What are your Work From Home Tips?

I started my new job on Monday and one of the biggest changes is that I’m going to be working from home full-time! My previous offices have had upscale business casual, business casual, and casual dress codes and though my last two jobs did allow work from home days in some way, this time is totally different–not only in regards to the dress code, but my schedule, too.

While I’ve always been able to work well from home, I generally do get distracted easily (both in and office and at home) and benefit from taking lots of quick breaks to ultimately stay focused. The “breaks” in an office usually consist of mindless scrolling on Twitter or Instagram but when I’m home, they’re of a more productive nature–switching out a load of laundry, emptying the dishwasher, or for a longer break, taking Millie for a walk. I love “productive breaks” and truly think being able to do those quick tasks when I need to look away from the screen are what helps me work well from the house!

That being said, full-time WFH is a whole different ballgame and I’d love to get any tips from you guys on things that have worked well for you or that you’ve heard are game-changing. Below are a few things I’m committing to but I’m sure things will evolve over time and not always go as planned! Here’s what I’ve got…

+ Getting dressed for the day. I actually hate lounging in my pajamas in the mornings, so “getting dressed” for the day is an easy one! I’ll normally wear PJs in the evenings after a shower but will put on leggings or joggers and a clean shirt every single morning–even on weekends when we’re just sticking around! I don’t plan to put on jeans or wear makeup or anything but do feel instantly awake and put together when I’m not in my coziest!

+ Having a dedicated workspace. There was about a year where we didn’t have a desk in our apartment but we got one last summer (ours is the older version of this) and while it’s small,  it still makes for a designated home office-like space! Our side cart is directly to the right (since it also works as a side table for our couch) and I’ve been using that as an extended desk for a beverage, pens, notebook, etc. I also bought this monitor in the Black Friday sales and while it’s not exactly small, having a big, high res screen as a graphic designer is a must. The space is clutter-free and right by a window!

+ Major decluttering. I had grand plans to relax, read, catch up on shows during my week off but ended up with a mile-long list of to dos. The biggest thing on that agenda was more organizing and decluttering! I’m definitely one of those people who purges, rearranges, and files things away continuously but knew that spending some focused time on doing that before this week would do wonders for my WFH sanity. We’re only on day three and I can already tell it was worth the time and effort–otherwise I know I’d be tempted to organize midday!

+ Selectively leaving the house. While one of the biggest perks of working from home is more flexibility since you aren’t spending time commuting and depending on the job, don’t have to be tied to your computer at all times, I’m planning on trying to stick with a consistent schedule. I’d love to keep nearly standard business hours with the exception of starting my day earlier (I’m sharpest in the morning!) and ending around the same time, but will break for walking Millie on days we don’t have the dog walker scheduled and plan to go to the gym the days she’s out on her group walks. I’m not ruling out the infrequent lunch date and will definitely take advantage of a quick grocery run or errand at off-peak times, but I’d love not to have more than one plan that requires me to leave the house during working hours each day (aside from the dog walks!).

Those are my three priorities right now–if you have any other recommendations, I’d love to hear them! More details on what exactly I’m up to in the coming weeks :)

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4 Comments

  1. Rachel wrote:

    Not sure if you will have a lot of meetings you’re taking from home, but my biggest tip is to commit to using video sharing if you’re on a conference call — I often get distracted/don’t focus as well if I’m just calling in. Being on screen makes you not multi-task and be fully present with whatever the conversation is!

    Posted 2.5.20 Reply
    • Monica wrote:

      I love this idea! I won’t have many calls, I don’t think, but definitely agree with you on how different video vs. just being on the phone feels. Multitasking is a real temptation if you can just plug in your AirPods, haha

      Posted 2.7.20 Reply
  2. Ashlee wrote:

    I love the flexibility of full-time working from home. You know I love early mornings. I take advantage and work for a few hours and then hit the gym around 8 when there’s hardly anyone there. And aim to be back at my desk by 9/930. Another thing I’ve started doing is putting my phone on airplane mode for an hour or two at a time. That way I’m not distracted by silly notifications or text message alerts. It’s easy to get sucked in by a notification and end up spending a mindless 10 minutes on my phone! Excited for you and your new job!!

    Ashlee

    Posted 2.6.20 Reply
    • Monica wrote:

      I love what you’re doing with your mornings when WFH! That’s exactly what I hope to do with the gym…it’s a great feeling knowing how much you’ve accomplished by not even lunchtime! Great call on the airplane mode. I remember you telling me that and had totally forgotten–I don’t even have many notifications, but even a few are distracting and I’m definitely going to start incorporating that in the afternoon!

      Posted 2.7.20 Reply