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It’s important to wake up, dress up and start your day at your usual time
The key to working from home is to maintain a sense of purpose and structure.
Wake up, dress up and start your day as if nothing has changed. Get into the work day as you normally would and in many cases I’d recommend a higher level of attire, grooming and presentation.
It is ultimately up to you to bring the energy to the environment and the day. So show up, brighter and better than ever before.
The biggest challenge you face when it comes to working from home is that your mind starts to think that you are at home rather than at the office and that quickly puts you into a casual and relaxed mindset.
You have to break that thought process and pattern first thing in the morning, by waking up and starting your day as you normally would.
Many of you will have your family at home with you at this time, which adds another element of stress and disruption as you try and focus on your work in a very uncertain economic and social environment.
Start the day in a powerful way. Run through your morning routines and get to work as soon as you possibly can, because as the day goes on there will be further distractions and challenges to deal with – That’s just the reality of home life.
As a rule, if I am working from home I always wake up much earlier than I normally would and at no point do I allow myself to think that I am at home or that I am there to relax and watch Netflix all day. That all starts with how I start the day and how I prepare myself for the work day ahead.
Although I’ll most likely look in the fridge to see if anything has changed every 30 minutes or so…
The truth is that it is harder to work from home for most people, because you have to be disciplined and keep yourself accountable. But you can overcome most of the challenges of working from home by waking up, dressing up and getting into the “office” just like you normally would. That’s always the first place to start.
Over the next few weeks as part of our ‘Coronavirus Response Package’, I’ll be sharing and publishing a number of articles featuring our latest thinking, information and data to help you work from home more effectively during the current global challenge we are all facing.
How to set up an effective workspace from home
One of the biggest challenges when it comes to working from home is developing and defining where your work space will be and how you can stay focused for long periods of times in that space.
Most people’s homes or living spaces aren’t set up for work. So you have to be willing to make some sacrifices and changes to create an effective working space.
The first thing you want to do is clean up and get a good feel for where you could effectively and comfortably work for a period of time, without being constantly distracted or bothered by others who may be at home with you or sharing your living space.
Cleaning up and organising your home and workspace is imperative to how you feel and how you perform and when you work at home, you need to be even more aware of how you feel at any given time. Because it is you who has to bring the energy to the day and your environment.
I’d also recommend that you clean up, vacuum and wipe down your work space every few of days, so that you feel good, fresh and focused when you head into the office.
Always focus on functionality – You’re not at home to relax or chill out. You are ultimately setting up a space where you can fulfil your role to the highest possible level. So you want to make sure the tools you need are close at hand and that you’re set up to get the job done.
Every time you get up and walk around to look for things, you lose your focus and when you’re working from home that can mean losing 20 minutes here, an hour there and in some cases a whole afternoon or day.
Give yourself every chance to be effective and productive by setting up your workspace in a functional and useable way.
Be flexible in your approach and don’t be afraid to change things up if it’s not working for you. Often when you work from home, it’s hard to set up an effective space straight away. So try a few things and find out what works best for you.
It’s about being effective, focused and productive and that often means setting up a workspace where you feel most comfortable and free to create and think clearly.
It’s even more important to have a plan for the day when you work from home
Working from home always sounds like fun, until you have to sit down and actually be productive.
I think we’ve all been there before, where you fall into the trap of thinking you have all day to get into the work day and before you know it, you’ve done nothing and it’s nearly bedtime.
The home environment can be full of distractions and it can lead to a very stressful and unproductive time – If you don’t develop some rules and manage yourself effectively.
I know many of you have heard me say it thousands of times before, but the first rule of work is to make sure you plan your day before you start your day.
This is especially true if you are working from home, because it is on you to deliver results.
It is on you to bring the structure to the day.
It is on you to bring the energy to the day.
It is on you to be accountable and ensure by the end of each day and each week you have moved the game forward in some way – regardless of what is going on around you.
Develop a simple plan for the day, that’s the best place to start. Don’t over complicate the process and don’t get overwhelmed by creating a long list of unrealistic goals for the day.
