And then the corona outbreak came and we are obliged to work from home every day. What seems to be happening? That extra focus you had when you worked at home for a day is hard to maintain when you’re stuck at home for weeks.
In this blog I will therefore share my not so secret secrets for sustainable improvement of your focus and concentration when you work from home.
8 tips to make working from home great:
- Tip 1: change ‘I work at home’ into ‘I am at work’
- Tip 2: make a schedule that works for you
- Tip 3: develop routines
- Tip 4: write down thoughts immediately and then continue with what you were doing
- Tip 5: no distractions, but supplies
- Tip 6: plan breaks
- Tip 7: reflect!
- Tip 8: kids? Accepting is better than frustrating
Is working from home your thing? Do you go fast and do you end every working day with a satisfied feeling and with enough energy for an evening of video calling with your whole family? Awesome! Real.
Yet I think that most people do face the challenges of working from home on a daily basis.
The more people work from home, the greater the struggles of people who do not naturally have a strong focus and concentration. And now we are all at home. With more struggles than ever.
Work wherever you want
Yes, I was – and am – one of those. “Oh, nice! But is that doable for you? Don’t you get distracted all the time?” A friend asked this question when I told her that I would be working foretelling, mostly from home. Trellis does not have an office. Our team consists of enthusiasts who work all over the world! For example, Siemen lives in Bali and Moa works from Sweden. And Hannes from Austria and Raphael from Germany always combined their work with traveling to the most beautiful places. In short, at Vercelli’s we do nothing but work from home. Wherever that is at home.
Returning to my girlfriend’s question: thanks to the 8 tips below, I am becoming more and more adept at avoiding the pitfalls of working from home. And since half the world is forced to work in the ‘Vercelli’s way’ by corona, I thought it would be a good idea to share it with you now ?
8 tips to make working from home great in the time of corona
Tip 1: change ‘I work at home’ into ‘I am at work’
You work from home, that’s right. Does this mean you should be flexible with your working hours? No . Speak to your family, relatives and friends at what times or days you are working to avoid being disturbed. If you don’t do this, there’s a good chance that your mother will suddenly be on the phone to catch up. “I just wanted to hear how you’re doing.” Cozy, but disastrous for your focus. Because let’s not forget how difficult it is to get back into that nice flow afterwards. Try to become aware of the amount of time that is wasted by these kinds of things.
In short, respect your own working time, then others will respect it too.
Tip 2: make a schedule that works for you
For years I used to-do lists for my work. These were endlessly long and the tasks were in a random order. Often without an end date. Result: lack of overview, no lack of stress.
Be critical and honest. Stop what doesn’t work. Give new ways of planning a chance.
As a Vercelli’s team member, I couldn’t ignore it: the Vercelli’s Life Planner . It asks me every day: ‘what is the most important today?’ and I then write down 4 tasks – 2 of which are bonus tasks – in order of importance. I enter these tasks in the daily schedule. This makes my day visual, which works well for me.
Tip: make sure you have variety in your schedule. Sitting in conference calls all day does not make anyone happy. In fact, video calling is much more exhausting than face-to-face meetings! Yes, even if those calls are with the nicest colleagues.
Tip 3: develop routines
Get up at the same time every working day. This provides peace of mind and stability. Do you like sports? Build in a fixed time for this. If you like to do this in the morning, put on your sports clothes. This prevents your sports session from losing the temptation to get rid of something ‘in advance’. By developing certain routines, you will see that you will use your time more effectively. And this gives peace.
Tip 4: write down thoughts immediately and then continue with what you were doing
You probably recognize it, a multitude of thoughts that alternate at breakneck speed. And always when it’s not convenient. Fortunately, I’ve discovered a way to deal with this: my this-is-not-for-now list.
The moment I am hindered by random thoughts during a task, I write them down and continue with what I was doing. This way you clear your head and can come back to it later. Give it a try.
Tip 5: no distractions, but supplies
Once you get to your home workplace, tell yourself you’re there to work. Avoid distractions that are not related to your work, such as a half-filled shopping list or a vacuum cleaner that is ready to be used. Put your phone on silent and put it out of sight. Have everything you need for work close at hand, such as a pitcher of water, your planner (for me that’s the Life Planner ), and a notebook and pen.
You can also read: Five things to Make Your Home Workplace Great
Tip 6: plan breaks
Don’t skip breaks, even if you’re in a hyperfaces. The state you are in when you are completely absorbed in your task. You then have no sense of time and forget everything else, such as having lunch, going to the bathroom or turning on the lights while sitting in the dark. If I don’t remind myself to take a break because of a notification on my laptop, there is a good chance that I will ‘lose’ myself in my work. So set a reminder and actually get moving. Don’t take a break behind your laptop, but move to another part of your home. Or – even better – step outside for some fresh air. Taking a break without having to concentrate is really important. You decide how often you want to take a break.
Above all, do what works for you .
Tip 7: reflect!
In these times we could all use a helping hand. End your working day with a short summary. I use my Life Planner for this. In less than 3 minutes I look at my to-do list and answer the question: “What are you proud of?” Look back and feel like a winner!
Do you worry at night about what to do next and do you lie awake a lot? I write down my thoughts and experiences every day before I go to sleep. Since I do this I fall asleep faster. Reflecting brings me new insights. For this I am telling Chapters : my personal self-reflection coach in the form of a book. Chapters offers a nice structure with its questions, quotes, facts and assignments. At least I don’t have to think about that anymore
Tip 8: kids? Accepting is better than frustrating
Actually, all the above tips can be applied 1-on-1 if you have kids walking around. So make agreements about who is working and when. Mum behind the laptop, dad in the garden chalking the sidewalk. Make a schedule and develop routines with the family, such as working out together every Tuesday morning.
Working from home with kids is not easy, but the most important tip is that you just have to accept that. And let’s be honest, what could be more touching than a kid who interrupts a video conference to ask why that gentleman (aka your boss) looks so angry?
If you get bore at home You can also read: How to Entertain Yourself at Home?
Bonus tip: are your kids screaming for attention and need to be entertained? In this blog you can read how you can easily entertain them at home !
I hope my personal tips will work for you too. Working from home offers so many great benefits – even in these weird times – and I wish you those too!
Do you have tips of your own that you would like to share or do you recognize yourself in this blog, be sure to leave a comment.