Yes, we’re being blunt. Get off your ass. The only way you’re going to get anything done is if you get up and start doing it. And it’s especially hard when you’re working from home because you’re the boss. You’re in charge. You’re the only person you have to answer to. And if you don’t get off your ass, you’re going to be lazy pretty quickly. Here are five tips to help you keep things moving when working from home.
Get Up! Get Moving!
When I was in college I used to schedule all my classes to start no earlier than 11am. I was the queen of scheduling. Why would I want to get up early? I wanted to sleep in, leisurely awaken, have some breakfast, watch some TV and eventually stroll into class. Plus, I could get any homework I didn’t do the night before done before class. Big mistake. I missed out on all the energy I had and needed to use throughout the day.
Mornings are different for me now. I’m up by 5:30am and sometimes sitting down at the laptop by 6am. I wake up with ideas and motivation and want to start doing things. And if I sleep in and wait around another three or four hours, I’ve lost precious time that I can be creating, prepping, thinking, exercising (yes, by 7:30am I’m at the gym!) and enjoying the morning before everyone else wakes up and the world gets chaotic. Get up. Get moving. Don’t wait around for things to happen.
Yes, yes, you want to be able to be in your jammies because you finally get to work from home. This is a big mistake. I’m not saying that you can never have a day spent in your jammies. Sometimes you need it, for therapeutic purposes. But the rest of the time, get dressed. And I don’t just mean throw on a pair of sweatpants and a ratty t-shirt. Get cleaned up. Do your hair. Ladies, put on some makeup. (Guys, too, if you do that!) Wear a nice shirt even if you’re just putting on jeans. Get your shoes on. Give yourself a spray of cologne or perfume. And then start your day. You’ll automatically be more motivated to get things done. How does that old saying go? You have to dress the part. So do it. Get dressed when you work from home and watch your productivity rise.
Rotate Your Work
How motivated would you be if you did nothing but wash dishes for eight hours? Not very, I’d think. You can’t do the same thing all day long. Your mind will go numb and your work will suffer for it. Every time you start a new task, your mind is fresh, and you feel better about doing it. So put together a schedule for yourself to rotate the tasks you do throughout the day. Wake up. Spend 30 minutes doing X. Walk away and do Y for 15 minutes. Start doing Z for 25 minutes. Come back to X for another 30 minutes. Whatever works. But don’t do the same thing for hours and hours no matter how much you might love the task. Give your mind a break to refresh (as well as your body to move) by taking breaks and rotating your work tasks throughout the day.
TV is a distraction. I know. I would grab my laptop, sit in the living room, and turn on the TV. It was noise. It was company. It made the house not-so-quiet. But it also blocked out all the ideas I needed to have. It muddled the problems I needed to solve. And at times, prevented me from getting work done. It’s great to watch your morning show over breakfast, or catch the news at lunch, but then save your TV time for the evening after work is done. Make TV a reward for a hard day’s work - not a distraction that takes away your time to work.
Good breakfast, light lunch
Power up with a wonderful, energizing breakfast. I used to be horrible about eating in the morning. Breakfast was always a cup of coffee. (It’s no wonder I never had any energy in college!) But you really need to start your day with some healthy, tasty food. And for lunch - stay away from the carbs. That’s hard for me to say because I love carbs. Give me a big bowl of pasta and a lump of garlic bread. But then watch me fall asleep immediately after. It’s terrible, and it means that I ruin my whole afternoon because carbs have swallowed up all my motivation.
I stick to a lighter lunch now so that I can maintain energy throughout the rest of my day. A salad, some soup, even some meat, cheese and a side of fruit - I just stay away from the bread until such time as I can nap with reckless abandoned. Eat well to give you the energy to get all of your work done throughout the day.
Frankie and Andrea take turns sharing stories. Just good talk over a cup of coffee.