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Advice For Successfully Working From Home
This month The Officials x The Assistants List are collaborating on a Remote Assistant Success course that is dropping soon. If you are interested in top tips from WFH experts including how to limit distractions, focusing on output not input, mastering your mindset, must have tools and tech and more. Sign-up here to get notified when the course drops.
For now, here are a few tips for successfully working from home:
Dress comfortably, but don't be a slob
There are suggestions all over the internet to get dressed for work, as if you were going into the office, even if you are working from home. No thanks! One of the greatest perks of working from home is getting to walk around in your comfy pyjamas all day! However, I do find it helpful to be put together enough to not be embarrassed if you have to jump on an impromptu video call or if the neighbors knocked on the door. For me this means comfy yoga trousers, an oversized but stylish sweatshirt, hair in a bun and light makeup. Teeth definitely brushed. Bra optional, depending on how oversized that sweatshirt is...
Get up early
This is a tip for those that find themselves confined in their homes with others...especially tiny humans. Productivity as you know it is going to fall, especially if you have children that cannot dress themselves, feed themselves nor entertain themselves for 8 hours. You will have more distractions and interruptions than ever before. One way to combat this is to start your day earlier. If possible get your most important work started and hopefully finished before others have even risen from their beds. I am currently getting up at 6am. My children wake at 7am and can wander downstairs to turn the telly on themselves but not much else. I get them drinks and some porridge and I can continue working until 9am.
Gamify your day
We've set up a flexible routine at home for our children and ourselves to follow each day. The children are used to routine from school and are thriving with it. I've also established a routine for myself that involves getting up earlier to get the most urgent and important items done first before the minions awake. I schedule all of my tasks for the day in my calendar and then use that as my to do list. Tasks have a way of filling the time you allow for them. If you give yourself 2 hours to work on something, it seems to take at least 2 hours. So be realistic with how much time you allot for each task and set timers. Do your damnedest to complete the task in that time or faster. Make it a game. I set up a few awards to work towards including: • Eat the Frog award • Most productive award • Clear your inbox award • Best communicator award • Deadline Darling award I decide which one I'm working towards that day and go for it. We also set awards for the kids to work towards. If you are interested in learning more you can check out The Officials blog.
There is some evidence that binaural beats can improve concentration. Listen to them when you want to be hyper focused for an hour. The more you do this, the more you program your brain to get ready to work when it hears those tones. The issue with binaural beats is that they aren't known for lifting your mood. This is when I turn towards Lo-fi lyric-less music. Try the All-Nighter playlist on Spotify, it's bouncy but there are no words to distract you. I pop in some earbuds (only in one ear so I can hear the kids) and groove while I work. It helps keep me in a good mood and focused on work.