How to Make Working
From Home, Work!
Part 3 is here!! I have a few more tips for you, some admittedly seem a bit silly, but hey, whatever works!!!
1. Walk to work if you have to. Yes, I literally mean get dressed, walk out the door, take a loop around the block (or farther), and “go to work“ (in your home). I have moments where I just can’t get settled, so during these spells I “walk to work”. It’s not something I do every day but it’s an extra step to help me get settled into a work mindset.
2. Create an alter ego. I am bringing the adult version of make believe back!!! When we go to work, we show up as our workselves. So who are you at work? Identify some key traits and perhaps give your workself a new name. Look at Beyoncé, she created “Sasha Fierce” as her on stage name for that exact reason. There’s a chemical reaction in the brain that happens when you “step into your alter ego”. This doesn’t mean we are fake, but how you show up at work is usually different than when we are with our besties, partners or alone.
3. Have a “token”. A token is a physical item that you have/hold/wear, that means something. It signifies a transformation into your work mode. If you have an alter ego, then it’s a transformation into your alter ego. This could look like a name badge, a work pin, a ring, a handkerchief, or in my case, a pair of glasses. I have a very specific pair of red rimmed glasses that I wear when I work (that double as blue light blocking!) I call them my superwomen glasses, because I believe in the work I do is transformative and in some ways, lifesaving. So think Clark Kent and Superman, except the other way around! Ok, I’ve just admitted my super cheesy tactic but I swear it works! (As a little side note, I’m naturally pretty wound up in the evenings so I initially got blue light blocking glasses because of all the work that I do on screens. But I have a second pair in a different colour that is strictly for leisure. I NEVER use my red glasses if I’m watching say… Netflix.)
Ok, so a couple more “not as fun” tips.
4. Tools. Trackers and timers are lifesavers for me. I touched on timers briefly in Part 2. I use a pomodoro timer to help me take more breaks so I can work longer throughout the day instead of burning out within a few hours. Screen trackers give me a sense of how I’m spending my time and how much of it was spent in what areas. Reviewing data gives you insight into your productivity and how you can make changes if need be. You can also block websites during your designated focus periods to prevent you from “going down the rabbit hole”. The one I use is called Rescue Time.
5. Keep home activities during home time and work activities “at work”. We love multi-tasking and pride ourselves on it. But it’s been proven that switching tasks frequently loses productivity. This is not the time to do laundry whenever you want, not at least, until you’ve seriously mastered working from home.
Now that you’re no longer commuting, use the extra time you have that you would normally have for a commute to either add in a few things you’ve always had on a bucket list but didn’t have enough time. Things like, learn a new language, or work out more, or if you’re that eager to get to your laundry, then do it then!
One more thing, Be Kind to Yourself.
This seems obvious but it’s probably the hardest thing to do, especially now as we experience uncertain times. We have had an entire lifetime that groomed us to “go to school” and “go to work”. The productivity and results on a day to day basis may look very different at first. Your environment and the focus you get is completely new. You will either embrace it, love it and totally adapt to it, or you will struggle with it. Give yourself time and don’t beat yourself up. I really encourage breaks as I had outlined in the rules in Part 1. Our productivity typically goes up when we are working from home because there are less distractions, which also means faster burnout if you don’t give yourself those mental breaks. Know that you might actually be producing more in a shorter timespan. So if you’re confused about why you’re feeling extra tired at the end of the day, that is a key culprit.
With so much love and gratitude during these times.
Do you have questions? Do you think I missed something? Do you have an alter ego or a token? I’d love to hear about them! Comment below!