Keep it simple and identify what is actually important to work on and accomplish. You don’t have unlimited amounts of energy or resources, so be strategic and focus on what will move the game forward each day.
If you’re struggling to get focused and get anything productive done, just focus on starting and finishing one task at a time. Focus on building momentum and getting into the habit of starting and finishing a task or project.
I’d also recommend that when planning out your day, that you break your day up into three manageable parts so you can be effective in the morning, afternoon and evening.
Right now, it is important to be flexible with your schedule and how you plan your work day. Leave enough time for things to come up or for time with your family, friends and work colleagues who may need your help or support.
If you need a plan, grab The Blueprint and that will help you to stay on track every day and help you to keep moving forward in every area of your life.
Have a productive week!
Get up, Exercise and move around throughout the day – to stay energized and focused
One of the biggest challenges when it comes to working from home is how we view being productive and what we define as productive work.
This is one of the many things we have worked to address over years with companies and individuals, who struggle with understanding and defining what the overall concept of work embodies.
According the before 5am philosophy I crafted and developed years ago – “Work is all things.” That rule especially applies to working from home.
Getting up every 30 or 40 minutes to stretch or to go for a quick walk around the block is considered work in The before 5am ecosystem. The main reason why I have embedded those concepts and activities into the work day is to ensure maximum performance, focus, creativity and overall productivity.
Everything from mediation, yoga, running, walking, to journaling and being still for 15 minutes throughout the work day is part of the system we developed to help to create a more mindful and wellbeing focused work environment. Which ultimately leads to a more sustainable, productive and higher performing individual or organisation.
Those same Before 5am rules of performance and focus apply when you work from home and often when we work from home, we can be tougher on ourselves than we are at the office or in a more social working environment.
It’s important to break your day up, give your mind a chance to reset and re-focus and ensure that you are performing at your highest level – over a longer period of time.
Get up and move around throughout the day. Don’t get stuck just sitting at your desk or behind the computer all day and night trying to prove to yourself that you are being productive and working hard.
Create the flow of energy and reduce your exposure to burnout and feeling stressed out by getting up and moving around often.
It is now part of your daily work schedule to look after your wellbeing and your mental health.
If you can start to view work in a more holistic way, you’ll find you will have more time throughout the day to fit in your wellbeing & creativity based activities and be able to focus and perform at higher level when you do eventually sit down to do your work.
Stay connected with your team members to keep your inspiration, creativity and energy levels high
When you’re working from home, it’s important to stay connected with your team members and work colleagues to keep your inspiration, creativity and energy levels high.
Working remotely can be quite a lonely and stressful experience – especially if you don’t have the support or confidence to work by yourself.
Often the greatest challenge when it comes to working from home is that you have to create all the energy and that isn’t always easy when your home life or living space might not be ideal or conducive to feeling inspired.
Pick up the phone – Talk.
That’s the best place to start to keep the inspiration and ideas flowing. A structured morning call with your team or a mid morning call can help you shift much of the uncertainty and lack of urgency that comes from working remotely.
You can also schedule in a call in the afternoon around 2pm – 3pm to make sure you are staying on track and are focused on your objectives for the day and week.
Jump on Zoom or Skype – Dress up, look good & feel good.
It’s important to have some rules and structure when it comes to working form home. Video calls and conferences force you to jump out of bed, dress up and make an effort to be more focused and energised.
Jumping on a quick video call at the start of the day is an easy way to ensure that you and you’re team are prepared for the day ahead and are feeling inspired and certain about the work day ahead.
Work through challenges together, talk about big ideas and have some real discussions. Sometimes it’s not possible to have these discussions with our work colleagues under normal business circumstances, but now is the time to build stronger relationships, understand each other and support each other.
One of the best ways to build a stronger relationship with your team members and develop a baseline to communicate from is to use the Before 5am Blueprint.
It’s a tool that companies and teams around the world use to get connected in a very real way and develop structured goals and objectives, work through business challenges and stay on track throughout the quarter.