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6 Tips for Working From Home

In this unique time, many of us are working from home and this experience has left us with a new set of challenges. Some of us have to deal with “coworkers” running around the house screaming about dinosaurs and fairies, some of us now have the added job of teacher along with our regular 9-5, and some of us simply feel the pull of the sun on a beautiful day. For most of us, our “office” is now our kitchen, living room, or dining area and the days of getting to shut a door to signal that we need space to work are over. Needless to say, focus and inspiration in the workplace have disappeared for many of us.

Personally the transition from working in a Gallery with art to inspire always on the walls to working in my kitchen and praying that the dog and the cat chasing each other does not wake up my 7-month-old so I can make the most of nap time….has been anything but easy. So today I want to focus this blog on the things we can do to make our work-from-home spaces ones that work for us, areas that are inspiring and help us focus!

Tip #1) Keep your space tidy. Working in my kitchen has its own set of challenges. When I sit down to work and I see a pile of dirty dishes and crumbs on the counters my concentration shifts from work to all of the home tasks I also need to get done. To help with this, every night before I go to bed I make sure the dishes are clean and the kitchen is tidy. Then, in the morning, I give myself a few minutes before I am on the clock to pick up any last-minute items. This gives me fewer distractions when I sit down to work!

Tip #2) Marie Kondo said it best when she said to surround yourself with things that “spark joy” and this is true for our at-home workspaces as well. Take the time to put up some pictures that you love or move a plant or a candle into the space where you work! Make sure you have good lighting! I work in my kitchen for many reasons, I love the amount of sun this room gets, it’s bright even on a cloudy day, and we have one of our wedding pictures hanging up above our table. I love seeing the family and friends that I can no longer visit because of social distancing. I always have my diffuser running with sents that help me focus like rosemary or eucalyptus!

Tip #3) Accountability! Make sure you have people to keep you accountable. It could be co-workers, your spouse, or even a friend! Someone who to going to remind you to stay focused when times get hard!

Tip #4) Start and end at the same time each day. This helps separate work from home even when you are working at home. And don’t be afraid to give yourself little breaks throughout the day. Can’t focus? Go on a walk around the block, watch a 5 minute YouTube Video, or read a couple pages of a book. Giving your mind a break can help you focus when you get back to work. But have a set time for your break to make sure you do get back to work!

Tip #5) Stay organized! For me, I am glued to my planner! I made sure to get a beautiful one that brings me joy every time I look at it! I make sure to write everything that I need to get done down and at the start of every week I try to plan out my week. What do I need to get done every day. Staying organized is crucial in this crazy world we are living in!

Tip #6) Don’t beat yourself up. We are all learning how to function in this new world of social isolation. The work-life balance has become a blurred line for all of us. Do your work to the best of your ability, make the most of nap time and sunny days when the kids can go outside, and know you are not a bad teacher – none of us have done algebra in years. We are all doing the best we can and we are all in this together.