is Key
When working from home, the need for communication and collaboration is a must. Remote teams that don't keep in touch are never as successful as those who schedule regular meetings and remain in direct contact when working on a project. While there are a plethora of project-management apps, sometimes a quick message can get you back to work faster. That's where Slack steps in. Imagine everything you love about your favorite social messenger, but it can also integrate with other apps, like Asana.
190. Visual Balance Brings Peace
Visual balance is critical for a more productive home office.
Why? Visual balance allows the eyes to rest so the brain can relax, which instantly reduces stress. In turn, the mind gets inspired, leading to higher motivation and productivity.
1. Remove clutter.
2. Hang a positive, inspiring piece of art as the main focal point to harmonize your room; art without text or words so the brain is not distracted, just colors and imagery, so the mind can relax and be inspired.
191. Be Ready
One thing I learned from my time working from Tarik “Starway” Baker and Boola Got Beats is that one always has to be dressed and ready for success in the business day. Nowadays, it’s more Zoom and online meetings but before Covid-19, one had to be ready to meet with potential clients at any given notice or travel to another destination for work. Being ready like this allows for one to meet new goals and challenges a bit easier, because one is always on call to solve problems.
192. A Date With Myself
Managing my PR firm from home makes it easy to work longer hours than usual. The rush to get to the office has been replaced with the urgency to get to the computer. Workdays that once started at 8 now begin at 6. No one is there to say, “Time to go home." To keep of sound mind, I changed the one thing that was always hardest for me -- ending the workday at a decent hour. I now have scheduled a daily 5 p.m. yoga date with myself, closing the office door behind me as I leave to get my mat.
193. Don’t Work in Bed
Though tempting, you’re better off avoiding the urge to work in bed. You might get sleepy again or find it difficult to feel like you’re fully awake and alert, which will adversely affect the tasks you’re doing. Plus, you would have a tough time shutting off your brain when it’s bedtime. Just wake up, make your bed, get ready, and grab a cup of coffee – just like any other normal morning.
194. Minimize Distractions
One of the most important keys to a successful work-from-home day is to operate as if you’re at your desk. Think about it: would you pause work to, let’s suppose, do groceries if you were on the clock? You probably wouldn’t. Make sure to work someplace where you won’t be tempted or distracted – even if that means working at the dining table.
195. Wind It Up!
Use the Pomodoro method, but with a real kitchen timer that kids can wind up. Have them spend the 20-minute sprints doing something on their own, such as reading, drawing, working a puzzle or doing homework and once the time is up, take a break for something fun together, such as a mini-dance party or jumping on the trampoline. It's easy to get the kids on board since they can focus for a short time, knowing they'll have your attention during the break.
196. White Noise Helps My Focus
I've grown particularly fond of noise-cancelling headphones. While I'm sure there are many suitable options, I went with Bose and couldn't be happier! Sometimes I'll listen to music, but I more regularly activate the noise-cancelling feature only and enjoy the silence it provides. I've found this loosely mimics the hum or white noise you experience during a flight, which I enjoy for work. I'm achieving in-office productivity and focus when my family is home, so I highly recommend them!
197. Redirect: It's for the Dogs!
As a team of animal lovers that manufacture all-natural pet products, we find working from home a pawsome opportunity to redirect our focus from selling to developing new lines. We cannot visit client vets and groomers, so we decided to spend this time developing unusual, pure products new to the marketplace for online customers. Once we have tested them on ourselves, our pets get their own spa days. Yes, we had to adapt to a new work environment, but for us, it’s just different, not ruff.
198. Cultivate Relationships
You're going to spend a lot of time around the people you live with. If you have lingering bitterness or relationship issues with any of them, take care of them. Otherwise, they'll surface again—and quickly.
For me, that has meant making extra time to cultivate the relationships I have with my wife and kids.
Working from home is difficult enough to do well. Having positive relationships with the people you share the space with will help tremendously.
199. Prioritize Schedule
In my experience as a parent with a 5-month-old daughter, working from home is a challenge. After a few trials and errors as to what strategies work, me and my wife concluded that we should just prioritize our schedule to be more efficient and productive with our work-from-home setup. Luckily, I have a flexible time with my company. When my wife works, I watch over our kid. When I need to finish something urgent, we switch roles.
Patrick Garde of ExaWeb
200. Keep a Dedicated Workspace
Our work from home tip is to ensure a dedicated workspace in the home. This will help maintain a feeling of normalcy and as a result, can help keep up productivity during work hours and serve as a mood booster through the work-life separation. Consider decorating the work station with a plant or trinkets that can make it feel more like a workspace. Also, try to keep the station near a source of natural light to compensate for the natural light being missed due to a lack of “outside” time.
Omair Khan of DSRPT
201. Employee of the Week
What matters in WFH teams is helping everyone feel recognized and appreciated. By creating a reward system, like choosing the best employee every week, it’ll help boost their motivation. When they feel like their hard work is valued, their satisfaction and productivity will rise. As a result, they can stay motivated or even improve their excellent work. If one employee becomes an employee of the week, others will be inspired to enhance their work performance and increase their level of productivity.
202. Work from Home Tips
Close your computer during lunch and after work. This is hard if you want to watch Netflix at 5 PM, but for at least an hour, once you're done, close your laptop. Make it clear for yourself when you’re working and when you aren’t. For lunch, don’t eat while looking at Slack. After work, add a buffer period of no screen time. Talk to your partner, pet the cat, take a walk. Whatever gives your eyes time to rest and which creates a delineation of work and relaxation.
