These are strange and difficult times for many of us. For those of us fortunate enough to still be working, there's a new complication: working from home for the first time. As the co-owner of a fully-remote content marketing and copywriting agency, I've been working from home for ten years. I'd love to offer my fellow Owls eight strategies that have helped me stay focused.
- Have a specific workplace within the home so your brain knows when it's time to work. Bonus points for incorporating noise-canceling headphones and a door (or both!)
- Let your family or roommates know when you're in meetings or on a deadline. You can share your calendar with them or put a sign on your door.
- Maintain voice communication with colleagues when possible, like team videoconferences or client calls. This will keep those professional connections strong.
- Wear something professional to keep your brain in work-mode, no matter how tempting your PJs are. When I shower, dress for work, and "commute" to my desk, that triggers my brain into work-mode.
- Try out the Pomodoro method, work sprints or other productivity hacks. When I'm struggling to focus, giving myself multiple short, limited time periods to make progress feels much more achievable than working all day long.
- Time block your day to give yourself permission to relax when you're off the clock.
- Establish healthy work-life boundaries by turning off notifications (if allowed by your employer) to work-related apps like Slack or project management systems. This helps me feel less tempted to work all hours of the day and night, which can be tough when one's office is feet from the bed!
- Enjoy the perks of working from home, like lunch breaks in your garden or afternoon playtime with your pet. This is an extremely challenging and upsetting time for all of us, so enjoy the silver linings where you can find them.