Okay, okay, okay …. deep breath!
We’re approaching week two-ish of practicing social distancing (dependent on where you are in the country). A lot of our residents are being asked to work from home andthat can be a HUGE adjustment for some folks.
My family is in Maryland and I live in Charlotte, NC. My family and I are really close so I like to go home pretty frequently. I prefer to save my vacation days for an actual vacation, so I like to work during these trips home (sorry, Nana).
Over the past almost three years at MyNiche, I have made this trip and worked from home many, many times.
While I’m working from my Mom’s house, I have to set work boundaries (sorry, Mom). As much as I want to spend all of our time catching up, I have to be productive and can’t get sucked into the juicy family gossip during 9:00– 5:00.
So, I wanted to share my top tidbits that I've learned over there years:
Wake up when you would normally wake up, if you were commuting to the office:
Everyone is pretty good at getting started at normal times when they’re working from home, but I’d recommend also getting up at the same time you would normally get up.
This allows yourself enough time to do your normal routine you do before you go into work. That time to prepare for the day is crtical.
This means take a shower. Comb your hair. Make coffee. Journal. Whatever you normally do, do it!
It’s so much easier to just roll out of bed a couple of minutes before you should log on but I PROMISE you’ll feel gross very shortly after.
You don’t have to do ALL of your normal routine. For example, I am not wasting my good hair products on at home days (save that for when I’m around people) but do take a shower and put on regular pants.
Have a dedicated place to work –
It’s really easy to work from wherever in your home but avoid getting too comfy. Stay away from your bed. Trust me.
I recommend creating a dedicated workspace. Whether its at the kitchen counter, you have a home office, or you put a desk in your closet — create a space that is “where I go to work.”
At my house, I have an extra room that is my office but when I’m around my screaming family, I claim the kitchen-counter or dining room as my workspace.
If you do have to work out in the open, evoke the Headphone Rule –
This is a common practice used amongst web developers. They have a code (heh-heh, see what I did?) that if their headphones are in/on it means Do. Not. Disturb.
Developers understand when you get in the zone, you want to stay in the zone. They know that if you are disrupted that you’ll lose your place.
Listen, developers are not the only people that need to be able to focus. So, tell your fam I’m going to “head phone land” please only talk to me if someone is choking or the house in on fire.
Also, let them know that if your headphones are out it means you’re doing work that doesn’t require as much focus— an interruption is not as big of a deal.
I know this is easier said than done. Especially for those of you with small children (you guys are the real MVPs)
This takes folks a little bit to get used to but it’s a good way to set boundaries and it also communicates that you’re not being rude! You just need to focus.
Have a hard stop time –
It’s easy to keep going when you do not have to commute home. You feel like you can work longer when there is no traffic to beat.
Try not to do this.
We tend to glorify working late in our culture but here are some benefits of having a hard stop:
· You’ll be prioritizing time with family/partner/roommates.
· Use that hard stop to then shift into working out or getting outside!
· You’ll be fresh for the next day. Blurring the lines of start and stop times is a slippery slope for overworking. Your work wants you to be fresh and have all the brainpower for each day. You only get that if you also rest.
· It helps keep the routine in a time when we’re all feeling out of whack! We need routines. It helps to keep us grounded.
Hope this helped! Would love to hear ome of your tips/tricksyou’ve learned over the past couple of weeks. Send me a message at