This is a simple post about things to remember when your new normal isn’t, well, normal. Just a tip of the iceberg kind of post about things to keep in mind when you’re working from home.
None of these are revolutionary ideas — no “silver bullet” discovery to make your workday a smashing success — but if you’re like us, you won’t mind getting another simple, heartfelt list of easy-to-do, but sometimes easy-to-forget actions you can take to navigate the uncharted waters of being stuck at home.
First of all, change your attitude. Don’t look at being confined to your home as being stuck. Sure, it can feel limiting at times, but what an opportunity, right? You’re learning to thrive in a new place. Good for you!
Let me know if that little pep talk worked, because I’m still trying to convince myself.
Anyway, here’s the list:
1. Get Up
Really? Do you need to put ‘get up’ on the list? Like I have a choice? Actually, yes. You do have a choice. And when you’re at home all the time, the easier choice is to NOT get up. But this isn’t about literally getting out of bed; it’s about setting a schedule. Setting an alarm. Creating a sense of normalcy and consistency. Try it this week. Get up at the same time every day and see what difference that patterned behavior can be for you and your productivity while working from home.
2. Get Moving While Working From Home
For some people this means following an exercise routine; others aren’t there yet, and that’s OK. The point here is to allow yourself to be active for a few minutes before starting your workday. Try it tomorrow. Set your alarm, get up, and get moving. You may already have a workout routine, and that’s awesome. If not, try this: stretch for 5 minutes (touch your toes, reach high, bend low), do ten push-ups, ten sit-ups, or simply take a 10-minute walk around your neighborhood. You’ll be amazed at how helpful it can be to the rest of your day to simply get moving.
3. Get Dressed
C’mon. Really? Yes, really. This isn’t a joke. This wasn’t a part of the original list, but may very well be the most important thing on here. Get dressed. It’s super-easy to roll into your desk chair wearing pajama bottoms and an old ratted T-Shirt, but actually getting dressed in work clothes prepares you — literally and figuratively — for the workday ahead. A friend recently posted that he never knew how powerful pants could be until he didn’t have to wear them anymore. Get up, get moving, and get dressed. Really.
4. Get Organized When Working From Home
There are a ton of different ways to organize your day, and we’re not going to claim one over another as “the best way,” but this can be as simple as tidying up your workspace. More than likely, your new workspace isn’t as conducive to your productivity as you’d like for it to be. The best place to start with an organization is to quite literally organize your space. We’re going to be sharing more thoughts on this in the coming days, so stay tuned.
5. Get Prioritized
More often than not, your day is going to be dictated by the day before — meaning, the previous day’s To Do List, Zoom meetings, Slack notifications, and client emails are providing today’s challenges and opportunities. And, if you haven’t set clear priorities for YOUR day, you will no doubt become overwhelmed by the priorities of others. Set your goals for each week, and stick to them. Again, this is a “no duh” sort of reminder, but it is especially easy to become sidetracked when you’re working from home.
6. Get To Work
Just like “getting up” might seem silly to put on a list of things to remember each day, getting to work really should be a given. But it’s not easy! You’re in a new environment with new distractions, new surroundings, new challenges, and new obstacles to hurdle each and every day. Sometimes you can do everything right and still feel like you never got to work. That’s why it’s crucial to set your time and stick to it. When are you most productive, most creative, and most aware? Get to know your new work self and then lean heavily into getting to work each day. Your schedule may be one hour on, and one hour off until your tasks are accomplished. Or, you might be able to work straight through. What works best for you? Set it and get it done.
7. Get Done
You hear folks talk about work-life balance a lot — especially these days — and that might seem like a far-off fairy tale right now, but it’s so crucially important to make this a priority. It can be dangerous, within your professional life and in your personal life, to lose sight of where one ends and the other begins. Set your day… Get up, get moving, get dressed, get organized, get prioritized, get to work, and then… GET. DONE. Shut it down, turn it off, let it go, take a deep breath, and get ready to do this thing again tomorrow.
There’s nothing normal about our new normal, but you’ve got this. You can do it. And you can be a positive example to others during a time when positivity and structure could not be more important.
Do you have anything to add to the list? We’d love to hear your thoughts on making the most of working from home!