Lisa's Lockdown Tips When Working From Home
This time last week things were already unsettled, the shops were struggling to keep their shelves stocked and a few people were self-isolating or working from home if possible. Fast forward a few days and it’s an actual governmental instruction to stay at home.
As we are trying to adjust to the current norm you might be feeling totally liberated by not having to get up and get ready for work at the office and still be in the pyjama phase. Or it might be that you feel like a fish out of water and worrying about how to actually work from home?
As a seasoned WFH’er I thought I’d give you my personal take on how I make it work for me. I’ve been working from home for almost 7 years now so have got into my groove.
Here’s what works for me:
Create balance: I have a daily routine that defines my work time. I generally work between 10am - 6pm. Although, saying that, I do enjoy a lazy hour scrolling social media with a coffee brought up to the bedroom by my lovely hubby every morning.
Avoid family and friends: I don’t mean forever obvs but it’s important that they respect your work time and aren’t interrupting with phone calls, popping in for coffee etc. Keep that to after hours. (If you’ve got young kids off school then this could be a whole lot trickier)
Enjoy your space: I appreciate that you might be having to work at the kitchen table as your temporary workspace but if you can, take some time to make it somewhere you are comfortable and want to be. My workspace is a place I like to spend time in, I’m surrounded by things that bring me joy to look at. I have essential oils in my diffuser and can see the garden from my desk.
Prioritise: I use a planner and create prioritised to do lists each day. I keep a check on what needs doing when, plan in time within my week but also allow for a bit of flexibility too. I don’t get bogged down by housework and all the little jobs that need doing – otherwise I’d never get anything done. I will put the washing in but that’s about it.
Take breaks: I have alarms set for break times throughout the day to remind me. I move away from my desk to get a brew and always take at least half an hour for lunch. If Paul is at home we eat together, otherwise I still sit at the dining table for my lunch.
Drink water: I bring water bottles to my desk. I’m trying to drink at least 2 litres a day, so I bring a litre to my office in the morning and top them up for the afternoon. It helps keep me on track. ‘Drink to think’ was printed on school water bottles when Finn was in primary and it’s stuck with me ever since – it makes me think I’m going to work better if I’m hydrated.
Listen to music: if you can concentrate with background noise, I find that music really helps uplift my mood. When I’m working on visuals and virtual shopping for clients I often listen to Audible, podcasts or webinars that I consider personal development. I’ve done ;lots of studying this way.
Video calls: these are a great way of being in touch with people and help you feel connected. I’ve been using Zoom for working with my clients remotely. E.g. when I’ve done an Online Colour Analysis reading, I follow up with a video call to go through everything. It’s the next best thing to meeting up in real life. No travelling time either. I arrange them in advance like a you would a face to face meeting. Much better than a phone call in my view. Ps -Think about what’s on screen in your background though – you might not want your colleagues/clients to be privy to your collection of fridge magnets etc.
Get dressed for work: I find that putting my ‘work clothes’ on for the day and taking them off once I’ve finished work helps me make that mental shift and switch off from work mode. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suited and booted at my desk but nor am in my pyjamas. My WFH clothes tend to be comfy and practical but still look nice, and more importantly, make me feel nice, it’s about mindset too. I’ve been posting this week on my social media about how scarves/necklaces/lipstick can brighten up your portrait area (essential for those video calls). Wear something colourful to boost your mood too.
And while we are back to video calls - PLEASE don’t have your camera too low. Nobody wants to see up your nostrils. Raise it off the coffee table or your knee if you’re using the webcam on your laptop. It doesn’t look professional if you’re slumped on the settee either.
Have some fun in your working day: You might be missing the office banter so check in on your social media but only at set times. Mute the notifications so you’re not distracted. Make sure you log in to my Style Sisterhood Facebook group every day though. I’ve decided that I’m running Lisa’s Lockdown Style Challenge from today for a bit of fun. It’s slipper selfies today – message me if you’ve got any ideas of what else we should include.
There you have it – hope these tips help a little.
Lisa Newport: image consultant and colour geek. I work with savvy women helping you express your identity and hone the language of colour, image and style. I'm an experienced trainer and can be booked to speak and deliver workshops get in touch with me firstname.lastname@example.org
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