In today’s day and age, it seems like more and more folks are spending their time working from home. The gals from North of Eight have been doing so since mid-March, and we like to think that we’ve become somewhat experts in the field; learning how to have a successful day that is both productive and rewarding when working from home.
Set Regular Work Hours
This is CRUCIAL to creating a balance between work life and home life. If you have the freedom to choose when you work, be sure to choose wisely. A consistent schedule will have you feeling more refreshed and productive at the end of a long day. That way, when it’s time to log off for the day you can truly step away from your computer and focus on other areas of your life.
Emily’s work schedule looks a little bit like this: Saturday & Sunday: 15 hour days, M-F: work as much as possible when the baby isn’t demanding her attention. She mostly works at night, but sometimes she gets an hour in during nap time...
Create a Morning Routine
What did you do when you actually HAD to commute to the office? Did you wake up extra early to get your workout and shower in before getting ready for the day? How about make yourself a cup of coffee for the road? Creating a morning routine that actually gets you to your designated workspace (we’ll talk more on that later) will help you get focused for the day.
Kassie’s routine here lately has consisted of her rolling out of bed at 7:50am. From there she brushes her teeth, throws her hair into a messy bun (no time to brush her hair!), and then makes her way into the kitchen to pour herself a cup of coffee. No need to get dressed! If she has an important meeting that day she just makes sure to wear a nice shirt. Clients can’t smell on Zoom..! P.S. Did you know Zoom puts a filter on your face to make it look better?! #genius. She proceeds to start her workday at 8:02am, SHARP.
Create a Designated Work Space
We all agree that creating a designated workspace is incredibly important to having a productive day and helps to really enforce those boundaries between work and personal life. We each created an “office” of some sort that includes a desk, our calendars, office supplies, and our normal gear that we use throughout the day; however, we all opt for more conventional places. Kassie prefers her living room couch where she can sprawl out and cuddle with her cats. Emily prefers the dining room table, and Donielle loves to work in front of the TV.
Separate Yourself From Others in your Home
Do you have kids at home doing virtual learning? A needy spouse? A newborn child? Abandon them*. They can take care of themselves, and if not, they will adapt (hopefully). Make sure your work time is private so you can get as much done as possible. Your company will thank you for your selfless dedication.
*This is a joke, don’t abandon children. Husbands? Yes.
Schedule Daily Team Meetings
Okay for real, this one has been a LIFESAVER. Our team meets every morning at 9am-ish and goes over what’s on our to-do list for the day. We generally spend the first 15 minutes talking about all of the exciting things that aren’t happening in our lives because we are all stuck at home then we tend to dive deeper into our daily agendas.
Sometimes we have unscheduled Show & Tells where our children and pets like to make special appearances! Sometimes we receive between 1 and 27 phone calls during that short period of time, but do you know what we do? We PUSH THROUGH. Because that’s what well-oiled machines do.
When you don’t see your coworkers on the daily, it can be easy to fall out of your relationships with them. It’s important to share every single detail with them about what’s going on in your work life and your personal life. This will strengthen your bond and ensure that everybody is staying on track with their responsibilities and their #goalz.
Don’t feel like you have to stick strictly to email - text them, call them, Snapchat them, post on their Facebook wall that you miss them. Let it be known how much you value your coworkers and miss seeing their faces in person.
Find a Task Manager That Works Best For Your Biz
It is important to find a task manager that works for your team. We currently REALLY like Monday.com; however, we’ve also tried Asana, Facebook Workplace, Airtable, and Flow because Emily can’t commit to a software past the free 30 day trial period.
We are really good at finding new software and then using it to do whatever we want them to do until we get tired of it. Why? Because we mostly just like lists and would prefer to just write everything on pen and paper but that’s not necessarily deemed “efficient” in 2020 so here we are.
End Your Day With a Routine
Once it is time to step away for the day be sure to do so with conviction. Don’t be checking your email every five minutes or trying to work during the brand new episode of The Great British Baking Show. Unplug and get back to doing the things you enjoy. Maybe your end of the day routine consists of checking your emails then going for a light walk to clear your head. If you’re anything like Donielle you catch up on the day with your spouse and maybe have a glass of wine (or two).
Give Yourself Some Grace - and others, too
We’re all out here doing the best we can. It’s been a strange year of learning to adapt to situations that haven’t been ideal. If you find yourself getting distracted here and there, don’t be so hard on yourself. Think about the time you spend at work doing things other than working. You’ve got to be willing to give yourself (and others) grace. It takes some serious discipline to work from home.
If you follow these tips we can guarantee that your working from home experience will be quite a story for the grandchildren. We hope that everyone continues to stay healthy and safe this Holiday Season! We would love it if you messaged us and let us in on some of your very own working from home tips.