It can be super hard to balance work and personal life with our "new normal" working as remote employees. Having telecommuted for over 10 years, I wanted to share some ways which I stay on track and focused working from home.
It's absolutely possibly to get at much if not more done from home - it just take a little bit of intention and planning.
I have worked as a remote employee in Sales for about 10 years. I still travel regularly (although not now of course!) and DO get out of the house for business too.
Over the years there are a few tricks I have learned to ensure that I am successful, productive, respected but still enjoy the positives of working from home. They are probably not the obvious tips and tricks you have been seeing, but hopefully are some creative ideas that have made a huge difference for me.
1. Exercise every morning.
This gives a positive start with time to reflect on how my day will unfold, clears my mind, and an intention usually surfaces for me during this time like – stay focused, connect with people, work on learning, close a deal, connect with a business partner, etc. If I have done this one thing, when I sit down to get to it, it makes me feel like I have already accomplished something productive, plus I have those amazing endorphins coursing through my body as I get ready to attack the day with enthusiasm and vigor!
2. Get showered and dressed every morning.
Although I love dressing up and looking polished and professional, I am always grateful and happy to be in yoga clothes all day long. I very much appreciate working in my Lulus – Lulu lemon Align pants in black, a Spiritual Gangster shirt, a Chaser sweatshirt and Tory Burch black flip flops are pretty much my uniform. That being said, getting showered, dressed, “half blow drying my hair” (if I let it airdry I look like a little crazy with my beach waves), and a touch of makeup makes me feel awake, alert and ready to go. I always use a yummy smelling shampoo – Love, Beauty & Planet is my current favorite and Drunk Elephant Face Balm to clean and moisturize are my current faves. Afterwards I use either Peace, Love Plant’s lotion or Kiehl’s Creme de Corps Body Lotion – you don’t need much and it makes your skin feel like velvet. Kind of a luxury, but totally worth it! Then I can start the day clean, smelling good, alert and feeling “on”.
3. Start work by 8.
I actually usually start by 7. I am an early riser, like to get my run or yoga in, drink suuuuper strong Peet’s coffee, shower and am I’m ready to hit it. I stay pretty firm with my time frame. In fact, I usually work from 7-5 or 6 with a break for a smoothie for lunch and stay pretty damn focused the whole time. No personal emails, no social media posting, it’s time to get my job done and get it done well.
4. Don’t get sidetracked with personal/home distractions.
I will – on occasion – throw in a load of laundry, but I am very firm about not getting side-tracked into home projects. This is work time and it’s important that I really focus during this time. Home projects are for evenings and weekends; I like to stay professional like that and stay committed to getting my job done well.
5. Set up a real work area that is only for work and makes you feel good.
My work desk happens to be in our living room which is currently my 14 year old son’s home school/frat house set up and GTA gaming room (!). This is not ideal, but I HAVE carved out my corner that is work only focused. No one is allowed to enter my little “bubble” during work hours and I have a desk I love with a plant, my computer, my water bottle and I’m ready to go. I also have a clean space that makes me happy and feel good.
6. Create boundaries with your people.
My kids know that from 7-5, I am on work time. If they need something, they will have to ask and may have to wait for an answer. They are 12, 14 and 17. They have become very self-sufficient and are able to make their own breakfast, lunch and snacks. I am at work and not able to cook gourmet lunches or service them at this time. That being said, if it’s a homework question or something health related, I’ll take a few minutes and figure it out with them. Otherwise, I am usually on calls and they know not to interrupt or disturb me.
Working from home is not as hard as it might seem. The key is to find ways to stay focused, energized, connected and inspired.
You will find your own boundaries and guidelines that keep you on track. Be sure to stick with them and make them things that keep you motivated, productive and uplifted!