What I’ve Learned From Working from Home for 34,340 hours – Ninja Tips for Working From Home
Let’s dive into all the lessons (and ninja tips) I’ve learned from working from home for nearly 34,340 hours. For all you math geeks in the room or those who are just curious that’s 16.5 years! Crazy, even to me! I am clearly no stranger to working from home but I’ve had lots of invaders into my work from home routine as of late. Both my husband and two little kids are also working from home during this crazy time. Regardless of how long you have been working from be it a newbie or a veteran like myself we can all use some ninja tips to improve our ability and focus.
1 – Create a Work Schedule
Work expands to time allowed. When I first started my business I pretty much worked whenever and wherever. It was a disaster. I literally worked ALL THE TIME. There was no separation between work and personal time. It was literally all work and eventually I crashed and burned. This was a huge mistake and for certain I repeated the same mistakes over and over until I created boundaries and a schedule.
When you work for yourself there will always be work to do a to-list. It is important for your mental health to set start and end times for work. That way you can transition from work to personal with ease.
2 – Create a Dedicated Work Space
Picture this, it is 8 pm and you are sitting on the couch with your favorite show on in the background. You’ve got your laptop on your lap and you are “working”. You haven’t eaten dinner yet and have been “working” since 8 am. This is a scenario I have personally experienced many times and one I see play out with my clients. Work bleeds into personal life and before you know it you are working around the clock. This is in-part due to a lack of a dedicated work space. Creating a “work space” is a great way to increase productivity and make sure you don’t head down the slippery slope of working ALL THE TIME.
Create a work space that is just for work will train your brain into knowing when to work. If you are constantly working from the couch you will train both your mind and body to sorta of work. A dedicated work space also signals to all of the members of your house “hey, I’m working” which at least for me works great.
3 – Get Dressed For Work
You might be pushing back on me hardcore on this espeically if you just started working from home but believe me…you will thank me later. This is another one of those mindset things and it too makes you more productive. Now, believe you me, there are still days, I wear my athleisure all day long and I’m not ever suggesting you throw on a suit but get out of the clothes that you slept in and into your work from home uniform (whatever that may be) for me it is jeans and t-shirt or sweater sot that it tells my brain…we are working today.
4 – Organize & Prioritize Your Day
I plan out my day each and every day with my Best Self Planner. Whatever planner you’d like to use, use it. I like the best self planner because it allows me to pick three targets I want to accomplish each and every day. What I actually want to stress here is what is the one thing you’re going to accomplish each day? We entrepreneurs, especially the creative ones, get these big huge long lists of things that we want to do each and every day. Then we’re disappointed at the end of the day when we didn’t accomplish it.
For me, I organize and prioritize days and given the current circumstances I am taking it one step further and syncing up with my husband to talk about what we each have for call each day and how we plan to manage the kids.
5 – Limit distractions
It can be really easy to go into your workspace and just aimlessly scroll through social media and that is a complete waste of your work time. Eliminate the distractions. Close Facebook, email and all the notifications. When you are working from home it can be easy to get distracted.
Distraction can easily eat up so much of your day leaving you feeling unproductive and disappointed in yourself. I know because I’ve been there. This is where you organization and daily planning can come into place. I always say that work expands to time allowed so if you have two hours to write an email it will take you the entire two hours to do so. This is where time blocking and planning come into play which I will talk more about in just a bit.
6 – Take Periodic Breaks Throughout the Day
If you are working from home at a desk like many of us are, it is important to get up, stretch and move around. I schedule 15 minute breaks to get up and walk around, stretch my legs and just move. Perhaps you do a 5 minute yoga sequence or go outside for a walk but I highly recommend doing this sort of scheduled break. When you return you will be left feeling refreshed.
7 – Keep Your Work Space Clean
I always tidy up my workspace at the end of the day so that when I get into the office the next day my desk isn’t a disaster and I can get straight to work with no distractions or needing to clean up a bunch of stuff on my desk. Now, I have two small children so they often have a different idea in mind and will make a mess in there from time to time.
8 – Time Block You Day –
For the longest time, I did not practice this in my business, probably for the first 10 or so years. I would be available whenever anyone needed me as if I were a doctor on call. It drove me bananas. I would constantly have to switch gears between working on getting work done, client calls, sales calls and so much more. It was torture.
So in addition to work hours, I schedule my days and designate them for specific tasks then I even time block the work that I want to do during that time. For example if you are a coach then I would recommend doing all of your coaching on one day, content creation on another, sales call on a third and so on and so on.
Do the same task repeatedly throughout the day or if you prefer do it in ½ day increments when you are first getting started to ease into this sort of schedule.
Let me know in the comments which tip you will be implementing in your business.
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