Hello lovelies! After a year of lockdown, I managed to set 3 easy tips for working from home efficiently and have that mental separation between work and home even though it’s all crampped in the same space.
Work, house chores, leisure time. Suddenly, three major parts of our lives were smashed together in a repetitive, never-ending sea of similar days. Been there, done that, and lost my mind in the first weeks months of lockdown, too.
Even though I worked freelance pre-covid, and I would spend a lot of time in my house in front of my laptop, it was never as ‘secluded’ as during lockdown. Half of my time used to be on locations for fashion shoots (not only the blog’s photoshoots but also the ones I was working freelance for). So I had my quota of outdoor life.
After some trials and errors, I ended up following 3 golden rules to make my lockdown «hermit» days easier. The goal was creating a clear boundary and separation between work time and ‘me’ time.
FIND/CREATE YOUR IDEAL WORK STATION
The initial days of working from bed didn’t last much. Finding your ideal work station can be tricky if you don’t have enough space for a proper home office or you share that space with someone else in the house.
First things first, make sure to have your router and laptop/PC in optimal conditions. Don’t shy away from asking for IT support when needed. There’s nothing worse than a bad internet connection or faulty device to work with. You can be in the most Pinterest-perfect home office but if your IT is bad, your stress levels will still be up the roof.
Now set up your desk or the closest you can get to one. Ideally of course, it would be a proper desk and bonus points if you can spend on an ergonomic chair. However if all you have is your dining room table, fear not, let’s make use of it. Try to sit in a different spot than your dining spot. Keep your work tools to the minimum so that is easy to unpack and pack when your shift is over.
Super important if you’re working from the dining table or sofa: don’t leave you work belongings scattered around. It’s not only risky for your documents or work tools but also, psychologically, seeing them all day long will make you THINK of work all day long.
If, on the other side, you’re lucky enough to create your work space, make the most out of it! Decorate it with nice pictures, get some cute stationary, and always keep all your work-related items there and only there.
Don’t roll your eyes yet 😉 What I mean by «dress up» is don’t be tempted to be on your PJs just because your office is kind enough to let you have your camera off. And I don’t say it in a snob way, but in a psychological way. There are not many daily motivations during lockdown, so make dressing up at least one of them.
If you want something in the middle, invest in comfortable, breathable materials. Even some brands’ loungewear collections look cool enough to infiltrate on your Zoom calls here and there.
Same goes for makeup. You’re free to go full face or subtle… or nothing at all if you didn’t wear makeup before. In my case, subtle is the way to go. It’s «kind» enough to let my skin breathe but, as I wore makeup before covid, it doesn’t look like I gave up.
SEPARATE WORK FROM HOUSE CHORES
This one depends entirely on how your work days usually are. At the beginning of lockdown I was like «Oh, I’ll put this batch of laundry now in between calls, I definitely have 5 minutes for that». And I might be right, but the rest of the day was so busy that I couldn’t hang the clothes and they stayed there, wet and wrinkled for the next 6 hours.
So forget that you’re in your own house and that there are house chores waiting to be done. Because just like they could wait when you were in the office, they can wait now. If you had a house keeping routine back then, try to stick to it even during lockdown times.
You might notice that house chores have increased now, and that’s because you (and probaly family members / parter) are now spending all day in the house. So yes, there are more dishes to wash, more rubbish to take out, more meals to cook. But unless you need some express appliance repair, try not to obsessed over it.
If you follow these tips you’ll create at least a psychological barrier betwen worktime and life. It might sound boring, or too strict, but I rather that than the weird limbo I was at the beginning of lockdowk trying to reconcile that my home was now also my office.
Having said that, I do enjoy the benefits of working from home like for example a cheeky 10 minute rest in bed after lunch. Or waking up later than I used to now that we shaved off commute time. Or having a way healthier breakfast! Let me know in the comments below what pros and cons you find from working from home!