In these unprecedented times I’m looking back at my recent trip to Egypt to visit my grandma, which seems so long ago now. It was in fact only three weeks ago! I’m sure cabin fever is setting in for most of us by now especially if we’re working at home with children, so here are my top tips for how to make working at home a little bit easier:
- I have been using the pomodoro technique which is a really simple way of breaking up your time into short blocks with breaks in between. Set a timer for 25 minutes and work solidly, then take a break for 5 minutes. Repeat this 4 times and then take a 20-minute break. I find this really helps me to keep focused, it has also been helping my 13 year old son do his homeschooling. He says it makes it much easier for him to focus and he doesn’t get so bored with his work.
- I am really terrible at getting distracted by my phone when I’m trying to work so I’ve started using an app called off the grid. It’s the only app that seems to work because once you have locked yourself out of your phone for your chosen block of time you have to pay to get back in! Thanks @ngaioanyia for the recommendation!
- I can’t stress enough how important it is to get outside each day; obviously that can be a bit more difficult depending on where you live, but we’re still allowed to go outside to exercise so just even going for a walk down the pavement or to a local park is really valuable for clearing your head
- One thing I struggle really bad with when I left to work on my own is accountability so at the moment I’m working both for myself and for my employer, and each morning I have been emailing work with a list of things I’m working on that day so that I know I have to to do them. If you have another friend who is also working at home, why don’t you set up a WhatsApp group with them, and in the morning you text each other your tasks for the day. You can check in part way through the day and see how the other is getting on, and then at the end of the day. Even a simple accountability system like that seems to help me way more than I expect it to!
- One thing that becomes really important when working from home is having a much tighter schedule to work to. I like to spend the first part of my morning planning what I’m going to do throughout the day and giving each task a specific time window on my calendar. You can always re-prioritise tasks throughout the day if things change but having a skeleton outline is really helpful for keeping you on task!
- I like to prioritise my tasks by how well my brain works at a specific activity. Anything that requires creative thinking or strategic framework I do in the morning and I save all tasks like answering emails for the afternoon when my brain is a bit slower. Personally I know that anything that requires any ingenuity has to be done before lunchtime! Work out when your ‘optimal brain time’ is and reserve that for tasks that require your genius to show up.
I hope some of these were helpful! Please leave your suggestions in the comments below.