It’s absolutely CRAZY times right now! Who would have thought at the turn of the year we’d be where we are now and running our businesses in the challenging circumstances we are?
Remarkably, the country’s usually ‘office-based’ workforce is adapting. And although it’s not strictly business as usual, for me, working from home every day is starting to feel more settled and, dare I say it, normal (ish)!.
The rest of the All Star team and I have been trying to keep as much normality in the working week as possible in order to maintain productivity and control over the business, and support our clients as much as we possibly can. We’ve certainly acclimatised well and every week we settle into our new ‘working from home’ groove that little bit more.
It takes effort to maintain productivity but once you’ve mastered what works for you, it’s much more plain sailing. I thought I’d share with you 11 of the things we’ve been doing, and that you can do too to keep it “Business as Usual” and maintain your productivity when running your business from home.
1. Follow your usual workday morning routine.
Making sure you get up and get dressed at the time you usually would. If you exercise in the morning, make sure you continue to do that. DO NOT sit in your pyjamas, watch Good Morning Britain, followed by This Morning, followed by Loose Women, unless it’s your day off!
2. Create a set office space at home.
Maybe in a spare bedroom or even a corner of your lounge or kitchen. Set it up to reflect an environment that to you represents work, and only use it when you are working.
It’s important to break your state at the end of the day and step out of work mode, therefore sitting on your sofa for work and relaxation is not going to help to you be productive, nor switch off at the end of the day. You’ll be in limbo land with no distinction between the two. Not to mention, the negative impact it will have on your body.
3. Take advantage of the extra bit of time you now get which would usually be taken up with your daily commute.
In the morning perhaps enjoy breakfast in the garden with the family, or what about a spot of yoga, maybe you need to call your parents? At the end of the working day prepare your to-do list for the next day, so that when you arrive at your new location of work in the “spare room” you’re all set and ready to go. Or, why not write a blog, schedule your social media post, or plan your email marketing sequences.
4. Keep up your daily / weekly team meeting routine. Set the work agenda and hold each other accountable. If you don’t have a team, why not start peer working meetings with trusted networking affiliates to help keep you focussed and motivated. Or, attend our daily 3pm PANTS meetings and let us help you with that.
5. Plan your days, set working hours and establish a structure. It’s better to work in shorter and more focussed bursts, allotting time for coffee breaks and lunch. In a usual working environment, there are interruptions throughout the day which naturally break it up. By working solidly, you risk burning out, not to mention the health implications of remaining sedentary for long periods of time.
6. Be realistic about what you can achieve. It’s easy to get into a trap of believing you can get through 199 things a day when working in isolation, but being overly ambitious can make you feel disappointed if you don’t achieve all you set out to, rather than satisfied over what you have accomplished.
7. Batch tasks.
So that you are doing the same sorts of tasks all together. This helps to get you in the productive zone and find your flow.
8. Communication is key.
Talk to peers, colleagues, clients and prospects daily. Make sure you are talking to them on the phone, via Zoom or WhatsApp etc, regularly. Why? Well firstly it’s good practise in maintaining your working relationships. Secondly, you don’t want to be forgotten. You need to keep visible in your market and ensure that your customers and prospects especially, know that you are on hand and very much working to serve and support them when they need you.
9. Pin your schedule up at home and set boundaries.
There will never be another time where families and pets being present in the background will be as accepted as it is now. Nonetheless it can still be hugely uncomfortable and distracting when a little face pops up on a Zoom call with your clients, asking for a biscuit or demanding you fix Netflix (personal experience).
Let others in your household, know when you are off limits each day and set boundaries. Visual cues such as the door being closed to your make-shift office, donning your headphones, or a do not disturb sign is often enough to do the trick.
10. Know your distractions.
If you’re working near the kitchen and you know that seeing the breakfast dishes in the sink will irritate you, deal with them before you sit down to work (perhaps using that bit of commuting time you’ve gotten back). Or, if you know that every time any vehicle larger than a Range Rover Evoque drives past your house, the Ring doorbell motion sensor sounds loudly on your phone…turn it off! (Again personal experience).
11. Make sure you get outside daily for the ‘government permitted’ level of exercise.
As they say, “A change is as good as a rest” and you should take advantage of a daily change of scene to break state and maintain your levels of positivity and productivity.
Above all else, try to go with it and accept it, recognising that we are currently in very unprecedented times and the whole country, not less, the World, are experiencing the same challenges. And know that as humans we naturally evolve and are highly adaptable.
Hang in there. You got this!
Tell me about your current home working set up and any funny or interesting stories, i’d love to hear your tales.
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