Working from home

Tips and Tricks

Princess and the pea

Ahh, work life balance. Some days, you're the grey cat. Some days, you're the black cat.

In all seriousness, this so called "work-life balance" can go out the window when you're suddenly required to start working from home. Luckily, I've had a little practice with this tricky balance since transitioning to working from home full time with SquidCat, Ink last August, so I thought I'd share some things that have worked for me.

1. Dress as if you might meet people (even if you won't)

It took me a while to realize how important this is, but I've definitely noticed that I take my work a lot more seriously and am much more productive if I'm dressed like I would if I had to go into an office than if I spend the day in sweatpants.

2. Try to create a dedicated time and place to work

It's difficult to create boundaries when you're working from home between what you do in your "free time" and what you do in your "work time". When I haven't been clear about where those boundaries are, I get overwhelmed and am not very good at working or relaxing.

Now, I have strict rules about when I start and finish work, and as much as possible try to stay in my work space when I'm on the job, and only then. I relax much better in my free time when I stick to this rule.

3. Take breaks

This one is really important! I find that I usually concentrate best if I work in 1-1.5 hour chunks, with 15-30 minute breaks in between. I even go so far as to set a timer to make sure I don't go over the time I've allocated for myself. This helps to improve my concentration and waste less time.

4. Get up and move

I usually try to do this in all of my breaks, since my job requires me to sit all day otherwise. This can mean whatever you want: go for a walk, do some yoga, body weight exercises, or even ballet if you're feeling up to it :). 

A couple of resources I use to help me get moving are: 

5 Parks Yoga - a lot of great yoga videos in different time chunks for all skill levels!

THENX - a lot of great work out routines you can do with just what you have at home that will kick your butt. 

5. Get headphones

Most of us are not only stuck working from home, but also trying to work with other people in the house who are on conference calls, watching Netflix, or working out to pump up music. Needless to say, these unusual interruptions make it harder than ever to concentrate on what you're doing. I've found that headphones and a choice audio track really help me narrow my focus onto what I'm working on. 

 

Rainymood - If you're not in the mood for music, this white noise is the best! I often put it on in combination with a lofi Youtube playlist.

6. Absorb what is useful, discard what is not, add what is uniquely your own

Okay, okay, I took that one from Bruce Lee. He was talking about martial arts, but I think it applies to a lot of things! I hope you've enjoyed my tips and tricks to working at home, but it's by no means comprehensive! Give it a try and see what works for you.

 

 


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