• Nicola Joyce VA

Five Rules For Working From Home

Thanks to the pandemic, working from home has become the new norm for thousands of people. Here are five rules to help sustain a healthy work / life balance.

1. Have a designated workspace

Having a designated workspace helps in keeping you organised and focused. It creates a distinction between your work environment and personal environment, as well as encouraging you to switch in and out of work mode. Assigning yourself a workspace will also help in deterring distractions.

2. Establish a routine

Divide the day into allocated chunks of time for specific tasks. This then enables you to fit life jobs into your working day. I work better in the morning, therefore, I allocate my most important work tasks before lunch. In the afternoon I set aside an hour (depending on how busy I am that week) to take care of chores, such as cleaning or laundry.

3. Make lists

Making a list unloads the brain and can help increase your productivity. There is an amazing method that I came across last year called ‘WIP’ (limiting work in progress). The idea is you stick to working on a very small number of tasks ( I stick with three) at any one time. Only when you have finished at least one of the tasks may you replace it with another, but always sticking to the maximum of three.

Using sticky notes, you organise your jobs into the following categories; ‘to do’, ‘doing’ and ‘done’. As you work through your tasks you move them along the categories. It is a fantastic way to be visually organised and hugely satisfying. To learn more about this method you can read this article by Oliver Burkeman posted on the Guardian website.

4. Take breaks

Make sure you step away from your screen throughout the day. It's too easy to get sucked into a time warp, with hours vanishing into thin air. It is imperative you allow your brain time to recharge. Take time out to eat your lunch in another room of the house (or even better, in the fresh air), make a cup of coffee or just stretch your legs. Whatever it is, set yourself a few alarms throughout the day and make yourself take breaks.

5. Self Care

Making sure you have some form of self care day to day is essential. There is a lot of pressure, stress and anxiety that comes with working from home (or anywhere) and now more than ever it is important we are taking care of ourselves. With only 24 hours in the day it is hard to find the time, but the time is there!

Getting up earlier is a great way of instantly adding hours to your day. It doesn’t sound pleasant but waking up at 0500 every morning can be a huge benefit. Whether you use it for exercise or to sit and drink a coffee in peace, it is YOUR time and you deserve it. Robin Sharma’s ‘The 5am Club’ is a great book that looks into the concept of waking up early.

So there you have it, five rules to help make working from home that little bit easier. I hope this has been useful to you and if you have any advice, please share it by commenting below!

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