Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Working From Home ~ Do's and Don'ts


It hit me at 3PM, when I drove to pick up Alex from school while still in my pajamas. Naturally, according to Murphy's law, Alex could not find his backpack, and I had to get out of the car and help him find it, bumping into a few teachers and parents along the way... Awkward!

I work from home often, and, as great as working from home sounds, it is isolating and can turn anyone into a weirdo... no offense to those who relate. 

So I had to make changes on how to plan my day when working from home and rediscovered that it can truly be wonderful, productive, and satisfying.

Tell your family not to expect daily five star dinners.

I think this was one of the most important things you need to establish to yourself and your family - even though you are home. Do not feel responsible for doing the housework during work hours. I mean, if you are in a cleaning mode (and to avoid working I can get into any kind of mode!), housework never ends. So, no laundry, no cleaning up the spider webs, no cooking, and, yes, no organizing the refrigerator since it's a mess....  

Create a seperate work space to keep you focused.

Social media IS work!
No matter what you do, the chances are you are using a laptop or anything portable, and it can be very tempting to settle yourself on the couch in front of the black box hanging on the wall called a television.  Personally, for a while, I was settling myself comfortably on my bed, which felt as if I was working all day and all night. A big no-no! 

Even if you don't have an office room, you can create a small area which inspires  you to work, which you can decorate just the way you want, and where you can place everything you need. I often set myself up at the kitchen table, I love it for its open space and lots of windows - bright sunlight always uplifts me. 

Shower, make your bed, and dress up as if you are leaving home.

Okay, I don't mean that you need to put on the power suit and high heel stilettos... Think more of a casual Friday outfit, something that is easy and looks and feels nice.  I mean, you have to spend hours working, and it's better spending them looking and feeling cute than not! I like wearing either a simple dress or jeans and a shirt. If I am working on something creative, I also throw on a neckless or a bracelet, or a hair band, and maybe put on a little dab of sweet perfume. If I need to make conference calls, or work on legal files, or go through the accounting book (agh!), I pull my ponytail extra tight, put on lipgloss and a dab of a bit spicy perfume on my wrist. 

Keep healthy snacks at home.

If you work from home, you snack - kitchen is just a few steps away! But if you need to nibble on something, grab a small cup of yogurt, or a piece of fruit, or a handful of nuts. Drink plenty of water! You will feel good and energized. Don't give in to a bag of cookies, as it will soon make you feel tired and unhappy. Trust me, I tried!

Schedule breaks and get out of home.

If you don't have any meetings outside home for a few days, make some - go out to lunch with your honey, or a girlfriend, or, if no one is available, grab a magazine and go to a coffee shop for an hour. Or, better yet, get out to the gym or to the park for a half-hour run. Isolation within four walls can slowly suck you into a depression, and that is not good for you. And being absolutely terrified of depression outbreaks, I schedule breaks and exercise into my routine religiously. It feels really good to feel good, if you know what I mean. 

How do you organize your day when working from home? I would love to hear from you!


xo, Zuma A. 
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