As a freelancer, working from home is my daily bread. With the outbreak of COVID-19, I now have to cut sitting around cafes or co-working spaces and need to work purely from home. And although I love working remotely, there are some rules I need to follow in order to be as productive as possible.
1. Getting dressed
Although I would love to spend the whole day in PJ's, changing my clothes really makes a difference. Though I rarely opt for skirt and shirt, I tend to have a favourite jumpsuit or a pair of leggings on and end up wearing almost everyday. Make-up free is almost a must for me, but if I go out in the afternoon, I sometimes put on a lipstick and it works wonders. Having created a little work uniform has really helped me start my work day properly.
2. Self-care instead of commute
You know I love self-care. And especially because I do not have to travel to work, I spend the first twenty minutes of my day practicing yoga. This helps me get ready for the day and stretches my body to avoid any backache that would otherwise hit me during the day. Enjoying breakfast and making a cup of tea is also something I TRY TO incorporate into my daily routine before I start to work.
3. Dedicate spaces to work and leisure
Working from home does not mean working from anywhere possible. You still need a space in your house that will not be dedicated to your job. Therefore, I allocate relevant zones where I will be writing, reading and emailing, and the rest is for household. Cleaning, laundry and cooking, these areas I try to avoid when I need to focus.
4. Take breaks and be kind to yourself
When you are at the office, you hardly work non-stop. Some people tend to be very strict with themselves when working from home. I often remind myself to be kind. I grab a cuppa when I feel like it and don’t feel guilty about those five minutes not spent at the laptop. Besides, a break helps my brain recharge and boosts my creativity levels. Yay!
" I often try to remind myself to be kind. "
5. Set boundaries and create an agenda
Deciding when is the right time to turn off my laptop is hard. When my mind starts wandering off, I know I have to stop. I turn off my computer, set up an ‘away’ status on chat and leave my work zone. Most tasks can wait till tomorrow and if it is urgent, I try to keep my phone within reach till about 7pm.
6. Repurpose apps - chat on Slack
Working remotely can feel lonely and isolating. And so I sometimes use WhatsApp and Slack to just talk to to my colleagues about topics that are not related to work. Sometimes, I bloody miss humans and just sending a funny gif can get me through a long day.
Working from home can be challenging, but it also creates many additional benefits. I always plan to finally start cooking but it never happens. Till I can order takeaway, I will, or just end up having pasta five days a week. Oh well, nobody's perfect! But what I can do is to take little steps towards perfecting my home-office routine and enjoy the little accomplishments I make every day. Working from home suits me far better than the office and I am happy to share this with you at times when increasingly more people have to work remotely. Glad to hear your tips or give advice. Happy remote working!
Photo credit: Kertwo K. (@kertwo_com)