Written by Evi Idoghor, Creator of Letstalknationblog.com
2020 was this big time-out year. Many were forced to remain indoors, whilst essential workers were the only ones approved to roam the streets. For a group of people, it was a strange phenomenon to conduct their operations from home, while for others it was a system they were already used to.
Digital creators soared as the majority of people unapologetically consumed online content, while platforms like Zoom saw their biggest profits yet. As such, we can make the conclusion that for those who conduct their businesses within the online space, the events of 2020 worked out in their favor. Yet for others it hasn't been that easy, especially working mothers. They have had to split their time between caring for their young kids and answering to their bosses who demand certain deliverables at certain times.
For the foreseeable future, some women might still have to carry out their responsibilities from home, and if this is something that you have a hard time adjusting to (especially mothers), below are some steps that can help you work from home successfully without losing your mind.
Step 1: Have a pre-work routine—you cannot roll out of bed and into your office chair, you have to give your mind a little time to reboot. For me, I begin my day by reading the Bible and praying. Then I set out to carry out some chores around the house, eat some fruits, do some squats, take a shower, have breakfast, then go to my designated work area.
By the time I am done with my pre-work routine, my mind is usually clear enough to begin my day at work.
Step 2: Be on-time—when I was still with my previous company, work usually began at 9 am. As such, I had to be done with my routine on time to resume work. What that did was help me maintain a level of responsibility and not take advantage of the situation, since no one could see me.
Although sometimes, I let things slide (just being honest here) because life happens. However, if you maintain a good habit of resuming work on time, that will reduce your stress levels by the end of the day, because you would have covered a lot of grounds before the close of work.
Step 3: Create a to-do list—a list like this helps you map out all that you need to accomplish for the day. It brings to your remembrance important zoom meetings, project timelines/deadlines, and the likes. A to-do list sets the tone of your working hours; it helps keep you in check as the day goes along, so you are not running around like a chicken with their head cut off.
Step 4: Communicate with your co-workers—just because you are working from home doesn’t mean that you are excluded from the team. Engage with them; if you are working on a team project, let your team know how the project is coming along, and if you need their help, don’t hesitate to ask for it.
Communicating frequently fosters closeness, understanding, and possibly friendships in the workspace, and this shouldn’t be lost while working from home.
Step 5: Have help available—if you are a working mother who works from home, you still need help with your young kids. Don’t think for a second that because you are home with them then you can wing it. You can’t.
This is because they can pose a distraction to you while you are neck-deep on a critical project during the day, hence, leaving you unproductive. Be it a family member, hired help, or a neighbor, you need someone to step in and fill your shoes, while you are busy working during the day.
Step 6: Have a designated work area—this is also important because it fosters productivity. If you are in a space in your house or apartment where you can get easily distracted, then you will be unable to achieve your goals for the day. A designated work area creates a strict divide between your work life and home life. Keeping separate areas for work and play enhances your mood and increases productivity.
Step 7: Do not be afraid to take breaks—while working from home, there are times when I feel exhausted or fatigued, and even sleepy. Rather than continuing to push myself at the moment, I take breaks to walk around my neighborhood, drink loads of water, eat, or take a power-nap if the occasion demands it.
Your body needs some in-between time to rejuvenate. Do not ignore it. I discovered that whenever I returned from my walks, I felt more energized to carry on; compared to if I continued pushing myself to keep going.
Step 8: Don’t beat yourself up—it is okay if you don’t have a checkmark at the end of every point listed on your to-do list for a day. Allow yourself to revisit it next time. It is better that you focus on one thing and do it exceptionally well than to go through everything haphazardly.
There has been a lot of adjustments that had to happen this year, and working from home has been at the forefront. Rather than make it a chore that you detest, why not allow it to be an experience of a lifetime, enjoying all its perks while it lasts?
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