5 Simple Ideas To Get Working From Home Right For You!

I know it’s been 4 weeks since many of us started to work from home however it has been mentioned by a few people about how working from home means they are beginning feel like they are doing longer hours as they do not have the same breaks away from the desk.

In the office, you must walk to the kitchen/coffee machine or canteen to get a coffee/tea. You take an hour for lunch, often leaving the building to go and get it. On both, occasionally, I am sure you will stop and talk to colleagues about something other than work. There will naturally be banter across the desks from the people around you.

Working from home can be very isolating. You are sat alone at your desk or even an ironing board, as one of my friends has had to do! As you do not have the same commute m, you possibly end up at your desk earlier. You will grab a coffee and be back at the desk very quickly or you may find you end up eating your lunch at your desk and not getting away at all. When I use to work from home in my old job, as much as I loved it as I got chores done in between, I had little rest and restore time during the day. Initially, I worried that people would think that I was slacking off if I did not answer the phone or be at my desk when they called. However, going through what I did, I learnt the importance of looking after yourself and how the more you do, the more you can give and the more efficient you will be.

We need to remember that it is only our minds that are telling us these things. Our bosses do not expect us to be at our desks solidly. Our contracts have not changed, we will still only be contracted to say 35 hours a week and allowed 1-hour lunch break away from our desks. Companies have a duty of care towards their staff and should be ensuring, for our own well-being, that we are taking breaks and looking after ourselves.

So, here are my 5 simple ideas to help you get it right:

1) Where you can, have a dedicated work-space. Make sure it is comfortable. Try to keep everything in that place and where possible, make it so at the end of day, it is all away and not laying around. If you can shut a door on it, perfect! If not, make sure it is not in eyesight as you may find it difficult to switch off when looking at it.

2) If you are struggling to focus and not get distracted by things around you (family, housework etc.), I use a great technique which I have mentioned before. Set a timer for 25 minutes. Focus on one thing and only one thing. At the end of that 25 minutes, get up and go and do something completely different for 5 minutes, then set the time again.

3) Take a proper lunch break. Get away from your desk and if you can, get out for a walk. Do some exercise or sit in the garden and make sure you do it. Try to stick to the routine you had in the office. So many of us are using Zoom to meet up with friends but how about using it to meet up with work colleagues for lunch hour and chat about anything that is not work? 

4) We are no longer walking to meeting rooms as everything is online and from our desk. During the day, take 5 minutes out to breathe and stretch, especially if you have not moved for a while. Add time to your diary to help remind you take the breaks.

5) If, like me, you have children at home and are juggling some form of schooling and entertaining at the same time as trying to work. As I write this, I have a child wanting to show me how he can change into a box…. So even I have my days where I can feel myself beginning to get overwhelmed. I want to be able to just focus on my job. The children on the other hand have other ideas. So as obvious as it sounds, it is about having a plan or idea, a list of things you would like to do. Be realistic however not all of it will be done. So, practice the skill of not judging yourself harshly. If you have a tendency to always expect the absolute best of yourself, so you feel like your failing when you do not achieve. Practice the skill of being mediocre. (I always liked practicing this one) I guarantee that your mediocre will still be good as that is the way you are built, but you will have taken some of the pressure off!

Life will go back to normal eventually and I can only do what I can do. Which, as I work for myself, I know that I have that feeling of flexibility, but for those of you who are employed, set yourself those realistic goals. Look at what support you need and speak to your boss if you are struggling. Again, we need to look after ourselves first and tell people if we are struggling remember, this is an unusual time and none of us are superhuman – we can only do so much!

Look after  yourselves and each other, stay safe and lots of love to you all xxx

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