10 Tips for working from home

I’ve spent many years working from home, and I’ve also spent extended periods alone in various places. So, in case it helps someone, here are my 10 tips:

1) Set little goals. It’s great to tick something off a list, and gives your day purpose.

2) Become aware of your mental time cycle and don’t fight it. For eg. I’m much better at admin tasks in the morning, but find creative thinking v difficult until after about 3pm.

3) If you can, rethink the 9-5 and schedule work around your own clock. For some, that’s working from dawn till lunch, others may not get going till afternoon. It doesn’t matter.

4) Do pay attention to the solar cycle though and get some outside time, ideally during morning-noon. It’ll help you sleep and your mood.

5) Ideally go for walks to keep your private world anchored in the context of your wider community. Move around regularly and exercise for physical and mental health.

6) Some days you’ll achieve nothing; other days you’ll surprise yourself with your productivity. That’s fine. Accept you are not a machine but a living creature and part of a complex social system – it’s amazing we manage to work at all!

7) Talking to yourself is useful. If you need to communicate and there’s no one around, write or draw it on paper. Give yourself time to daydream, to pick up the threads of a thought and follow it to its complex conclusion. It might be your most productive time.

8) But if you need to concentrate, be strict with yourself and don’t let a short task drag all over your plans. Put your phone in another room, use earplugs, social media temporary blockers, whatever works. Use music of the right tempo (if it helps).

9) Reward yourself with treats: it’s a way of giving yourself positive feedback, being proud of your achievements and acknowledging the passage of time.

10) Make time to talk to other people, especially friends. Ask for help when you need it, and help others. Physical distancing doesn’t mean social distancing! None of us is actually alone, we’re just not in the same room.

Good luck! X

4 thoughts

  1. Such great tips! I’ve been working from home for eight years. Love your suggestion to “become aware of your mental time cycle.” It’s so constructive to understand that with free reign to structure your days, there are definitely times of the day when you’re more productive than others. Tailoring your work to that is key.

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