The #wfh life has swamped more of us than expected this year, hasn't it? If you're new to this, working from home can feel exciting at first - no office environment, comfy clothes, a bit more time in bed; but take it from someone who has been working from home for five years, it can be difficult. Difficult as in 'how do I motivate myself?' and 'how do I set boundaries?'. Many challenges come from working at home, but as I've done it for so long (and successfully, I think?), I hope you find these 'ten tips on how to work from home' useful!
Find somewhere you're going to be comfortable - Chances are that if you're working from home, you're more or less going to be working all sort of hours that best suit you, so you'll want to find somewhere comfortable that works for you too. This can be your kitchen table, the sofa, an office, the garden, and even your bed (I bloody love working from the bed!). Wherever it is, make sure you're going to be comfortable!
Stay hydrated - One of the things my boyfriend is sick of me saying to him is 'I don't think I've drunk enough today'. We all know the benefits of good water consumption (hello clear skin) but working away all day can make you forget even the most basic of things. Whether you enjoy a hot drink or a cold one, make sure you remember to refill - every time you go to the loo can be an excellent reminder to do so.
Wear comfy clothes - No one wants to be working from home in a pair of jeans, NO ONE (unless you have very comfortable jeans, then please tell me where you got them from). Working in pyjamas can be nice for a few days, but I have found that they don't help with motivation much. Wearing casual clothes that you're comfortable in (I like an oversized hoodie and some leggings, or a lovely flowy dress) will help you stay focused and help you get the most work done. If you're feeling uncomfortable, then that's all you're going to be thinking about whilst you're working. Just put the jogging bottoms on!
Silence the distractions - Phone, on silent. Radio in the kitchen, off. Pets, distracted with their favourite toys. Silencing the distractions will help you focus so much more, and it will give you the space for a clear mind ready for work.
Snacks - We all have a favourite snack, and I'm currently LOVING giant Wotsits, or any size of Wotsit to be fair. Whether you're a biscuit and tea kind of person, or prefer a coffee and an apple, have a few of your favourite snacks to hand. Life is better with snacks.
Create a set-up that works for you - So, you've found somewhere comfy to work, you're in comfy clothes, and you'll hopefully have some snacks - now what? Find out what kind of set-up works well for you. You're working on the sofa - do you have a table nearby to put your drinks on, something to take notes on and with, space to lay out what you need? At a desk or home office - do you have enough workspace, enough lighting, drawer space and power points? Perhaps you're working somewhere with a laptop, would a raised laptop stand come in handy or a wireless keyboard and mouse? Whatever your needs for you to work comfortably in the space you're in, meet them.
Plan your day the night before - This is something I find SUPER helpful. Planning the night before gives you time to really go over what needs to be done for the next day - that way, when you wake up, you know what needs to be done, and you can crack on with it.
Take breaks - I like to take breaks every hour as it gives me enough time to focus. I know that there are many methods of working and when scientifically is best to take breaks, but experiment a little and find what works best for you. Perhaps you get restless quickly and want to take a break every 20 minutes for 5 minutes at a time - you do you, you work from home now!
Create motivation points - I like to give myself motivation point to work with such as 'when I get to this point in my work I can go and make a cup of tea/have a snack/stretch my legs'. Motivation is hard to come by when you haven't got many people around as you would in an office environment. You'll have to learn to be your biggest cheerleader, which is difficult, but not impossible. Find some motivation points that work well for you.
Take your time - This is the most important of all of the points, especially if you're new to working from home as this is probably a massive change for you. Take your time. It's okay to get things wrong and to trial various routines. You'll eventually find something that works for you and how you work. It'll all work out in the end.
I hope you have found something useful in all of this. Let me know what routines and tips you have for working from home, I'd love to hear!