Is homeworking getting you down?
During this Coronavirus lockdown you’re likely having to re-adjust to working from home, a situation you might not relish for one of several reasons. If you’re lucky, your workspace might be in a dedicated room allowing you to concentrate, or it might be amongst everyone else’s stuff and shared with your partner or another family member, on the sofa, at one end of your kitchen table opposite the empty breakfast bowls, or maybe even in bed! Wherever you’re working from for the foreseeable make sure it’s suitable for you and your stuff!
The following tips should help you to get going with creating a productive work environment;
First up, do you need to work in a particular room with good WiFi/internet connection or to get a good phone reception? Are you working with a laptop or an iPad? Kitchen tables, coffee tables, dressing tables or even ironing boards to avoid bad backs (or to avoid doing the ironing?) are becoming the latest hot desk locations during lockdown! Remember that WHERE you produce affects WHAT you produce.
Remove everything from your chosen space that belongs elsewhere (empty mugs, newspapers, personal paperwork, clothing, rubbish, dog toys) and put to one side. You can take a break to put things away in their proper homes later. Ridding yourself of unnecessary distractions will help you to focus.
Gather together everything that you need to get the job done; files, pen, notepad, post-its, etc and keep to hand in what will essentially become your ‘desk drawer’; be it a file box, rucksack, basket, etc. Keep surplus items out of the way but accessible for when you need to replace them. Don’t forget those chargers and power cables to enable you to work for a set period in your designated space. Fewer random items to trawl through will save you time.
Work through any paperwork you’ve gathered up and group together into categories that fit your requirements; personal, current work projects, completed projects, phone messages, etc. Make use of paperclips, bulldog clips, post-it notes, plastic wallets or paper file folders to separate things out. Use whatever you’ve got to hand to help you make sense of what’s in front of you. Don’t action as you sort. Make a list of actions and tackle by priority later.
This can hard be if you’ve got other people also climbing the walls around you (adults or kids!) so try to get into a routine but cut yourself some slack at the same time! Set a timer on your phone and carve out periods of ‘work time’ so that you can focus but remember to take regular breaks so you can get up and walk around, make a brew and interact with others before settling down for the next slog. If you’re isolating alone, give yourself some company with the radio, and perhaps schedule a call with colleagues or friends at a pre-arranged time so you’ve a timeframe to work to. Don’t forget ‘all work and no play…’.
So what next?
There’s no confirmed indication as to how long the lockdown is going to last so make the best of it under the circumstances! Many businesses will be considering whether more frequent periods of homeworking could be integrated into their culture in the future, so get it right now and who knows how the working week might look going forward.
Take a look at how I’ve worked remotely during lockdown to help get spaces into order and if you are struggling to see the wood from the trees, I’m offering Virtual Organising Sessions where you can receive some bespoke help and guidance to improve the space around you.
Let me know how you’re getting on in your homeworking space right now!