HomeDeciding What Business to DoHow to work at home productively and happily

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How to work at home productively and happily — 12 Comments

  1. We are definitely going through scary times and I know many impacted by the current crisis. My husband is one of them with his manufacturing business.

    He’s scaling back and spending time at home social distancing. But he is still able to strategize during this crisis and plan for the future.

    I work at home so it’s nice to have separate areas to work in now. He has his man cave and I have my cubby desk area.

    I would advise those knew to being home to time block to be sure they get things done. It can be disorienting for those who are use to leaving for work. But you need to get work done, even if you are one of those applying for unemployment.

    So eliminating distractions that don’t serve you help. But do embrace the good distractions …family, pets and reaching out to others.

  2. These are awesome tips. Reading about it makes me feel less stressed. Thank you!

  3. I sometimes work from home so I have some idea how it works and how to do it. But it’s different these days. I guess it’s the psychological aspect of it knowing that we have to do it now because of some grave situation happening outside and all around the world.

  4. Great article Ellen! I’m a virtual assistant and work from home. From my own experience, working from home gives you the freedom to work from wherever you want to and you don’t have to commute to work saving a lot of your time. One can even spend a quality time with family working from home.

  5. I think it would also help if we eat on time. I’ve been working at home for 12 years now and there came a point when I’d just eat once a day because of the many deadlines I have to finish. This led to me having GERD and other health concerns. So since then I’ve been setting an alarm to remind myself to eat. Oh, and I also live alone.

  6. Thanks for the article, Ellen.
    I’ve been working at home for 15 years. Distractions were (and still can be) a factor in trying to stay productive. Those times when I meal prep ahead of time is helpful; I just grab and eat for breakfast and lunch. Also, reach out to colleagues and friends during the day, but put a timer on these conversations!!
    Have scheduled time blocks for working also. And try to “batch” similar activities if you can: like phone calls, research, virtual meetings, checking email, etc. Stay safe everyone!

  7. Fab idea, Ellen. Here are mine: 1. If working alone from home, make sure to validate yourself regularly – keep your self-esteem high. Congratulate yourself on getting things done/sticking to your plan etc. 2. Sometimes, working alone, it’s easy to lose track of intentions and why you are doing what you are doing. Positive words and messages in my work diary help to keep me motivated and on track. 3.Again, if work mates are not around to remind you, it’s useful to regularly tune in to your values – the wider picture and reason you do what you do. 4. Make it a beautiful environment, where you work. What an opportunity – it’s your space and you can make it as you wish. Make it somewhere you love to be and do. 5. Exercise – Ellen has mentioned this. And, apart from doing something specific like walking/yoga etc, every 20 minutes or so, stand up and stretch/wiggle/do a little dance, crouch, something which relieves you from being in a constant sitting position.6. Eye exercises – exercise these muscles too!

  8. I’ve been working from home for about 6 years, and I am really grateful for that right now knowing that I continue to get paid for the work I’m doing remotely. One of my challenges is always finding a schedule that accommodates online meetings and/or conference calls with the rest of my time around the country but still trying to align with my preferences. Sometimes that means I’ll eat while I’m on a call and then take a break later. Most of our team, incl our VP, are on Eastern time and I’m on Central so I have to adjust sometimes.

    Plus, since I also have my online “side hustle,” I will sometimes take a little time to watch a webinar or to take care of a personal business task. But I try to make sure that I make up the time for my job, sometimes working later into the evening. The thing I have to be really careful about is not to work too few hours OR TOO MANY HOURS on my job. Since I’m salaried, it’s more about getting my tasks done, but I try to be conscious of the work hours as well.

    That flexibility may seem disorganized to some people but, for me, it is one of the things I like about working remotely.

  9. Thanks for his, Ellen. Great comments too!

    I’ve been working from home for about five years and have always appreciated the flexibility. One thing I’ve tried to be careful of is work creep. Just because you work from home doesn’t mean you’re always at work! Log out and turn off work devices at the end of your “shift.”

    I open my windows and flood my space with fresh air at least once a day, especially now that I’m spending more time indoors.

  10. My Top Productivity Tip:

    Set, Prioritize, and Schedule your top 3-6 goals for the next day so that you have a daily roadmap prepared in advance. Specify the outcome for each goal. (Setting a daily schedule is the most important and difficult part of this step.)

    The next day, do nothing else until you have completed the most important goal. Then the next important and so on.

    Once you have completed all 3-6 goals, you can take the rest of the day off or do anything you want.

    Review at the end of the day, preferably in writing – what worked, what didn’t and what you learned. Also, what one thing you are grateful for.

    Finally, set, prioritize and schedule goals for the next day.

    This plan-act-review loop is the failproof and foolproof formula of success.

    Bonus points for scheduling a weekly plan and review session.

  11. I often work from home, but never continuously, and novelty of this de-railed me. I noticed that a lot of my habits and routines are harder to maintain in this season of “sheltering in place” – I decided to address that quickly and made for this week a daily checklist to get myself back on track with water consumption, daily exercise, stretch breaks, dietary conventions, etc. I plan to give myself gold stars or a virtual high five to make sure I don’t lose the progress I’ve made in my health over the years.

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