Working from home looks like the ideal setup, but potential pitfalls abound. Unless you establish a daily routine that protects your boundaries and work-life balance, working from home can quickly become a waking nightmare.
Establishing your daily routine
Stick to ‘business hours’
The first key to an effective daily routine is to limit your work to business hours.
If you’re a remote worker for a head office that’s open 9 – 5, limit yourself to these hours only. Even if you work another two hours past when everybody at the office has gone home, nobody will be in the office to receive that work anyway.
If you’re in a different time zone to the mothership, try your best to still sync your working hours with theirs. It might mean waking up an hour or two early, but it will demonstrate your desire to stay connected to the team and will make it much easier to get timelier answers from your coworkers.
(Of course, Blrt helps you avoid that problem altogether.)
The temptation to work at all hours is easy to give in to when you work from home, and even more so if you’re a freelancer who needs not adhere to ‘office hours’. For a freelancer, every waking hour can be potentially used to generate revenue but beware: the risks to your work/life balance* and mental wellbeing are real.
Do whatever it takes to ‘unplug’, even if that means maintaining a separate work phone that you can power down at your ‘close of business’.
*Naturally, work/life balance also requires respect of your boundaries from the family side of things. Don’t let your family bog you down with domestic chores because “you’re home all day”.
Learn to say ‘No’
You’re very important (and very good looking) but you don’t have to be in every meeting. Protect your time by prioritizing the meetings you must be in and merely reviewing the notes from the meetings you don’t.
Likewise, don’t let ‘pick-your-brain’ sessions suck away your time and mental energy. If your organization uses shared calendars, you can install a layer of protection by scheduling appointments with yourself so your colleagues won’t look at your calendar and think you have ‘free time’ for a chat.
Devious? Not even! Your time is valuable, so schedule some of it for the things that matter most.
Group your tasks by the nature of the work
As long as you’re formally scheduling blocks of time to achieve things, go one step further and group those tasks into blocks that require the same kind of mental energy and focus.
That is, if you have some invoices to reconcile, some blog posts to write, and some photos to edit; bunch the similar tasks together rather than jumping from reconciling to photo editing and then back to reconciling.
Such task ‘hopping’ consumes your mental energy more quickly and ends up being far less efficient.
Lunch is not a reward
Do not use self-care as an incentive. If you have to use the bathroom, go use the bathroom. If it’s lunch time and you’re hungry, go eat lunch.
When you get to the point where you’re telling yourself “one more thing and then I’ll eat,” you’ve prioritized your work over your own health. As if decreased mental and physical wellbeing weren’t a bad enough outcome, such poor wellbeing will also make you less productive with the very work you’re prioritizing.
That’s a vicious cycle, friends.
Along the same lines: remember that being able to work while sick in bed doesn’t mean you should exhaust your limited energy to do so. Your sick days should still be sick days, lest your illness drag out longer or worsen.
Stay connected to your office or clients
Naturally, you can take all of the above steps to establish a daily routine and be the good little work-from-home employee… and your office-bound counterparts might still be difficult to reach.
Blrt helps you get everyone on the same page in cloud-based conversation. Time zones or meetings are no longer an excuse on either end of your lines of communication.
Start eliminating those frustrations today:
Blrt helps you get your point across quickly by allowing you to talk, point and draw over images, documents and websites. The resulting video-like recording is called a Blrt.
Your Blrts require much less bandwidth than video and can be shared with anyone on mobile or desktop. This makes Blrt ideal for both collaboration and the creation and sharing of dynamic content, as public Blrts can be embedded into any webpage.
Once recorded, Blrts are stored in the cloud and are exchanged with others in a conversation-like fashion. A record is kept of the exchange, and new parties and media can be added at any time.
Blrt shifts time and place, allowing users in a conversation to participate in their own time. In an era where activity-based working and distributed teams are commonplace, Blrt is revolutionising the way people interact to get things done.