22 WAYS TO SET YOURSELF UP FOR SUCCESS WHEN WORKING FROM HOME

If working from home fatigue is setting in, perhaps it’s time to get a bit more intentional about how you set yourself up as a successful home worker. Here’s 22 tips from Life & Career coach Tracy James to get you started.

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If working from home fatigue is setting in, perhaps it’s time to get a bit more intentional about how you set yourself up as a successful home worker. Here’s 22 tips from Life & Career coach Tracy James to get you started.

ENVIRONMENT AND SET UP

1.     Create a morning routine.  Make sure you get dressed, shower and look after yourself like you would if you were going to work.

2.     Where possible create a space that is dedicated to working that doesn’t spill over into personal space.  Boundaries are incredibly important and they need to be more intentionally implemented with the loss of physical ones.

3.     Get comfortable.  Make sure you have a good chair and necessary accessories to sit well and work efficiently and without strain.  Ask your company for support if you need it.

4.     Build in a ‘commute buffer’.  The commute serves as a circuit break where you couldn’t work and a trigger to your brain to stop working and move into home mode.  Recreate this by creating a new routine such as closing the laptop, clearing the workspace down, going for a walk, taking a shower or exercising.  Physically move out of the workspace and changing your focus.

5.     Take a lunch break.  Get outside and away from the screen.  Call a friend or walk the dog.

6.     If you share your home, make it clear when you are disturb-able and when you are not.

7.     Switch up spaces.  Take opportunities to move around and change the scenery, for example walk around the room when on a call.

TIME MANAGEMENT

8.     Plan your time.  At the beginning of the week and of each day set realistic intentions as to how you will use your time – realistic being the key word!  Estimate how long tasks will take you and don’t over commit yourself.   Build buffers inbetween video calls to reduce the acceleration of the day.

9.     Structure your week and your days to play to your energy as best you can.  Google research suggests our week is best structured as follows:

a.    “Monday: Energy ramps out of the weekend — schedule low-demand tasks like setting goals, organizing, and planning.
b.    Tuesday, Wednesday: Peak of energy — tackle the most difficult problems, write, brainstorm, creative tasks.
c.     Thursday: Energy begins to ebb — schedule meetings, especially when consensus is needed.
d.    Friday: Lowest energy level — do open-ended work, long-term planning, and relationship building.”

10.  Reconsider what apps, tools and technology you need to do your best work.  What one thing would make you more efficient during the day?

11.  Complete work in time-boxed chunks and build in short break ‘rewards’ inbetween e.g. I am going to review these artwork amends for the next 45 minutes then go and make a cup of tea. 

12.  Mini breaks.  Make sure you move, get away from the screen and stretch your back regularly.

13.  Review your team meeting and 121 schedule – is it working for you?  What would be more useful for you?  Explore how perhaps shorter more regular connection might benefit you.

14.  Working from home doesn’t mean flexible working hours.  Unless agreed with your manager, your hours are as per your contract.  However, these hours don’t always work so well from home.  Flexible working hours work both ways.  If you take time out during the day to do something other than work, make it up when your energy and focus is there (where possible).  If you are stacking up the hours to get an urgent job out, make sure you build in some time during quieter periods to reclaim some down time.  Discuss your company policies on this with your manager first and agree what works for you and your team without impacting service.

COMMUNICATION

15.  Turn off notifications for periods of time.  Email, Teams, Messenger, Slack, WhatsApp, Text – these all distract us and can make us feel like we’re running at 100 miles an hour.  They can also trigger the stress response.  Set periods of time in the day when you check messages and turn notifications off.  Agree to call each other if it is urgent…most things can wait an hour or so!

16.  Manage your social media usage.  Comparisonitis is real and the social networks are designed to get you addicted to the feeling of being ‘connected’ while actually often serving to making you feel even more isolated.  You could consider logging out of social accounts during the day to avoid distraction.  De-activate push notifications, schedule specific times to look at your accounts or use the time limit function to help you control your usage and keep it a positive experience.

17.  Be considerate to others.  People are more likely to lose confidence and experience increased anxiety and stress during periods of high workload and isolation.  Reach out to your teammates, cut them some slack when they need it and be mindful of how what you type in a message might be received.

18.  Pick up the phone.  With so many written modes of communicating and in times of high stress and task focus, messages can get misconstrued.  If you start feeling annoyed or ignored by a colleague, pick up the phone and step away from the keyboard.

19.  Build in ‘water cooler’ chats or shared lunchbreaks with your colleagues virtually.  Inter-personal relationships with colleagues are an important component to our happiness and effectiveness at work.

REFLECT

20.  Don’t assume what worked for you in the office will work for you now.  Be aware of and open to the need to try new ways of working.

21.  Know when you’re not OK.  Your colleagues cannot physically see if you are struggling or overloaded anymore, so you need to notice yourself and be prepared to reach out for help.  What are your tell-tale signs? If you’re not sure perhaps ask a teammate.

22.  Build in weekly self-reflection.  Once a week, perhaps on a Friday, consider:

a.    How am I feeling?
b.    What might I need to be different next week?
c.     What support or resources do I need to achieve this?  Who can help me?

Tracy James is a Life & Career Coach and Team & Leadership coach based in Berkshire.  In her private ‘Aimed and Changerous™’ coaching practice she specialises in helping people gain control of their thinking to help them move towards more contented lives and careers. 

For daily self-coaching tips check out her Insta stories @brightyellowcoaching subscribe to her newsletter at www.brightyellowcoaching.com/newsletter, or book a free discovery session to explore how career coaching could support you.

Tracy James - PCC

Life and Team & Leadership Coach, bright yellow coaching

Life and work can feel fast paced and full of expectations, challenges and stuff and things to fill our time with – not all of them in line with who we want to be and how we want to feel. Often our mindset can be the biggest blocker to creating the changes that move us closer to that - whether that be confidence, understanding your preferences or purpose, knowing your values and what’s truly important to you, self-awareness or ability to stretch outside of a well-worn in comfort zone. My purpose as a Team & Leadership and Life & Career coach is support you in achieving the self-awareness and empathy required to know your purpose and what feels right for you. To support you in overcoming blockers – whether internal or external. To help you understand and mobilise your unique strengths and superpowers whilst mitigating your development areas, and to help you formulate and implement informed, realistic and viable action plans. In other words, help you get clarity, find purpose, smash blockers and move forward in your life and your career. I am an accredited to PCC level with the ICF, trained with Barefoot Coaching and studied Business and Personal Coaching with the University of Chester. I pull on an eclectic mix of techniques from systemic and leadership methodologies, to values and strengths tools that I tailor in personalised programmes for each of my clients. I work particularly effectively with those seeking to move forward from emotional drains such as anxiety, lack of confidence or loss and towards a more purposeful life and career and in supporting leaders to lead with authenticity, influence and confident impact. I offer a free 30-minute discovery session to help you find out more about the process and how we might work together. From here you will take away a personalised programme proposal to review to help you decide on the best way forward for you. If you would like to explore this further please book your free discovery session here https://calendly.com/brightyellowcoaching/30min. If you would like to know what my clients say, check out my testimonials here https://www.brightyellowcoaching.com/testimonials.

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