In my working career I have been no stranger to working in environments where there is limited things you can do outside of work other than sleeping or personal admin. This is why I thought I would share some of my own experiences on how to work from home in the hope that it can help other people. Working in confined conditions there are certain things I have found that not only help you to be more productive but are also essential for mental sanity if nothing else. So here is a little guide on the things I have found useful
Define a working area
Whether you are lucky enough to have a large house with your own dedicated office or a 1 bedroom flat, it is important to have a clear area to sit and work. it helps minimise distractions and helps to keep focused , getting you into the mindset of working.
I personally set up an area every morning and tear it down in the evening. Mainly because this clearly defines the start and the end of my working day.
Get Into A routine
When working from home it is easy to take things for granted, no longer do you need to get into the car and commute to the office, If you decide to work your pyjamas all day and you have no video calls who is really going to know or care ?. To that extent do you even need to shower or make your bed before.you start the day. The answer is simple YES!! – For those that know me well, wherever I am, for reasons I sha’ll not go into I always make the bed in the morning. I get up and get ready just if I was going into the office.
it is important. Well, I think so to get into a routine. Now dependent on what calls and meetings or planned work I have, plans may shift around slightly. So they need to be flexible However a loose timetable of my day Mon-Fri looks like this.
0600hrs – Wake Up Shower, Get ready, breakfast
0700hrs – Catchup on admin, emails, Accounting, Social media etc .Plan my day.
0800-1030hrs – Work on projects, Support
10-30-1045hrs – Coffee break
1100-1300hrs – Work on other items I had planned at the beginning of the day
1300-1430hrs. – 5K run or some form of PT, Shower, Lunch
1430-1800hrs – Work on other items I identified needed to be complete today
1800-1815hrs – Meditation to clear my mind set, Reflection
1830hrs – End of Day
Truth be told although I have mapped out a 10hr working day I would love to say that is all I do. Often than not my working day is longer. Partly because we are being adaptable to help our clients work from home during this busy time but also I genuinely ❤️ what I do so it doesn’t always seem like work. Working into the evening on streamlining what we do as a business and improving things I genuinely get a kick from. Plus I have the advantage of offsetting my day as I need to. I always make sure though as a bare minimum I do 8hrs of productive work but will come more into that in the ‘Track your Time’ Section
Plan your day
Now as cheesy as this sounds, one of the first things I do is plan out what I want to achieve during that day. The reason I do this is not only can I make sure I stay focused but there is a real sense of accomplishment when you manage to cross things off the list or even more excitingly if you managed to achieve more and add to the list. There is a great sense of accomplishment looking back on your day knowing you got from it on what you wanted
Microsoft offer a great Application called To-Do If you are one of our customers that utilise O365 then this application is included in your package. its a great way of mapping out tasks with deadlines and assigning items to other team members. It also has integrations with other Microsoft Apps such as Planner and Outlook.
Track Your time
People that have worked with me previously or even now, know I like to log and track my time. Why I hear you cry?! We’ll I am an analytical guy tracking my time means I can reflect at the end of the week and look at where my time went. Did it go where I expected it to ? or did I need to be more reactive. If so why ? is it things I can control the following week ?
Tracking where you spend your time can be a great asset and honestly one of the best things I do to manage my time. Doing so means :
– I focus on one task at a time
– I complete a task before moving onto the next
– I can analyse where my time has gone
– Identifying efficiencies means I can correct them going forward
– Jobs/Projects I am working on I have a clear idea if the we are over, under the time budget and if we need to look at perhaps changing things if we were to do that task again
During my career I have used a lot of time tracking applications but by far I recommend Timeular . The physical tracker makes it really quick and easy to identify tasks. While not the cheapest the amount of time it saves me is priceless. Only this week I have identified there is about 3-4hrs a month I spend on a task that I have been able to fully automate which basically means I have extra ‘Half Day’ every month which I can spend on other things.
I plan on writing a more detailed blog on this so watch this space !
Surround yourself with awesome Apps
We live in an age where there are apps for almost anything. Look for things that can help streamline your workflow and help with productivity and also your mental well being.
There are loads out there but some of what I recommend :
Microsoft Teams – for Collaboration, Video calling
Microsoft OneDrive Business – Access your documents on any device
Productive Habit Tracker – Achieve your goals every day
Buffer – Automate your Social media Posts
Square Space – Website Design with a easy to use interface
Quickbooks – One of the best Accounting packages I have used
Xero. – Accounting done easy fro SME’s
Adobe Sign or DocuSign Get signatures for things when you are not there, digitally
QuotientApp. An online quoting solution. Paper trails are so the 90’s
Microsoft Power BI. – For Business intelligence and automation
Square – Take payments over the phone or via a card reader.
Microsoft Sharepoint Online – Store all of your business documentation centrally.
HMRC App – Follow all of your tax online without having to talk to th Tax man
Insightly – A great and free CRM System
Headspace – Meditation and Sleep App
Some of these Apps will allow you to automate some of your day to day practices which free’s your time up to do other things. Others help keep you towards staying focused and keeping a positive mindset.
Now I have named just a few here but the majority of which we use every day. If there are any questions or queries or perhaps you would like to talk to us on how your business can utilise Microsoft Office 365 for working remotely then contact us by emailing ‘email@example.com’
I hope this guide has been helpful to give you an insight on how I work from home but also given you something to use yourself.
WORKING FROM HOME – I.T DOES’NT NEED TO BE ALL DOOM AND GLOOM
How do you work from home ? We would love to hear your comments below.