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BLOG BY SHANI KAPLAN
Last week in Part 1 of our working from home tips, we looked at 3 of our team's WFH routines, and their biggest dos and don'ts when it comes to setting up your day. Working from home certainly has its pros and cons! But there are many ways to utilise the day and your space so as to be as productive and efficient as possible.
Let's look at 3 more of the teams' top tips:
I started work at Truth whilst finishing my travels, the first month entailed working in the misty mountains of northern India. I returned to the UK in September and I have been working from home in London for the past 6 months. It took me a while to cultivate and refine habits that work best for me, but I got there in the end. WFH has definitely forced me to reflect and become more conscious of how I use my time. I have learnt so much about what it takes to motivate me personally, and having the freedom to have whatever music I like on blast whilst working is a dream for me!
With the many moving parts and different components that go into the supply chain, when I start my day I probably know 50% of what my workload will be, the other 50% is unforeseen problems/issues/and sometimes frustrations, that will kindly pop up throughout my day. So for me I typically brew a cup of Yorkshire Tea, and start work at my computer around 6am. I like to get ahead of the problems that will inevitably arise. At 9:30am, I typically make myself a big breakfast of healthy and unhealthy foods followed by a coffee. Back to work for 2 hours 10am-12pm. 12pm-3pm- A workout followed by rest. I finish up at a nice chilled pace answering emails for the last 2 hours of the working day.
#1 ONE communication channel - Have one channel/platform to discuss work with your colleagues. Working from home will mean using social media platforms a lot more than you typically do to communicate with colleagues. My WhatsApp is 99% for personal use, I use slack for correspondence about work. Keep things separate, this will make it easier to switch off at the end of the day.
#2 GIFs - Workplace banter is integral; a good GIF can brighten up the dullest and most stressful of situations.
#3 Workspace - Have one place in the house where you work. This will help you to switch off at the end of the day. I typically do my work at the dining table.
#4 Start early, finish early - If you do about 5 things in the morning before starting work and begin at 10/11am, the work will have piled up and you will be playing catch up all day. If you are an early bird like myself, I recommend starting as early as you can. That way you can take more breaks and finish earlier than usual.
#4 Be smart with your breaks - If you are able to dictate to an extent when you can work, the luxury of working at home means you can work when you feel most productive. Instead of taking an hour off, break that hour up into 3x 20 min breaks when you feel you need to recharge your batteries. I believe that 7 hours of office work would take me 4/5 at home because I can work when I am at my most efficient.
#1 Multitask - It won’t work, trust me I have tried. Don’t attempt to do house chores or cook for the family whilst working.
#2 Get too “chill” - Each to their own but if I am on either my sofa or bed I get way too comfortable and my productivity slows.
#3 Get on social media - Make sure that only work-related tabs are open whilst working. It is so easy to unconsciously get stuck on social media. Make things easier for yourself and close these tabs. There are a number of apps you can use to block these sites for a couple of hours. I use the app ‘Leech’ which can be found on the Chrome store
I started working from home just eight months ago and I’ve been loving every single day since. Though my previous positions were never bound by the “8 to 5” rule, I was never location independent. Work was always confined to one place and a day’s output was always measured by any or all of the following: how long you stayed for the day, how serious you appeared to work on something or how stressed you came out of the workplace. Funny metrics, right?
So for our beloved readers here on Truth who are easing themselves into working from home as our societies work extra hard to put an end to the spread of Covid-19, allow me to share some tips and tricks on how to enjoy this new realm.
#1 Take a bath, fix your hair, look amazing - Just because you are working from home it doesn’t mean you should look like you just jumped out of bed all day every day. Besides, you’ll feel good and relaxed after that bath, you’ll look decent when your boss or colleagues suddenly decide to have a video conference and it doesn’t hurt to look amazing for yourself.
#2 To-do lists are your best friend - Tasks can easily fall through the cracks when you work in the comforts of your own home. So no matter how you do it: pen and paper, on your mobile or on your laptop… make a list of things you want to accomplish for the day.
#3 Stand up and dance! - Okay, you can just stand up and walk but come on… now is the perfect time to practice those moves, now that there are no prying eyes around. It has been said that sitting is the new smoking, so keep in mind to never sit longer than 20 minutes. From time to time do stand, dance, stretch and what not!
