Well, I have officially been working my new job for about a month. (Yay!) While I am still living in Tampa, I have been able to work from home because the closest office to me is 45 minutes away. This was a whole new experience for me, and something I had to adjust to. I am really starting to get a great groove going, and I feel good settling into my job.
In order to make sure that I was being productive every day, I made rules for myself to follow. These little things help me succeed at my job, and help me hold myself accountable.
The first thing I learned was that I need to leave the house to work at least twice a week.
I go stir crazy if I don’t leave the house. I realized this after the first week. I thought, “Hey! This is great! I can work in my pajamas!” Which, I did, and it was awesome. BUT it definitely gets old. You begin to feel like you’re cooped up, and that never feels good. Getting out of the house is always good for the mental health. Not only that, but I have found that I am actually more productive when I go and sit at a coffee shop. I suppose there are less distractions there? I’m not sure why, but I definitely try to get out a couple of times a week.
I have read that it is important to have a designated “work space.” I tried that, but I it tends to change every day. We have an office in our apartment, and I have a desk, but I don’t always use it to work. So my morning rule is: Determine where I will be the most productive for the day. I have to set myself up with all of the tools I need to ensure that I am successful, and most importantly, I have to be comfortable. One day it might be the desk, and another, my bed. Also, I think its important to re-evaluate my space after lunch. (Who wants to sit in the same spot all day?)
To-Do Lists, Schedules, Check Lists, Calendars, and Reminders. Set them, use them, cross things off, conquer tasks. I am a crazy list person, so making them makes me happy and keeps me organized.
One of my initial goals for working from home was to create a structure for my days. I have started to work out how I will accomplish my tasks throughout each day, but the truth is that every day is different. With my job, I can’t do the same thing every day. The demand changes, the projects shift, new ideas need to be worked on. I had to accept that my days might not ever be completely structured. However, something I have found beneficial is every morning, I sit down with a pen and paper and write down my priorities. From there, I can block out how much time I would like to dedicate to each task. Then I can (sort of) plan my day. Of course, life isn’t perfect, and those times don’t always work out, but it keeps me on track.
I have to find the right tunes to keep myself motivated. Create a playlist, and roll with it. I think this would also apply even if I wasn’t working from home.
I also have to remember to eat, and to stay hydrated. This seemed so silly to me at first. But honestly, without anyone around reminding me that it was time for lunch, I would make it to around 3pm and I would be starving and have a headache from not drinking water all day. The mornings are the busiest time for me, and I have to get a whole lot accomplished before 12:30. To make sure that I am hydrating myself, I have to keep a water bottle close by. My goal is to drink that big water bottle by lunch time. (I set an alarm on my phone for lunch so I don’t forget!)
Overall I think I am doing pretty well with working from home, and I am having a lot of fun doing it. There are obvious perks for working from home, and I am definitely taking advantage of them before I move and have to work out of an office again.