So, the entire world is in quarantine mode. Hey, coronavirus!
Yes, yes… entire countries, schools, daycares, courts, restaurants, offices … you name it, everything is shut down. Not only is the international mood in a state of mass hysteria (and buying up toilet paper like it’s the end of human existence), but a majority of full-time employees have either been placed on a mandatory two-week leave or they have been warranted the opportunity to simply work from home.
With that, I realized that this would be the perfect time to drop a bit of knowledge for those who are new to the “work from home” game. It’s tough, ya’ll. But, as a mobile case worker, who literally has an everchanging office on a daily basis. I’ve worked from my car, Starbucks, courthouses, other people’s homes, schools.. you name it. Naturally, I do believe I am an expert when it comes to utilizing your home as the primary environment for the 9 to 5.
Keep reading to indulge in my personal tips on being productive and effective, while working in the confines of your own crib!
Pick a designated workspace
Basically, pinpoint your work area. At my home, I have cultivated an office space in a one of our spare rooms. With a full desk, supplies and inspirational tidbits scattered around, my office provides me with tools needed to ensure that my work is done at a professional level. If you don’t have an office; perhaps, set up shop in your living room, where a table and chairs are readily available. Ensure that your work space is conducive to the demands of your job. Please, do not work from your bed. Your surroundings are a reflection of how effective your work day will be. And, working from bed is only going to garner one thing: procrastination.
I’ll be the first to admit that it is arduous working from home, without being distracted. Clothes need washing, dishes need tending to, your dog needs to be fed and you need to change that lightbulb in the kitchen; however, you need to limit all aspects that hinder you from your professional work. Turn off Instagram and Facebook. Tell your friends you will text them later. Put aside Netflix and Hulu. Keep all external influences to a minimum.
Stop to eat!
This one is simple. I cannot tell you how many times I have become so encapsulated with work, that I forgot to eat. Your body needs to be nourished so that you can remain the best version of yourself. Snack on fruits, nuts and yogurt. Aim to make your bigger meals more wholesome – salads, brown rice and a protein, soups, any leafy green paired with a protein. If you fill up on junk food, prepare to crash hard and fast. Remember, working from home is not a sprint, it’s a marathon.
Listen to podcasts and smooth music
Podcasts and smooth music are life lines within my mobile lifestyle. I can never deny the opportunity to gain inspiration and knowledge, while going about my day. Whether I’m driving to visit a client across town or working on a contact narrative, podcasts inject me with that extra bit of motivation to push myself further within my work. A few of my faves include the Slay Girl Slay Podcast with Ashley Leggs, Jesus and Jollof with Insecure‘s Yvonne Orji and writer Luvvie Ajayi Jones and Naked Beauty with Brooke Devard. For smooth music options, try jamming some Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Sade, Anita Baker or even Erykah Badu.
Block off time to complete tasks
Time management is also key when you’re working from home. Blocking off hours to complete professional goals will also aid in making your day more productive. Typically, I document all visits with my clients for the first couple hours. Afterwards, I then move into answering emails, assigning/checking drug screenings, and working on larger and more intensive tasks. I break for lunch, at noonish, for about an hour and a half. Then, I pick back up. Be fully aware of how you tend to work and craft your own method in planning out your day. Draft a plan to make sure all your deadlines are met, without you risking the chance of being too overwhelmed.
Take a few moments to regroup
With working any full-time job, it is easy to get bored, overwhelmed or simply uninspired. When these moments hit, take a few minutes to collect your thoughts, your ideas and your mind. Take a walk. Indulge in a quick YouTube video. Read an article on a topic that interests you. Make some tea. Do a breathing exercise. Journal. Be one with nature. Exercise. Meditate. The possibilities are endless!
Maintain contact with friends and co-workers
Don’t completely isolate yourself from your co-workers or your loved ones. Take a few minutes, while you’re taking a breather, to call your mom or to check-in with your co-workers (via group chat). Find a way to consistently have communication with your support system. Believe it or not, your co-workers are your best bet! They possess a full understanding of your job and are able to empathize and help when necessary. I cannot tell you how awesome my unit members are: we laugh together, we collaborate, we strategize, we slay.
So, there you have it. My tips for effectively working from home, bundled into one quick post. Now, again, these are my personal tips. I am fully aware that people work differently and respond to productivity techniques in various ways. My hope is that these tips can shed some kind of light on how to take lemons and make lemonade. Be safe out there ya’ll!
*Photo Credits: West Elm, Forbes, Stocksy, Kamdora, That Sister, and Time. I do not own the rights to these photographs.
“Whatever you do, do it like a boss.” – Unknown