The CreativeConnection teams’ 19 Top Tips for Working from Home
As a team of artists who work mainly from home, we thought it may be useful and interesting to hear some of our tips for working from home, what keeps us motivated and productive. We asked some of our team to tell us what they find helps them get out of bed in the morning!
- Get dressed! That means get out of your pyjamas. Get up, get showered and ready as if you were going out to work. This helps you start your day but also finish your day by getting changed out of your ‘work’ clothes.
2. Go for a walk. You could go in the morning to wake you up and help get your day started, or for a lunch time power walk to boost your energy for the rest of the day. It’s good to get the blood flowing and some fresh air in your lungs.
3. Join a club to give you something else to do in the evening. This could be an exercise class, a book club, anything that gets you out of the house and meeting new people.
4. Resign yourself to that fact that the first two hours of your day will be spent getting ready for the productive third hour. For some of us that answering emails, or planning your schedule for the day/week. For an artist it could be drafting and planning work.
5. Plan your day to make sure you take care of your body, your mind, your heart, your soul and your spirit. So read something that inspires you, listen to music, whatever makes you happy and inspires you, try and do this for 5-10 minutes every hour.
6. Be sociable, go out with friends and do things. It can get lonely working from home as your spending most of your time at home, so its important to get out and see your friends, and plan things for your evenings to help you switch off from work.
7. Wake up before the world begins and finish work before the world finishes. Working from home means you get to choose your own hours. Try to start early so that you have longer in the evenings to enjoy your free time, especially in the Winter when it gets dark early.
8. Cook for yourself and stay healthy. Make sure you keep lots of healthy snacks in the cupboard so that you can keep your concentration throughout the day.Try and take the time to cook yourself something for lunch. This means that you will actually take a lunch break and focus on something other than work.
9. Write lists so you can tick things off and schedule sociable time. Keeping a to do list helps you stay on track with your daily tasks and we all know how satisfying it is to cross something off the list.
10. Get moving! It is really important to get up and move throughout the day, whether you work mostly on a computer or are sketching at a desk all day, its not great for our bodies to be hunched over. Have a good stretch or get up and dance to lift your mood and give your neck a break.
11. Disconnect the internet until you really need it. Some of us will find this one hard as we rely on the internet for emails and a lot of our work. If you don’t rely on it, switch it off and get on with whatever you can. When you need it, go to a coffee shop with wifi and work from there for an hour. You’ll be more likely to get things done as you will notice the time more and you get out the house too. If you do rely on the internet, it can be good to schedule time to check emails throughout the day, rather than check them constantly and reply straight away. Turn off your notifications and schedule a time to check them, every hour or so, to avoid distraction from your other daily tasks.
12. Get a dog! This may not work for everyone but it can really help to get out of the house. Dogs need to be walked to it makes for an excellent excuse to go out. Plus you have a companion throughout the day so it doesn’t get as lonely.
13. Don’t force yourself to do something, go with whatever you feel like doing.
14. Self discipline and structure. Try to get up at the same time every morning and finish at the same time each day (if you can).This helps you switch off in the evenings rather than thinking about, or doing work.
15. Create a list of positive things to do when your having down time or a break in the day. These can be work related or not. Try watching an episode of your favourite TV show, get some of those annoying little to do’s ticked off the list that you never get round to doing normally. Whatever little things make you happy, try and add a couple into your day.
16. Create a ‘done’ list to keep track of everything that you have achieved. it’s easy to forget everything you’ve achieved when all your focusing on is how much you still have to do. Try starting a done list to keep track of your achievements throughout the year that you can look back on and realise how much you have done.
17. Create a pattern of your duties but also your pleasures. So put in your calendar your work tasks but also your pleasure tasks like going to the gym, cooking dinner, seeing friends. This can help you to break up the day and see things that you can look forward to.
18. Schedule your work calls early in the morning. This gives you something to get up and about for and is a good way of starting the day proactively.
19. Try and make a space that is dedicated to work. You may not have room for a full office, but try and have a desk that you sit at for work that you can go to in the morning, and leave in the evening. It is tempting to just work in bed but you’ll find you don’t get much done and it’s harder to switch off in the evenings.
Do you work from home? We’d love to hear some of your tips that you find keeps you motivated and proactive throughout the day.