If we’ve learned anything from social distancing, it’s that working from home isn’t all rainbow smiles and puppy dog kisses. Sure, the first few days are heaven. Working in your sweatpants while watching “Judge Judy?” Yes, please!
But after the end of the first week, working from your bed doesn’t seem so appealing. You’re bloated from all the takeout, your sleep schedule is out of wack and you don’t remember what your bra even looks like.
At Rise, we’ve mastered the art of working from home, and we’re here to share our tips on maintaining your sanity — all from the comfort of your upstairs office.
Create a Schedule
It’s so important to create a schedule that you can stick to. It’s tempting to want to cram all of your active work into one day (woohoo, six-day weekend!). But that’s easier said than done.
Create a schedule that you can stick to every day. That means leaving tons of white space for breaks in your calendar between active working time.
That also means going to bed at the same time every night. Is it easy to stay up all night binge-watching “The Leftovers” when you know you don’t ‘gotta’ get up at any specific time? Of course! But it’s also not practical.
And it doesn’t set your business up for success. Whatever you feed will grow. That means if you’re spending eight hours each evening binging TV, your TV habit — not your business — will continue to grow.
Get Ready Like You’re Going to Work
Everyone does it. In the first week (or five) of working from home, you insist on working in your P.J.s. Because why not? You’ve been wishing for this your whole life, right?
But in actuality, wearing your jammies to work is better in theory than it is in practice. Go ahead, and work from home in your sweats for the first few days. Then try getting dressed every day. You’ll feel better — even if you’re donning jeans and an old t-shirt.
It sure beats changing from your ‘day pajamas’ to your ‘night pajamas’ at 8 p.m. every evening.
Create Opportunities for Water Cooler Talk
Turns out, water cooler talk is more important than we previously thought. Chatting with coworkers in a relaxed setting can stimulate creativity and get you out of your own head.
Water cooler talk is even more important when you’re working from home. Mostly because this might be the only social interaction you’ll enjoy all day. The good news is that there are so many apps and websites that are designed for virtual networking and coworking chitchat.
From Workplace by Facebook to Slack to Google Hangouts, you can stay in touch with your coworkers (or your other WFH friends if you’re a company of one).
Take Breaks and Eat Meals
It’s easier to ‘zone out’ while you’re working from home. Your eyes aren’t glued to the little digital clock on your laptop, waiting for the moment you can spring free and walk to the salad place on the corner.
The time just flows by. And before you know it, you’re ravenously hungry and you haven’t gone to the bathroom in hours.
Scheduling breaks (especially for meals) can help you budget your time and maintain focus throughout the day. Regularly scheduled breaks can also help you realize when you’re spending too much time on one task — and they’re a great reminder to move on to the next task.
Plus, half the reason to work from home is to enjoy fun activities you can’t in an office!
Create a Pleasant Office Space
We get it. It’s super tempting to want to work, sitting criss-cross apple sauce on your couch (yes, with the TV on).
But is it a productive environment? Not so much.
Even if you don’t have an office in your home, create a home office space that’s reserved for work — and work alone. Entering this space alerts your brain that it’s ‘time for work,’ and you’re more likely to stay happy, focused and productive.