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Business,  Productivity

The 10 foot Commute (Part 1)

How to Make Working

From Home, Work!

The past week and a half has had some sudden and drastic changes. Adjustments so quick, we’re still adjusting. Amongst this, the sudden transition from going to work, to working from home.  Since it’s new for a lot of people, I created a 3 part “work from home” series to help those that might find this sudden change more challenging than expected. 

Working from home sounds sexy and appealing at first, so when the order from Provincial health came through, you may have jumped for joy! But it’s been a week and now that you’ve tried it, you realize it’s not as simple as it sounds! For the better part of the past 12 years, I have been working from home and it took me a good few years before finding a groove that truly worked for me.  I’m taking this opportunity to share with you how I find work from home balance.

The biggest challenge in working from home is the mental separation of “home” activities and “work” activities that disrupt our focus. This is especially challenging if you live in an apartment.  So how do we manage this?  

First part 1 covers the 5 rules, then part 2 and 3 will highlight my tips for making working from home simple and sustainable. 

When it comes to the rules, think SPACE

S for Space, the most important rule!! Create a clear defined space for your work, whether it’s the corner of a room or the corner of your dining table.  (If working from home is going to become a more permanent arrangement, then definitely carve out a designated area.) But if it’s only during pandemic times and all you can do is one side of the dining table, that’s ok!

P for Pack and prep snacks and lunch. If you usually prepare these in advance, keep doing this! A long enough break to make lunch fresh is a great healthy choice and if you have the time, go for it!  But make sure you have your ingredients ready to go when lunch break hits so you’re not spending time searching and trying to come up with new things.  By having your meals and snacks prepped in advance, you also avoid over-snacking (because the kitchen is so close!!) and avoid spending more time on distracting food decisions during these breaks. 

A for Attire. Get dressed for work and get out of your pajamas!!! Some of you will say, “but this is the best part!?!”  If wearing pj’s is not how you dress for work, why would you do it now? Wearing comfortable clothing is certainly a perk of working from home and I encourage something more casual and comfortable, but stay away from your lounge clothes or pj’s.  The odd occasion of “rolling out of bed to your laptop” can be convenient at times, but don’t make a habit of it. 

C for Communicate boundaries.  Prep your partner or family of this new routine and what it looks like so you can support each other in keeping “in the zone” of focus.  Otherwise they might catch you while you’re only on a 5 min break and think they can borrow you for the next 30min. This is not ok! So communicate in advance what your schedule looks like and when you are available for questions. 

Except the bed.  Whatever you do, never work from bed! Unless you’ve mastered the art of working from home and you’ve tested this workspace, then this is a sure fire way to disrupt the “coming home” feeling of relaxing into your sanctuary and mixing the mental separation of work and home. Don’t do it, not even for a cute photo for the ‘gram!!!

There you have it, SPACE!

Space
Pack
Attire
Communicate
Except the bed

(That last one is a bit forced in… I know… but I’m a fan of turning things into acronyms to make them memorable!!)

What do you think? Was this helpful? What is the first rule you’re going to implement? Let me know in the comments below! I look forward to hearing from you!

2 Comments

  • Theresa Burns

    Awesome blog & really helpful tips! All tips are brilliant….really helps to still dress for work….it’s all about routine.
    Another helpful tip George is doing is going for walk before & after work, almost like creating a fake commute to help create that home/office distance 💕

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