The key element to be successful when working from home, is to crate an environment that allows you to focus on the task at hand. I always considered myself a productive person, and that I was good at it. However, productivity get challenged quickly when you are self employed.
Throughout the years I have set up a pretty good routine, which works like a charm for me. Therefore, here are my points that I abide to:
Set your scheduled day plan:
I love to get up early in the morning and be in complete peace and quiet. First thing I do is check my emails. Once I know the world is not coming to end, I do my morning prayers, make my espresso and work on the plan of attack for the day. I work with a planner and manually enter all that needs to be done, work and personal. Read, get suggestions, write down all ideas for new recipes for Giangi’s Kitchen and what to share on this blog. Trust me, some morning I feel like a fountain overflowing and some I am the Kenya drought. But, still read all that crosses my desk and see if any inspiration comes.
Checking all my social media comes last as it can become the black hole. I do give it only a specific amount of time in the morning and night. Everything I do can and is scheduled via great apps.
By 6:30am I have a pretty good idea of what is in store for me.
Get ready for the day:
As soon as the family breakfast is done, dog fed, and son to school, I get dressed. Yes, I do. Mentally I am not able to work with my sleepers or pj’s. I am at work and with such I want to make sure that I give all the professionalism that I did when I was working in corporate. I do put a bit of make up, and always parfume and lipstick. You look good, you feel good, your mood and attitude reflects it.
Start with a clean desk and work area:
Declutter. I do not like to have paperwork on my desk that does not need to be there. I only have what is needed, a writing pad and my write-in calendar. A friend of mine, Sandy Sue, a Feng Shui master , could not stress enough the importance of a work flow in front of you open, free of any distractions and obstructions. I was skeptical at first. Hence I saw how much more work I was doing and how focused I became. I even moved my desk to see the beauty around me, to see my garden and at the same time to invite anyone to sit and chat with me.
Seeing that my work spaces are my desk and my kitchen, my kitchen is also very clean and uncluttered of any thing that should not be there. I empty the dishwasher every morning so I can start with a clean slate.
Turn off all notifications:
Crazy as this may sound, I have everything turned off. Even my emails and phone. Too many distractions, too much going on all day. I have set times to check everything that is going on three times a day for social media, and a few times more for emails. Try it and you will see the difference in your productivity.
Take regular breaks:
It is amazing how long we can sit at our desk and fixating on a screen. Not healthy at all. Take breaks, small one but do take them. Long ago I was told to exercise your eyes as often as you can. Look up from your screen and focus at the farthest point in your room until it is clear. Your eyes become lazy, they need like your body, stimulation. Stretch your legs, harms and rotate your shoulders and wrists.
Eat, drink but do not graze:
Drink plenty of water, eat your regular lunch but be aware of not grazing. Amazing how many calories there is on that handful of almonds, or raisins or banana, or ……
Log off and do not bring work at home:
Oxymoron in itself but useful. Set a time where you will close every thing down. Give your mind a break because working 15 to 18 hours a day, even though we can do it, it is not constructive after too long. I have had an office in my house for over 18 years and once I shut down and walk away from my desk, work is not coming with me. Imagine that you are leaving a remote office and coming home for the evening. You can do this.
It can become quite lonesome working from home. No one to have a coffee break with. Your four walls are not your best friends and you do need to talk to others. Make it a point every week to meet a friend or two for coffee or lunch. But get out and interact. Your mind needs the exercise. You need the human contact. The flow of new innovative ideas comes from the fresh air, your friends, your surrounding. Your brain needs stimulation and conversations, which are the key element here.
Here is my mantra:
Stay Focused, Determined, Grounded and Consistent