Working from home is not for everyone. I am useless at it! After I sold my store Green Grass Home & Body Bulimba two and a half years ago, I traveled for a bit and then thought that I would re-start Little Bowerbird Interiors working from home. Ummm, no. I had to move into a outside office to get anything done, plus I was missing the face to face interaction with others.
I know that I'm not the only one who has had to work from home and really struggled. I spoke with two friends this week, one has been staying in her PJ's for most of the day and the other togs and a robe because she has a pool! Both felt like they were really unproductive. I'm better at it now, so here is what I have learned about working from home and how to get though it...
1. The most important one is this: set your alarm for the same time as usual and do your usual morning routine. If you aren't doing some form of exercise in the morning then start earlier and finish earlier so you can fit in at end of the day. I think it's critical to at least fit in a walk. You have to get out of the house and see the world. Have breakfast and get dressed!
2. Make a designated work space if you can. This might mean setting up a small desk in the corner of your living room or spare room. There are lots of `home desks' available that are more narrow than a regular commercial type desk so they will fit better in a smaller spot. Also, make sure have a comfortable desk chair not a dining chair. Your back will thank you for it. Set it up with what you need but don't forget to add some personal touches so you love sitting there. I'm a bit of a neat freak, I can't work with mess around me so off to Officeworks for some desk accessories.
Home desks are generally only about 500 Deep so fit well into smaller spaces:
3. Make sure you have good light. Office light is generally broadly lighting your desk but at home make sure you have great natural light or a good lamp. Eye strain will zap your energy. I prefer a warm bulb in all my lighting rather than cool, I find it easier on the eyes and makes you look better!
4. Make sure you take breaks but don't turn the TV on at lunch! I don't know about you but I can get sucked into daytime TV rubbish and next thing I know 2 hours has gone by! Have a healthy lunch on your balcony if you can and not at your desk.
5. Lastly, spend the last 15 mins of your working day writing in your diary a list of things for tomorrow or rest of week. Pack away your laptop and tidy your desk, especially if it's in your living space or bedroom. This way you are less likely to work after hours. Really, unless you need to, let it go at the end of the day and give your mind a break. Working from home is about setting boundaries, especially now that everyone knows we are at home. Don't check your emails, leave them for tomorrow and enjoy your life!
I hope this gives you a few tips on working from home, remember friends...boundaries! Saying no to something outside of your normal work hours is totally ok. It takes a while to get into a new routine and I am no expert but I try and break up my work into different chunks so I'm not working on one thing all day. I find this helps keeping my focus. Good luck everyone!
And of course, don't hesitate to get in touch if you need any assistance with a home office!
PS. I am going to post my pumpkin and coconut soup on our newsletter, so many people ask me for it and now that we have more time...I thought why not! Sign up for our newsletter if you haven't already. x