As a freelancer who quit her office job last year and is now mostly working from home, I know what challenges some of you might be facing right now. And as if changing from an interactive job in a big team to a “one-woman show” wasn’t enough, I also moved from a city with over 500’000 inhabitants to a village with 70 people.
Now, 7 months later, I’m still sane and doing great (in fact I really love it here)! So, admittedly, my choice was a deliberate and voluntary one, unlike the current situation that the Corona virus forces upon us, but still I believe that I can share some helpful advice with you about how to thrive in home office.
How to thrive in home office:
- Keep your normal morning routine and dress for work. Don’t sit down at your desk in your comfy pajamas.
- Keep track of your time. I recommend using a free time-tracking software like e.g. Toggl, Clockify, etc.
- Set goals. What is it that you want to achieve today, this week, this month? Write down your goals and stick them on the wall or somewhere else where you can keep them in view (and in mind).
- Make a schedule and write it down: Project work from 8 am to 10 am, 10:30 am to 12 pm emails & phone calls, 12 pm to 1 pm lunch break, etc. Try to develop a new routine.
- Do you find it hard to get started with your work? Try the concept of “micro-progress”… break down your goal into the smallest possible steps… turn your computer on – open a text document – give it a meaningful name and save it - …. and an hour later your weekly report is finished ;-)
- Reward yourself frequently for your achievements. Try out the Pomodoro technique. It’s a great time management method that helps you to focus and get work done!
- If you start to feel unsure what your voice sounds like, reach out to others. Why not schedule regular online coffee breaks to have a chat with your office and lab mates? Talk about your goals, your progress and your challenges!
- Try to keep work and private stuff separate. If you don’t have the luxury of setting up your home office in a separate room, then put your work related things out of sight when you’re not working, and clear your desk of distractions before you start working.
And don’t forget: Be kind to yourself! Especially with the current exceptional situation. Try not to give in to temptation and check the news every ten minutes – it won’t change anything. Focus instead on the things that you have control of – like moving your work forward! I hope these tips for a productive home office will help you with that. If you have more great ideas for thriving in home office, feel free to leave a comment below!
All the best for you & stay healthy!
Dr. Iris Köhler - The Scientist Coach
Photos: Village - Dr. Iris Köhler; Cat in front of computer - inkje, photocase.de