Working from home comes with its own unique set of challenges. Other than pounding down highly-caffeinated beverages (or various kinds of liquor) to get you through the day, what else can we do to stay focused?
Surprisingly enough, there are a few next to effortless ways to reduce distractions and get in your “zone”. So, put the coffee (wine, beer or whiskey) down and take a moment to read through these wicked helpful tips. After you implement my suggestions below (and I don’t know why any sane person wouldn’t?), your life will instantly become much more fulfilled and enjoyable.
How about a quick working from home meme for your enjoyment?
1. Have A ‘Zen’ Workspace (also known as the “fuck yeah” space)
What is ‘zen’ to you? WAIT, don’t say it yet. Just close your eyes and think of your happy place. Does it make you all warm and fuzzy on the inside?
What makes me warm and fuzzy inside is what I like to call my “Fuck Yeah” space. Now this can take many shapes and forms and most often it does, but for the scope of this article we’ll stick to the fuck yeah workspaces…AKA the zen workspace.
For many people, their fuck yeah space is a flowing workplace that is equally calming and organized. Possibly filled with bamboo plants, oil diffusers, candles, ambient lighting and air purifiers. This is all fine and dandy, but let’s be real.
Does the mint, lavender, basil candle scent help you crank out more emails? Probably not.
Does the bamboo plant on the corner of your desk sway with movement form the winds like it’s meant to in order to signify humility, luck and good health? Probably not.
There are so many ways to make your work area a bit more zen some are good, most are stupid.
Here’s what you do. Is your desk a cluttered fucking disaster? Remove shit you don’t need. Get to organizing, do it now…hustle!
Clear off your desk space of all unnecessary items.
My unnecessary items list comprises of the following:
- random pens and pencils laying around. remove now.
- piles of papers that you will never get to (do you need it? do you want it? is it making you money?)
- various business cards. enter that shit in your contacts and toss the card.
- coupons or gift cards. use them and be done.
- sticky notes with random shit written on them. just stop
- your mobile devices. ok maybe
- random trinkets like Hot Wheels, things someone gave you that you feel obligated to hold on to for no reason, the stupid cup warmer your relative gave you for an unthoughtful birthday present…fucking gone!
A clean workspace is a happy workspace. Say it with me…A Clean Workspace Is A Happy Workspace. It’s ok, just let it out we are all in this together.
Once you are nice and clean, give me a loud FUCK YEAH. Feeling the zen yet?
2. Keep A Healthy Balance Between Home Life And Work Life
While I have the good fortune to work from home (or any other place I damn well desire) it’s not always that I have the luxury of complete peace and quiet.
Between home schooling children, keeping them entertained and engaged, daily household demands (food, read memes, laundry, read memes, swim, read memes, go for a walk, read memes, binge Netflix, read meme…you get the idea) you might be finding it difficult to manage your time efficiently.
Enter a healthy balance between life, work and all the blurry areas in-between.
The secret pro tip for this is to stop trying so hard!
You might find yourself overworking if you’re at home all day and night, I get it. I would much rather crank out another four hours of work instead of re-watching Battlestar Galactica another time. Like you’ve never seen it…FRACK You.
When working at home gets the best of you, and it will, lets just take a few deep breathes and think what would William Adama do? Otherwise known as WWWAD.
Some things to understand during your healthy home life and work life crisis.
Start by creating physical boundaries. Yep, you heard me correctly…physical fucking boundaries. Separate your workspace from the rest of your home in order to shut out distractions.
Does this mean go sit in your vehicle to take a phone call…YEP. Does this mean locking the bathroom door while on your laptop to squeeze out one more email before bedtime…YEP…sure does.
Also, this is a super pro tip which I completely expect you to write down right now…seriously…no seriously…here it comes…
Set break reminders. YEP, you heard it here first. Tell Alexa to “set a 30 minute timer” or tap the ole trusty iWatch time for 15-60 minutes. When the timer goes off, just unplug. Also, another super pro tip is telling anyone you are meant with or talking to that you have a “HARD STOP” at a certain time. This always works and saves you a shit load of time talking about stuff that could be covered sooner.
A harmonious balance starts with ensuring that you take breaks and focus on what needs to be taken care of in your life. What is important and what is just taking up your time.
Lastly, reward yourself! Creating balance can be a challenging task – you deserve some healthy self-recognition! Completing certain daunting tasks (whether it’s sending out 45 emails in an hour or helping your daughter with algebra…I know right…who uses algebra?) should come with a reward.
Rewards that I partake in that might be of interest to you:
- Having a cold one.
- Having a cold one by the pool.
- Having a cold one by the pool while getting some sun.
- Having a cold one by the pool while getting some sun and listening to tunes.
- Having a cold one by the pool while getting some sun and listening to tunes and then watching the sun set.
- Having a cold one by the pool while getting some sun and listening to tunes and then watching the sun set and then having another cold one.
This will help motivate you in the future to maintain the balance.
3. Create A Schedule And Stick To It!
So, maybe you no longer have to be up at 5 AM, get ready, and prepare for a 30-minute commute. I get it…wait…no, I don’t. Either way I know it’s a long commute.
Still, you should have a solid schedule, a real firm grasp on your calendar…or you may fall victim to a laziness rut. Otherwise known as “slackass.”
All of us have certain times during the day in which we are more aware, focused, and creative. For me it’s between about 7:35am and 8:02am. This is when I do my best work. I get more work done during this time than I do during other similar times during the day on various hours.
The thing is (insert super pro tip here) that you need to do your best work during the hours that you feel the productive. Schedule important calls and tasks around times that you know you’ll be the most kick ass. See…kick ass is the anti of slackass…get it?
Some handy-dandy tools that can help you create a schedule (and are simply fun to use) include a calendar, an agenda, creating a to-do list, or starting a bullet journal.
The beauty of working from home is that you have the complete freedom to control when you want to work. By sticking to a schedule or a routine, you will likely get more work done and stay focused for lengthier amounts of time.
Here’s a great work life balance quote for the great Zig Ziglar.
“You can’t truly be considered successful in your business life if your home life is in shambles.” —Zig Ziglar
Final Thoughts – Get To Work!
Whether you like it or not, the workplace is always changing – especially due to recent events. Also, known as “the COVID-19”
However, I know if you’ve spent your career in an office, transitioning to working from home can be challenging.
In order to face these challenges, you need to learn how to channel the same level of focus at home that you would at work. Establish clear working hours, create a peaceful work environment, and maintain a good work and home balance. With these beginning steps (you can do it young grasshopper), you will surely get the hang of working from home successfully.
If you can’t get it successfully and need a little extra help, just let me know. Reach out to me and I’d be happy to chat.