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Working from home (WFH) can be for some a delight and for others a nightmare. Meetings in pajamas, a great view, an extra hour in bed (or remaining in bed for some!) are some great potential advantages of WFH.
I found it difficult at first to be sitting in my home, knowing that the living room needs to be tidied, dishes to be washed, or one of the kids calling me. I kept leaving my laptop to look after one thing and another and found myself to be more stressed as I wasn’t achieving my daily professional goals.
But that is in the past. Now I have found my perfect balance, and I hope that some of you benefit from these tips and ideas!
Set up your own space where you can close a door and immerse yourself in your work. I don’t have a home office, so I use one of the kid’s rooms. I use their desk so every morning I have a ritual: I clear their work aside and place my laptop, green leafy plant, favorite pictures, my notebook and pens, and my jug of water in a way that I like and is harmonious for me. Often the room is messy behind me, but I do not think of that, I concentrate on my own self-made office escape.
If you can, choose the room with a view. It is nice to look out the window every so often for inspiration and it really does boost productivity.
Agreed Work Times:
At the end of every week, I discuss with my partner my working hours. Prioritizing virtual meetings we come up with a plan and we stick to it. It is important that we both have time to work, both have time to ourselves, and both have time to spend with the kids. The kids too know when it is not the best time to ask for mommy, and now they respect that. They know that when it is time for them it is all about them and we have lots of fun and laughs.
Because I have kids I aim to engineer meetings during their learning time, quiet time after lunch, and in the evenings when they are in bed.
In the beginning, it felt like I was working all day long but now I learned to switch off when I am not working. And I mean literally switch off. I turn off my cell phone, I shut down my laptop and I occupy my time with the kids and my personal activities. My working hours are flexible, but I strongly advise you to speak with your employers to discuss flexible working hours. These are unusual times we are living in and we need to ensure that we have a balanced work/life harmony. Your employer also needs to understand this, and as long as the work is done there should be no problems.
This is the clincher: to really disconnect from your family life and connect to your work life, I find it best to put on a pair of headphones and listen to music. There are so many musical platforms out there for you to choose from - YouTube, Spotify, SoundCloud, or a great productivity booster Brain FM.
I don’t feel guilty about closing myself away - when organization is in place then it is good to not hear the household noise! And if your help is really needed, a tap on the shoulder will be all that is needed.
Do you have any tips for your wfh environment? Please do share! We should all help each other out in this very unusual time, share tips and ideas, or even just how you do it! Inspiration flows from everywhere.
Stay Healthy and Stay Happy