6 Top Tips for Working From Home
Let’s be honest, working from home is the dream. You don’t have to wear a bra, you can work at your own schedule, you don’t have to deal with a nightmare commute - amazing. But in reality, it’s so much easier to get distracted when you’re at home. Like right now, I’m sat on my sofa (bra-less of course!), trying to get work done, but my cat wants my attention, there is washing up that needs doing and honestly, I kinda just want to nap and watch Youtube - that’s usually frowned upon when you work in an office!
I’ve been working from home for about 3 years now, either freelancing, or as part of my full-time work at a digital marketing agency, so I’d like to think I’ve picked up some pretty useful working from home tips. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t always follow them (otherwise my blog would be FULL of amazing posts, rather than having an incredibly long todo list that never seems to end!), but the thought is there and maybe it can help you too.
Some people can only work at a desk, and if that’s the case, you do you boo. Make it pretty and functional and try to have everything you need at hand. Other people are more comfortable working on the sofa, and that’s fine too. I try not to ever work in bed because that blurs the lines between working and relaxing and it’s not great for your chi or whatever. Also, because if I’m in bed I’m almost deffo going to fall asleep.
My set up is usually on the sofa because I am enormously pregnant right now and it’s the only way I can get even close to comfortable. My point is, work whenever is best for you.
Mix it up
Some days, nothing will happen when I look at my laptop - no words will come out, and I find myself distracted by the mess, and the list of jobs that absolutely must be done right now. I guess this tip is breaking the rules a little, as it’s about getting out and about and therefore not technically working from home, but whatever.
On days when I feel de-motivated or extra distracted, I take my little laptop into town and find somewhere to sit, usually a coffee shop (Nero is better than Costa as there are less children and the music is chill AF!) and just really focus. A change of scenery can really help you focus. I don’t do it too often, otherwise it would lose it’s magic, but when I’ve been at home for too long, I know it’s time for somewhere different.
Have a work playlist
As much as I would happily blast out the Hamilton soundtrack 24/7, it’s too wordy for me to have on when I’m writing. My favourite working playlist on Spotify is ‘Your Favourite Coffeehouse’ where the songs are all super chill background music that tells me it’s time to get some writing done.
My husband can work to pretty much anything and I often go into his office (which is a lodge in the garden, much fancier than my sofa set up!) and it can be anything from Frank Sinatra to the 1975, or pretentious podcasts. He's a creative who does design, marketing and websites so he doesn’t have to focus on words quite so much. When I’m doing design work, all rules are out of the window and I tend to watch The Office US, or a rom-com I’ve seen a million times.
Get the snackkksss!
One of my favourite things about working from home is that I have access to the whole of my fridge at all times - my waistline is not so much of a fan! I have a little snack basket that I like to keep to hand when I’m working, to stop me searching the cupboards every half an hour. I also keep some (semi)-healthy snacks around too, so I’m not always feeling like the worst human for eating a whole bag of “share-size” (yeah right!) Skittles. If you have things like this, that you need, to hand it’ll stop you getting distracted every time you get up.
Work when it works for you
I know I can’t work first thing in the morning. I am useless until about 10am. My husband gets up at 5am and can go straight into coding (he is some sort of monster!), but I know I’m not about that life. So I get the boring house/life jobs out of the way before I start so I don’t get distracted throughout the day and have that horrible looming feeling of all the things that need ticking off my list. I also find it easier to work when things are tidy - which is annoying because I am a very messy human!
Be kind to yourself
You are going to get distracted. It’s inevitable. I find people will pop round unannounced because they don’t quite understand that working from home means you are supposed to be working, and not that you are a lady of leisure (sadly). You will find that some nights you’re up late having to finish off work that didn’t get done because you found out that you could get Desperate Housewives on Amazon Prime, yet other days you will speed through your todo list and find yourself at a loose end (it’s rare but it’s wonderful!), but its important that you are always kind to yourself about how your day comes out. If you find yourself berating yourself for having an off day, try to change the way you are thinking. The world is full of enough people putting you down, don’t let yourself be one of them!
So, crack out your favourite scented gel pens (ain’t nobody judging here!) and your most extra todo list, fill up your snack basket and get that motivational playlist pumping - you got this boo!