The Calluna Crew is familiar with working from home – but during this new season of social distancing and self quarantines, we wanted to share our tips on achieving a productive day of working from home! We hope these tips help you establish a new daily routine!
Reassure and communicate with your team! Be patient with them, and with yourself.
Now is the time to be reaching out more and increasing communication. If working from home is new for you, it’s most likely new for your entire team. During this time of navigating online meetings, teachers transitioning into virtual learning, or entire teams trying to conduct the same in office projects over Zoom, there can be so many new changes and transitions that can be frustrating or honestly scary. Knowing that everyone is in this together and working towards the same goal can be a huge reassurance in and of itself. Communicating with your team on when they can reach you, or clarifying expectations with your team is a great way to set work priorities and success metrics. Give yourself and your coworkers the benefit of the doubt as everyone tries different ways to be the most productive. Not everyone is going to work the same from home, or work the same as they would in the office. Extend that grace, and communicate, communicate, communicate!
Get into a new (or the same) morning routine, and set an end time.
Getting up at the same time as you normally would going into work can continue the same healthy habits. When working from home, it can be easy to jump straight from bed to work mode. However, studies have shown that if you make your bed and get dressed, you are more productive than if you don’t. We know how easy it can be to work in our PJ’s, but even changing into something different (leggings and a sweater – still equally comfy) can help kickstart your brain into transitioning from sleep to work.
Try to set aside some time in the mornings for some personal non work related activities. Do your morning workout, meditate, read, make coffee or tea, and eat breakfast before sitting down to tackle the day’s work!
As you normally would have at the office, having a stop time can help you create a productive daily routine from home. Give yourself something “social” to look forward to after the end of your work day. If it’s turning on that favorite Netflix show, catching up with friends over a virtual happy hour, or going on a walk around your neighborhood with your family, stopping work and engaging with your family or having time for self care is super important – especially now!
Create a space for yourself.
If you typically don’t work from home, this is a great time to create a workspace that is inspiring! Try to make the space clean and have everything you need to work efficiently around you. Bring a plant into your workspace, light a candle, or get some fresh flowers delivered (support your local flower shops!)
If you can work alone, that is the most ideal. However, with kids being home, and partners also working from home, we know it can be challenging. Communicate with the people you’re at home with! Let each other know what your needs are so that everyone can be productive without stepping on anyone else’s toes. If you don’t have a separate space, try to put on some headphones to minimize distractions. Set some boundaries and establish some rules ahead of time – for example, if you’re on a call and have headphones on, your family or roommates know not to bother you. If you do have a separate space to work, closing the door to the room can mean that you’re working. Assume that anything that interrupts you normally can derail your best laid plans. Being proactive to avoid these interruptions can help you stay focused and in a working groove.
Plan out your day the night before, or make it part of your new morning routine. If you can, set a schedule!
Strategize what the most important tasks for the next day are, and do those first – before opening emails or getting pulled into a new project.
Setting a schedule will look different for everyone. It can sometimes be dictated for you with team phone calls, and virtual meetings already scheduled into the day. If you have these already set into place, your schedule is practically already set for you and you can work around the calls and meetings. If your work from home schedule is more flexible, coming up with a plan for the day can help tackle the big to-do’s. We recommend scheduling the more tedious, bigger tasks and projects when you’re at your most alert. For some, that could be in the morning, or for the night owls, that could be towards the afternoon. You know yourself best, and can schedule a day that is the most productive for you!
Work in batches, and take breaks to clear your mind.
If your work allows it, try working on your laptop until it runs out of battery, then while it recharges, take a walk around the block, stretch, make your afternoon coffee, or meditate. You can also set aside an hour or two to work on designated projects, or responding to emails. We’ve found that when we bounce around to do emails, design boards, vendor calls, timelines, it causes your brain to have to shift around. Batching can allow your mind to focus on one main task or project to get the job done more quickly.
Try not to have the TV or other devices on in the background, and limit social media.
We know that it can be so easy to indulge in activities you normally wouldn’t be able to at the office, but it can be so distracting, and you may find that your 10 minute Instagram or Twitter break can turn into 45 minutes of endless scrolling. It’s so easy to be sidetracked, so setting designated time controls on your phone to limit social media usage can be very helpful. If you’re batch working, you can also “reward” yourself with a social media break for 10-15 minutes before getting on with your next task.
If you are a person that works better with background noise, try turning on something that you have absolutely no interest in to minimize distractions. It could be a TV show you have no interest in, or it could be your favorite acoustic playlist on Spotify.
If you find yourself getting overwhelmed, anxious, down, or stressed, know that this is temporary.
Pick up the phone and call a friend, or your family! We’ve found that FaceTime, or Google Hangouts has been so helpful in finding connection and community during this time of social distancing. Do something to take your mind off of what is making you stressed or overwhelmed and find some perspective.
Focusing on the unknowns can create unnecessary worry and anxiety. People are innately good at overcoming the odds and adapting to situations. While this season is completely new and overwhelming at times, know that we will be out of this at some point. Yes, it may look different, but knowing that this isn’t forever can help you from feeling anxious about the future!
Whatever your situation is, know that you are not alone in feeling what you’re feeling. This season will pass. When you get overwhelmed, keep that mantra in your head!
Want to see how the #CallunaCrew is working from home? Check out our desks below!