The global spread of COVID-19 has forced many people to work from home if possible and those working from home are fortunate to still have a job as we have seen a big rise in our nation and across the globe with people getting laid off or going furlough.
As a photographer and educator, I’ve been mainly working from home for the last eight years. And over the last eight years, I’ve learned a few things on how to work more effectively from home and how to set boundaries.
What can you do to work from home effectively?
- Create a working space at home
It might be tempting to stay in bed and in your pajamas but don’t! Create a working space away from distractions. This will help you be more organized and more productive Let your family and friends know that you are unavailable during work hours.
2. Set Expectations – Have a plan
I normally spend thirty minutes to an hour Sunday nights on working on my to-do list for the coming week. I try to keep my list short and focus on the important tasks first.
3. Have set work hours
Have set work hours and budget every minute of your day. Just like we budget our checkbooks, every minute of our working schedule should be allocated to a task or project.
4. Get DRESSED and show up to work
I know I have been guilty of this one. It is so easy to stay in your pajamas or throw on some yoga pants and work because no one is going to see you. Plus they are super comfy. Right? While this is true, let me tell you from experience that I’m more productive when I actually dress up for work.
5. Turn off distractions
I have a big love-hate thing with social media. I use it a lot or my business but it can also be a big distraction. I have given myself permission to go on social media 30 minutes the max a day during working hours and yes I set a timer. After that, all social media is turned off unless it’s after hours or I have a live class I’m attending but these classes get scheduled on my calendar. Close all the tabs! Binge-watching Netflix, while you work, is not a thing! I also use to be guilty of this. Now I don’t even have Netflix. I prefer having music playing in the background. At times if I’m working on an important project or a deadline, I turn my phone off as well. The fewer distractions I have, the more I get done.
6. Do not multi-task
Multi-Tasking is also not a thing! And yes I have also been guilty of this one. Learn from my mistakes! I use to take pride in saying I was good at multi-tasking but in reality, I sucked at it and I can guarantee you so do you. No offense! You will get more done when you focus on one thing at a time.
7. Take breaks
I can’t emphasize how important this is and how easy is to forget sometimes. It is important that when you take your breaks that you leave your workspace. Your workstation is not the place to have lunch. On nice days I like to have lunch on my patio and I use my breaks to take my dog for a walk or read a book. Completely disconnect and get some fresh air. We need it.
8. Be accountable
Accountability is so important. Find someone you trust and respect to hold you accountable and is willing to give you constructive criticism as well as feedback. This could be a business coach, mentor, friend, family member or colleague.
Love to hear your thought on how to work effectively from home. And as always, I appreciate your comments.
LYDIA GILLIS PHOTOGRAPHY is Denver based and Destination Wedding Photographer, Seniors and Personal Branding Photographer.
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