A sudden shift from working in an office environment to working from home can be a huge adjustment, especially during these ever changing times with the added challenge of having your family home with you. When you are balancing the needs of your job and of your family it can be a real challenge because you might feel as though you are falling short on both fronts.

Below are my top 10 tips for working from home…when your family is also home during this unprecedented time:

  1. Create a designated work space. It doesn’t have to be a beautiful Pinterest office, but having a location where you can store and organize all your work materials will be a lifesaver in the long run. When you are at your work space, it will get you into the work mindset.
  2. Take an hour on Sunday to map out your week. Knowing what meetings and deadlines you have for the week will start your Monday on the right foot.
  3. Prioritize your projects. This is simple yet essential to organizing your work week and meeting all your deadlines. Take an inventory of all the projects and tasks you need to accomplish for the week. Then prioritize them by what needs to be done on Monday, what needs to be done by the end of the week, and what needs to be done within the month. This will help you focus on your priorities and not get bogged down with projects that can be done at a later date.
  4. Break up your bigger projects. Since most of us will no longer have 5 hours in a row to sit down and focus on work, dividing up your bigger projects into milestones will be essential. This way, if you only have an hour, you can get one or two milestones completed and feel that you are still moving forward toward completion of the larger project.
  5. Create a work schedule that fits for you and your family during this crazy time. If your children are home with you, try to bake in time for you to get designated work done in their new daily schedule. At my house, we have started implementing a quiet time after lunch. Both of my children are no longer napping ages but they tend to fall asleep or play quietly in their room for an hour while my husband and I get work done. Many schools are giving digital resources requiring screen time. Add that into their schedule as well. As they are working you can be working alongside of them and assisting as needed. Waking up before your children get up is also an option.  If you get up an hour or two earlier then usual you can get ahead on your work day before your family responsibilities start. You can also work after your children go to bed, grabbing another two to three hours of focused time in.
  6. Once your schedule is set use time blocking to designate projects for certain parts of your day. Don’t waiver. If you have have blocked off 10-11 a.m. for updating budgets, make sure you do it during that time. Treat it like you would a meeting invite.
  7. Even though you are now working from home, your designated work time needs to work time, it’s not time to be doing household chores. I know throwing in a load of laundry or prepping for dinner doesn’t seem detrimental but it will take you out of your workflow which is not good when you aren’t getting as much focused time as you usually do. Keep the household chores for a later time.
  8. Turn off all of your digital distractions. Social media can be the biggest time suck and take you off course of what you actually need to accomplish especially during these times. Put the phone away unless it’s essential to your job function. This will ensure you aren’t sidetracked.
  9. Hold off checking your inbox until you have accomplished something on your to do list. WAIT? WHAT? Yes, you read it right! Don’t check and respond to emails as your first task of the day. Responding to your inbox is reactive. Focus on being proactive first thing in the morning. Instead start your day with completing a small more manageable task that you can accomplish quickly and efficiently. Your inbox will always be there and needs love, just not first thing in the morning.
  10. Are there projects or tasks on your to-do list that just aren’t getting done?
    Maybe you had goals to do a weekly newsletter or grow your social media presence and just can’t keep up with it all anymore. Outsourcing these tasks will get you back time in your day and keep you focused on the core of your job or business.

Need more help? Feel free to reach out as I would love to provide any assistance I can during these challenging times.

Warmly,

Meredith Raber

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