For many people working from home is considered the holy grail of the work/parent life balance- you can roll out of bed and straight on to your laptop, get the kids to school, and then come home and crack on with work (buh bye long commute), before heading back to school to pick up your little darlings.
Well, yes, whilst this is kinda loosely correct, working from home isn’t always all it’s cracked up to be. Whilst I love the fact that I can juggle my work around for the children, bung in some washing and fit in a gym session or a run, the lack of adult company and need to stay motivated due to potential distractions can thwart the day’s best laid plans.
You often find yourself talking to that shop assistant about ANYTHING for a little too long.
When working from home, I find I need to be disciplined, probably more disciplined than ever before.
Here are the ways that I stay motivated and get sh*t done:
Great dressed and put my face on
Whilst on a weekend I sometimes don’t put make up on, during the week at least I don’t feel ready and raring unless I’ve showered, dressed (pyjamas don’t count!) and put on some war paint- even if the only person I’m going to see that day is the postman. I’m not sure why, but somehow it makes me feel more professional, and geared up to start the day. I wouldn’t go to the office on my one day a week there without doing all of the above, so I treat home no differently.
Keep a tidy space
You know what they say- “Cluttered space = cluttered mind” and that is certainly true with me. If I have crap all over my desk and I can’t find anything that I need, then I waste a good half an hour just faffing around. I also make sure I stay working in my home office (I realise not everyone has this option), otherwise I get distracted by the fridge/tidying up other areas of the house/tempted to turn the TV on.
Write a ‘Mind Dump’ list the night before
I find it hard to switch off anyway if too much is flying around my brain, so when I finish up for the day, or at the very least just before I go to bed, I use my notebook and Bullet Journal to write down what I’m going to do the next day. I usually allocate the 3 most important tasks for my digital marketing job, and 3 most important tasks for my blog. That then gives me a clear perspective about what needs to be done once the school run is done, and I can hit the ground running.
Take a 15 minute break
After a couple of hours I take a 15 minute break to gather my thoughts and reward myself with my second coffee of the day (sometimes the third, but shhh, don’t tell anyone!). It helps me regroup and I do (sorry if this sounds wanky), a bit of deep breathing. I realised a while ago that when I’m so ‘into’ something, I barely breathe, which isn’t good for the body!
Go for a walk
In the same vein as above, I will often go for a quick walk to the shops, or even have a bounce on our trampoline to clear my head
and when the neighbours aren’t looking. Moving is good!
Plan a time for lunch (and plan your lunch)
Even though I’m rarely far off from planning my next meal, when I’m crazy-busy lunch tends to get neglected slightly, leaving me starving and grabbing something rubbish just before doing the afternoon school pick up. I’ve found that by planning my lunches for the week, and giving myself only a few easy choices, it saves time making decisions and means that I always have something quick, simple and healthy to eat. My go-to lunches are eggs, soup and chicken salad- not especially exciting but they do a job.
Do you ever work from home, and do you have any tips/rituals of your own to share?
I’d love to hear them!