Monday, November 16, 2020

Working from Home Update

I wrote a post about working from home back in April (you can read that post here), but since I've been working from home for over six months now, I thought it might be good to do an updated post. I feel like I've really gotten into a good groove now with my WFH situation.

I'll start off by saying that honestly, I'm really liking working from home. I have never been someone who thrived on social interaction during my work day - even in the office, there would be days where I didn't really see other people! So I'm quite comfortable with the solitary aspect of working from home. And from a disability perspective, it makes a lot of things logistically easier, especially in the colder months. Of course, I miss being able to run to Starbucks, see friends and coworkers, but overall, I'm not itching to get back to spending 5 days in the office. I'm crossing my fingers that at least partial working from home continues long-term!

By now, I feel like I have really found the best ways to make working from home work for me. Here's what's been working for me (pun intended).


Sticking to a Routine
This has been HUGE for me. I don't have the same routine every day, necessarily, but I have do to some version of a morning routine. I have to at least wash my face, brush my teeth, and change out of PJs. Some days I shower and get fully dressed, and other days I just wash my face and change into a cozy top, but I do some version of a morning routine so that I feel like my day really starts. It's really helped me get into the right mindset for starting my work days.

 

Focusing on Work-Life Balance
This is also really key for me! I think it's become really easy for work time and personal time to start to blend right now. If you're in the middle of something for work, it's easy to get wrapped up and just keep working until you finish it, and then by the time you realize it, it's 8:30 at night! 

I try REALLY hard not to let this happen. I don't necessarily stick to a strict 9-5 schedule, but I try to keep my evenings for me, and to be ok with keeping work tasks unfinished until the next day. Having that "me time" at the end of each day, even if I'm just watching something on Netflix or reading, has made my days much better. I think it's also helped me keep some semblance of feeling of control over my life right now, and keeps me from feeling overwhelmed.


Making a "Work Space"
I definitely talked about this in my first post, but I'm repeating it again because I think it's really important! Since I live with my parents, the desk that I've had for years is in my bedroom. But after working there for a few days, I quickly realized that I wasn't going to be my most productive self if I only worked from my room. So I got a simple desk that's easily stored, and put it in a different room in my house to work from. It's really helped me in feeling like I'm "at work" while at home. 

Now - I don't exclusively work from there! There are definitely days that I start working at the desk in my room and don't make it out of there before lunch. And I loved working out on my deck when it was warmer out. But having a dedicated work space that isn't my bedroom helps me when I need to really focus on something.


Finding My Organizational Style
This is actually something that I've been trying to figure out for years, but it's become more important now that so much of my time and tasks are self-directed. Working from home, there's no one to pop into my office and make sure I remembered to do a certain task, send an e-mail, etc. So making sure I'm staying on top of things and that nothing is slipping through the cracks has been even more important than usual.

I've been using a mix of high-tech and low-tech to stay organized. I rely heavily on my Google and Outlook calendars, and I use my phone and iPad to jot down digital lists of things on a day-to-day basis. But I also have been relying on paper lists and notebooks, too. I start making my weekly to-do list on Monday and then add to it/cross things off as the week goes along. (I use this one from Appointed and love it). The mix of digital and paper has worked best for me - I tried going fully digital but I just found myself forgetting things.


If you're also working from home, I'd love to hear what's been working for you! Let me know in the comments.

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