Working from Home
Working from Home [Productively] | Written by Violette de Ayala, CEO & Founder of Femfessionals
Working from your home has its luxuries. Many are obvious and include fuzzy slippers and teased up hair buns. The world of skyping allows us often to join conference calls with our accessorized tops and below the waist pajamas. Outside of the apparent benefits, there are common distractions, lack of productivity and bouts of insanity at your desk.
It took some time for me to personally transition to at home and virtual working. I am a natural extrovert and need humans around me constantly. Happy humans preferably. Once I transitioned to the home desk set-up, I came up with some systems and guidelines to keep me on track and focused on the work and not so much the play.
The reality of my morning starts with getting two children out the door for school, with lunches packed, uniforms tucked and brains ready for education. I spend about an hour in the wee morning prior to their awakening to catch up on emails, tweak my to-do list for the day and get my own brain ramped up.
Once they are out the door, I squeeze in an hour of exercise which helps kickstart the day of awesomeness and then it’s back to the home office.
Ready set go… home office productivity tips 101
- Set work hours: This is not the time to do the wash, vacuum, and dust the furniture. If you can squeeze these in prior to 9 am, great! Once your set of work hours start, it’s all work. Dishes in the sink, beds being made and watering plants are not priorities until after your work day has ended. If you have children, this may include a hard-stop at 3pm due to carpool and a continuation of work thereafter. My point is, work hours are for work. If you were at a traditional workspace, I don’t think you would be wondering around dusting the entire office. You would be working! Working during work hours you shall!
- Lunch Hours: I often make a chocolate vegan smoothie with coconut oil for my lunch. I work through the lunch hour while I drink my nutrients. If I do go out for lunch, I block out 60-90 min and stick to that schedule. I save outings with colleagues and friends for Thursday and Friday when work seems to be tapering off. Enjoy lunch out but keep to a schedule. If it’s a lunch that leads to business, then it could be a 5-hour work lunch. You get what I am sayin?
- Take Breaks: I find there is a level of restlessness that occurs in a home office. The constant need to get up and get water, tea, or more coffee. My last corporate gig had me working at the Four Seasons Building in Miami and involved one daily afternoon trip to purchase a piece of chocolate with colleagues. It was our 10 min social and mental break. I find if I take a 10 min break every hour, it resets my mind and creates a refreshing pause. If you are having hard time focusing, it could be that your brain needs a pause.
If you have dependent little ones, it’s mandatory that you read on…
- Flexible Hours: The Allure of Flexible Hours! You need to put in at least 6 hours of pure work a day as a goal. If you do the standard 4 while kiddies are at school that leaves you with 2-3 more hours after or before school. You can work while the kids are doing homework, at soccer practice or in the evening after dinner and bedtime. Do what feels right for your schedule to put in those hours. Perhaps it’s working more hours at the start of the week and then not so much towards the end of the week. Play around with it and see what fits your office beat best.
- Carpool time: I do my best twitter activity while waiting for the kiddies to jump in the car. I generally spend 20 minutes in carpool in the afternoon. I do my follow backs, my retweets and favoriting while parked and waiting. If I am not on twitter, I am on a conference call via Bluetooth utilizing every moment for pure productivity. Use the time in between office hours and transportation moments as productively as possible.
Every minute is money for you, your family and your business. Creating a schedule that uses your time most efficiently will actually create more planned downtime as well. These are just a few tips to get you started. Have any tips you want to share? Comment below and lets grow business together!
Violette is the Founder of Femfessionals [a global online and local community for women entrepreneurs], a small business expert, writer and mother of three. A serial entrepreneur with 20-plus years of experience, Violette is passionate about supporting women entrepreneurs through business growth, big vision strategies and positivity. For all her best notes, advice and business trends visit www.violettedeayala.com.