Working from home is the best and worst thing. Here are my tips. Here’s what has kept me from going crazy.
There are a lot more of you out there that are working from home now. There’s laundry to be done. There’s chores that you haven’t gotten to in a very long time. Now would be a perfect time to clean your oven right?
I want to talk today about how to set up a schedule so that you can work from home, even if you’re not in an entrepreneur – but especially if you are.
You will get more done from home than you ever did in an office. No, really.
Some people say you should do your hardest work in the morning. If you’re an entrepreneur, like me you are likely addicted to the workohol. What that means is you will work whenever – high energy, low energy whatever. Work will fill those spaces. So if your favorite gym class is in the morning, go to that. Know that you will work.
You will get more done from home than you ever did in an office. You aren’t going to have unnecessary meetings – meetings that should have been e-mails. Those are e-mails now. Sure, you don’t get snacks in the break room. But that’s probably better for you 10 years down the line anyway.
Do things that remind you of the very extraordinary privilege of working from home. For me, it’s going to 9 AM yoga. Other people that have jobs, that work in offices, are not there. I go almost every day of the week, and that’s where I’m doing the most for my mind.
The way to have a more balanced life down the road is to have a more balanced life today.
Set a time that you’re done working. This is the one that I never falter on. I don’t have office hours necessarily – I don’t work 8 to 5, but when I’m done working I’m done working, meaning I don’t finish it later. Don’t get halfway through a project, then go have dinner and then come back to work. You might be an entrepreneur, or you might be someone who used to work in an office until last week and now has to work from your desk or some space in your house that was never intended to be an office. You want to set your life up the way that you want it to look eventually, instead of putting your head down and hustling and hoping that that will lead to a more balanced life down the road. The way to have a more balanced life down the road is to have a more balanced life today.
For me, that means I have a hard stop at four, sometimes five, and I never work on the weekends. I don’t check my e-mail. I don’t work in my office. The most I will ever do is I will get out my whiteboard and map out what I’m going to do for the week – and that can be done easily, and that’s a neat thing to do on Sundays. Although you could do it Monday morning.
Do something away from your desk.
If you’re in the flow, I get it but leave your desk, eat your lunch, and then come back. You don’t have to take an hour for lunch. In fact, I don’t think you should. You should be taking your brakes to exercise and to step away from your desk. Chances are you work with ideas, and ideas come to you in all kinds of places, but almost never behind the desk.
Leave the house every day. I may not once coronavirus comes to my neck of the woods – but I leave the house at least once a day, even if it’s just for a walk around the neighborhood. I have a friend who leaves the house at the end of work and then comes back in and is like, okay, now I’m done with work.
Take care of your health.
Exercise is so important. Put it on your calendar like a meeting and honor it like it’s a meeting with somebody else. You’re not exercising in order to look hot for summer or whatever the fitness magazines want you to think. You are exercising to have a body that you don’t hurt in. Think about what fitness will look like 10 years from now and do things today that will lead to a more fit life ten years from now.
Eat vegetables during the day. Eat a salad at lunch.
Some people say get dressed for work every day. I don’t know that you have to do that.
I do think you shouldn’t be wearing pajamas. There’s something about working in your pajamas that doesn’t feel like work. Putting on your exercise clothes will signal to you that yeah at 10 o’clock I’m gonna go to the gym or whatever it is that you do for your exercise.
Make sure you’re talking to people.
I try to do this in person – although now it doesn’t even make sense because we should be in self-isolation. If you’re an online entrepreneur you have friends all over the country, heck probably all over the world. If you’re feeling lonely, like you’re in it by yourself rather than together with other people, send an e-mail, set up a zoom call, talk through some stuff. That has been my number one survival technique because I don’t have as many friends in Arizona as I had in Portland.
I tried for a long time, trying to find people at Chamber of Commerce events, networking events, lead groups and stuff like that. Those are all very transactional relationships. When I let go of that and I decided I could find friends other ways I built more actual friendships in Phoenix and I got closer to my friends who are not actually nearby.
Hit me up if you have any questions about working from home. I am an expert.
So those are my best tips for working from home, getting things done, and not losing your mind. I usually talk about things that are more entrepreneurial; building your expertise, being able to stand in your expertise, position yourself as an expert and building a marketing engine. But before all that you have to figure out how you work best.