We just realised that our lifestyle for the past 15 years is somehow called quarantine!
TALES OF A DUDE WHO HAS ALWAYS WORKED FROM HOME
When I tell people that I work from home, something that I’ve heard most often is versions of ‘I don’t know how you can work from home, I’d never get anything done!’. I think people who are office based think the home workers have it easy and the home workers think that the office workers spend all day chatting, and as with anything the truth is somewhere in between. In fact Bruce Daisley (European VP of Twitter and host of business podcast Eat, Sleep, Work, Repeat) says that the research suggests that home workers often work much longer hours and can suffer anxiety as they know that the office workers think they are just at home slacking!
As someone who has worked from home for nearly 15 years, I thought it would be a good time to share my tips to make sure that you remain productive at this time, even if this all new to you. A good structure for home working is crucial:
1. SET THE ALARM
A real one, not from your phone if you can so that you leave that one outside. Knowing that you HAVE to get up at a certain time to make sure that you catch the train or beat the traffic is usually the motivation that drags you out of bed in the morning. With this gone, it's possible that you might be thinking of the extra hours shut eye that you have always longed for. But in my experience your morning routine will set the tone for your day and its critical that you nail it. Still set that alarm to get up, but not 5 minutes before you need to log on!
My advice is to keep the alarm at the same time and use your normal travel time productively.
2. HAVE A MORNING ROUTINE
Get a clear and consistent morning routine and stick to it. Tony Robbins calls his ‘priming’ and Hal Elrond wrote a book called ‘The Miracle Morning’ about it. Get this right and you are winning!
When I’m working from home my alarm goes off at 5.45 and after a glass of water, I train. I would recommend 20-40 minutes of exercise and trust me, you will feel great knowing that before most people have dragged themselves up, YOU have achieved something meaningful. Of course we can help you with home workout spaces, but you really don’t need much. Next, have breakfast (not with your laptop next to you or phone in hand) and get ready for the day. This part may be personal to you, but here’s what works for me before I get stuck into emails, calls or whatever else is on the agenda.
I also add some meditation a few times per week (I’m not consistent enough with this but I’d recommend using the Insight Timer app).
I can just see thousands of people during the Isolation period wondering down the stairs in PJ’s, bleary eyed, grabbing a coffee, opening the lap top, and sitting on the sofa in front of the TV. DON’T DO THIS!
Find a spot in the house that will be your temporary office at this time. Spare room if you have one, dining room maybe, but probably it will be the kitchen table. I would urge you to stay away from the TV (even if you are catching up on the latest COVID-19 news) and create a working space. Atomic Habits by James Clear talks brilliantly about this topic.
Also, if you have little ones try to separate the family and work space as best you can.
4. SET TIMES
Often people that work from home fall into one of two opposite traps. They never get started or they never stop. Keep to your normal working hours and set times during the day when you will have coffee breaks and stop for lunch. You should find you are far more productive at home without the distractions of your colleagues around you talking about last nights Love Island!
Something I must say is that when working from home some can feel more isolated than others. Of course this is something we are all going to experience in one way or another in the coming weeks or months and to that extent we are all learning. I can’t emphasise enough the importance, now more than ever, to STAY ACTIVE, go outside for a walk or run (ideally in nature) and take care of yourself.