Amanda Haynes of Ganttic
203. Sleep Well!
It might sound obvious, but getting enough healthy sleep helps you stay sane when wfh. You see, you can't treat sleep as something you can caffeinate over. If you want to be productive, make sure you get 7.5 to 8 hours of sleep every night. Deciding on a consistent pre-midnight bedtime will remove the brain-fogged feeling and keep your mind fresh and sharp. There's plenty of apps out there that will support you in pre-bedtime, i.e., iPhone's built-in bedtime feature.
Nina Krol of Zety
204. My Best Tip to Work from Home
I am a morning person and what works for me is waking up early in the morning before my daughter wakes up. This way, I am able to achieve important tasks without any disturbance and then throughout the day, I can fit in calls, emails, or shorter tasks that require less focus. If due to some reason I am unable to do this, I try to tackle some tasks after my kid is in bed. That also guarantees no disturbance and more productivity.
205. Create a Strict WFH Schedule
Create a schedule like you would if you were working in the office. This one simple tip can save you from the procrastination of leaving things for later, as well as getting caught in the task and ending up extending way beyond the official working hours. Keeping your day structured will keep you on the right track to achieve maximum productivity. The easiest and simplest way to do this is by using an online calendar.
206. A Restriction-free Routine!
A restriction-free routine!
Some hate routine and prefer to be spontaneous.
However, routine gives me purpose - it keeps me focused and on track.
Also, it's my routine, I've set the rules.
I keep it restriction-free by making my workspace a tranquil and aspirational area.
My desk is tidy, no clutter, no distractions.
My room is filled with items I love - penguins, lava lamps, Lego...
I enjoy being in my workspace, therefore, I'm always happy when I work.
When I'm happy, I work efficiently!
207. Dining Tables are for Eating
Try not to use the dining table as a home office. It might be tempting because it seems easy, but moving your computer to set the table and then quickly gathering all the plates to start working again 2 or 3 times a day gets really frustrating, really fast.
Irina Bogdan of Point2
208. Hey, I'm Off to the Office!
I act as if I’m still going to the office. I go through the motions of waking up early, taking a bath, dressing up for work, and going through my “daily commute” (even if it means just going up and down the stairs). I even replicated my “office workspace” at home (I even got the same “desk stuff”). Space is important for me, so having this familiar “office setting” helps put me in the zone to be productive.
209. Schedule + Incentivize
Schedule your days + incentivize yourself w/ penalties. Set yourself strict, manageable deadlines that are before the actual due dates. Deadlines can be great incentives in their own right because missing each one is a small failure and hardly anyone likes the idea of failure. But if you find that deadlines alone aren’t enough of an incentive to get you to work, start to implement penalties that come into force when you miss your deadlines or when you aren’t productive.
210. Adhere to a Schedule
I’ve made a conscious effort to adhere to a schedule. Remote work can blur the balance between work and home, so having a daily schedule has helped me work most efficiently. I create guidelines for when I work and when I call it a day, I communicate my work schedule with my colleagues and supervisors, and I communicate my schedule with my family so we can all limit distractions during the day.
211. Go With the Flow
Make the most of it and go with the flow. My family and I recently relocated from Dallas to the Nashville area, five months after I started my new role remotely. With four young children at home doing their e-learning, I had to be flexible about when I could take calls – and especially, from where. I took several calls from my daughter’s room and even from my car in my garage. We all had to work together to get our collective work done, and we did so by staying calm and going with the flow!
Michael Stahl of SERVPRO
212. Scheduling and Transparency
Managing my kids’ time allows me to create pockets of work time for myself. We do this by building in daily school time coupled with a daily schedule that lets the kids know what they should be doing. Importantly, by limiting their screen time to just two hours each day, they can entirely focus on the show and allow us to focus on work during that time slot. I would say setting a family schedule and being transparent about it has helped with productivity, efficiency, and well-being.
213. Me for 90
After working from home for months, I felt busier than ever but didn’t like any part of my days. Other people were hijacking my days and the resentment caused a lack of motivation and energy. So, I started waking up 90 minutes earlier. “Me for 90” rules are no email, phone, or housework. I only do things for myself such as exercise, meditate, special projects, reading books, or learning something new. Since starting, I have more motivation & focus, and energy for my family.
214. Bring Out Your Smurfs
Creating your space at home means one thing – making it yours. Now that we have space that really no one else can see – somewhere off camera, surround yourself with the authentic you. There are so many things in our life that are not always suited to the office, but nurture our mental health just by being able to see them – one of mine is my Smurf collection. I have items off-camera that reflect and nurture me and also support my mental health at a time when it's very fragile.
215. Be Consistent and Intentional
With so much going on while working from home, what has worked for me is having a consistent routine. I have set up a 30-60-90 day plan that has helped me prioritize my most important goals. Time blocking has also helped me optimize my days and avoid procrastinating. In addition to this, before winding down for the day, I jot down my intentions for the next day, which helps me feel less scattered, gives me a sense of purpose, and keeps me focused.
216. Oxygenated Brains Work Better!
Your brain needs oxygen to work at top performance! Office buildings pump fresh oxygen through the AC system, but not all of our homes do the same. So, make sure to open your windows and let fresh air in at least twice a day, for 10-15 minutes or more, to create a healthy working environment for your brain. Feeling drowsy and tired might be a sign of poor oxygenation, that might be a good cue to open your windows and let fresh air in. Adding more plants to your room will also help!
217. Stick to it
Establish a schedule and stick to it. For highly-motivated workers, it can actually be more difficult to maintain your work/life balance when you work remotely, and this can quickly lead to burnout if you’re not careful. If you find yourself constantly working well into the evening or logging in on the weekends, you may benefit from using a time tracker app to keep yourself honest about adhering to your schedule.