#4 Keep a healthy snack within reach - I have a jar of mixed fruits, nuts and chocolate bits next to my laptop. If you have been snacking on unhealthy snacks, forgive yourself and make better choices next time.
#5 Work in a space you feel happiest - I know some may disagree but this works for me. Some days I like to work at my work station. Some days I choose to work on the patio. Some days I like to work in the dining room. I’m still waiting for the day I will feel like working in the bathroom, lol! As long as you are comfortable, go for it. There is no seating arrangement when you’re working from home.
#6 Hydrate to your heart's content - Water is my favourite liquid while working at home and I suggest that you make it yours too. I do, however, enjoy a treat once a day and that is water with a generous amount of Truth Origins Liquid Curcumin.
#1 Mix social media with work - You probably know by now that a mere “I’ll scroll for 5 minutes, I promise!” always ends up to at least 2 hours that you can never take back. I’m not telling you to disconnect with the world, just do your scrolling after you tick everything off your to-do list for the day.
#2 Compromise on sleep - Aim for that 7-8 hours! This is basic but sometimes a challenge when your work hours are eaten away by mindless scrolling on social media and other distractions. When we don’t accomplish our daily goals, we tend to sacrifice our hours of sleep first. Manage your time well so you don’t have to negotiate sleeping hours with yourself.
#3 Watch TV or movies while working - You can never serve two masters at the same time. Plus, you might end up sending your boss an email with lines from what you’re watching. Yikes!
I'm relatively new to the Truth team, but I have been working remotely for a few years now. I love working from home, but it has taken me some time to find a routine that works well for me.
This isn't something that happened overnight by any means - it was quite challenging at first - but now that I've been working remotely for a while, I never want to go back!
#1 Develop your morning routine - Everyone is different, so find what works for you. I work well in the mornings, so I like to wake up early. Most days, I do some form of exercise and/or stretching before I do anything else, and I always eat breakfast with my partner to start the day. I also try to ignore my phone and any other distractions during this time, as I'll be spending the rest of my day looking at screens (although I'm still working on that).
#2 Keep your space tidy! - I find that I am much more productive when my home office is tidy and clean.
#3 Use your time wisely - Since you're not commuting to work, you get extra time - use it to do something productive or to prepare for the next day.
#4 Keep a schedule and take breaks. - It's hard to switch off when you work for yourself and across different time zones, but it's essential to set a time for your lunch break and a finishing time. Even if you don't always stick to them, it's a great start to have these in place.
#5 Get out of the house - Having a dog definitely helps me with this one, as it forces me to get out of the house several times per day. I've stopped taking calls during my walks, and this has massively helped me to 'reset' my brain, so I'm much more productive when I return to my desk.
#4 Stay in touch with your team and give regular updates - Things can get lost when you're not in the same office, so it's crucial to stay in touch. The Truth team is actually great at doing this, so I really can't complain!
#5 Use online tools - Such as Google Drive or Dropbox to organise your shared folders. This makes it a lot easier to keep track of what you've done, and it'll save you time when you need to find a document quickly during a meeting.
#6 Switch things up! - Try to work from different locations and find which spaces work well for you. I personally enjoy working from cafés if I don't have too many meetings on that day.
#1 Work where you sleep - Don't work in the same room where you sleep. It's important to draw the line between work and rest times, so try to work in a home office or your living room if possible. Your sleep schedule will thank you!
#2 Stress on your time off - End your day with a to-do list for the next day. I use a digital calendar to schedule all of my meetings, but I keep a written to-do list where I write down all of my tasks for the next day. This helps me switch off as I'm not worried about forgetting any tasks in the evening.
#3 Sit all-day - It can be damaging to your body, so switching up your position and using an exercise ball or a standing desk can make all the difference!
Shani Kaplan is a contributing writer for Truth Naturals. She combines her knowledge gained from working within the fitness/wellness industry in Sydney and London for the last seven years as a Personal Trainer, and class instructor, with her addiction to research due to her BA in Business Marketing. Shani loves martial arts, resistance training, dance and yoga, nutrition, travel, design, photography, and art.