In the coming months, there will be a lot of people who have to adjust to working from home. As someone who has been doing this for the better part of 5 years now, I’d like to share some of my suggestions and tips on what has worked well for me. As I write these I realise that we are all different and that every home working environment will be different, especially over the coming months. So I offer these with humility, and I hope that some people will find them useful!
If you are a desk-based worker you will know that over time this can be problematic for your body. My key aches and pains come from sitting over long periods of time, often maintaining the same posture. Recently I purchased a very simple pull up laptop stand, which allows me to work standing up. It’s a sturdy plastic thing, which can be adjusted to any height, so you can use it to elevate your laptop to eye level when you are seated, or you can use it to work standing up.
The benefits of standing while working for me have been:
Quick refocus. I now find it super easy and fast to REFOCUS after quick breaks for coffee food because the ‘getting up and settling back down’ time is gone. During COVID-19 isolation, especially if you will be working with kids at home, this will make life easier.
Quick exercises. Stretches, lunges, squats. Walk to the fridge and back ?
Less pain, more energy. Self explanatory.
My rule is I try to work to lunch time standing, then I can sit in the afternoon. I often find it is 12 pm to 1pmish before I really have to sit down.
*Note that I wrote this before the lockdown started and the non-essential shops closed. I decided to leave it in because it’s still my #1 discovery, so if you are interested in giving it a go – raincheck it until you’re able to get in to the shops, or check out these links when we are able to buy online again. I purchased my stand from the Warehouse from the ‘as seen on TV’ area. Links to the same stand online are below.
Tracking your time, although it can be a hassle at first, is an excellent way for you to provide your employer with the confidence that you are on task, and provide yourself a way to stay disciplined to do so. Enter Toggle. There are lots of apps that can help you track your time, here is a link to a list of the best to check out. My favourite was recommended by my friend Lauren Sefo, and is called Toggl.
Toggle is my favourite because:
- It allows you to enter multiple clients, and have multiple tasks under each client.
- It allows you to start/stop your timer and allocate that time to a different task
- It has beautiful graphs that display how your time was used
- It creates professional printouts for your clients that you can include with your invoice
- It allows you to edit or add your entries after the time has passed. Because we are all human, and sometimes we forget.
Don’t downplay the importance of your work
You might find that because you are working from home that people have the tendency to see it less important, less necessary or think that you are ‘not really working’. You might feel super guilty about allocating time to it.
These three things have helped me to get people around me to be supportive…
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