I greeted a neighbor the other day (from greater than 6 feet) and learned that she and her husband were working from home, as are many during this crisis.
She noted that they are in the “figuring out stage”. I told her that I remember trying to figure out how working from home could be successful.
This got me thinking. We could be at this awhile. So here are some ideas that worked for me from my decade of working from home. They may help, they may not. We’re all different, it okay.
Maybe some readers who have also worked from home may use the comments below for some additional ideas that would be more helpful than mine. Adapt, apply and then adopt! Anyway, here are my ideas:
1. If possible, get a spot that can be your workplace. A spot where you can leave stuff laying and then come back to it. Everybody doesn’t have a room set aside for a home office, so look for a corner that you can have a chair and a table (if not a desk). Again, this may not be possible, but avoiding the couch is probably wise.
2. Establish a rhythm. Routine, for some of us is essential, for others of you is helpful. But getting into a daily rhythm may be especially helpful to your family. If you’ve got little ones who need almost constant attention, then having a dependable rhythm will help in sharing the load.
2b. Don’t mistake rhythm for a rut. Be flexible in your planning!
3.Don’t become a stone that never moves. Use your phone or Fitbit or whatever to remind you to get up and move EVERY hour. I’ve got my Fitbit set to warn me at every :50 to finish my 250 steps. I use the stairs, go get a glass of water, or more likely, a cup of coffee. I even go outside and walk a lap around the yard. When I return to my desk, I’m more alert! Speaking of walking around the yard…
4. Go for a real walk every day. A few years ago, I discovered walking and talking… who knew? (the Greeks & Jesus, that’s who) So, if I’ve got a call scheduled that is going to be primarily disciple making, coaching or mentoring, and if there’s little need to refer to a lot of documents, I put my ear things in, put my phone in my pocket and go for a walk. A colleague in Europe just posted about the various positives from this practice. Check it out
4b. Keep in touch with people!
5. Keep reasonable, dependable hours. Your spouse will appreciate this one, or may grow resentful if you don’t. A wise friend gave me this advice when I first “moved in” to the home office. It may be hard and there may be exceptions, but it will pay off in the end.
6. Treat your home workspace the way you would in an office context. Keep it organized and don’t let a mess pile up. This is especially important if your space winds up being in plain view of everyone else in the house.
7. Be careful not to fall into a comfort food thing. One challenge of being home is the possibility of eating snacks. A lot of snacks. Comfort food May not only make your mind less effective but you could find yourself putting on some unneeded pounds.
8. Read something positive. Dwell in Scripture that encourages you. (There’s a link somewhere on this home page lists Scripture I read when I fear.) Being anxious about this crisis is to be expected, but sitting in anxiety helps no one, especially you. Work on your Spiritual Disciplines. Pray.
9. Since you’re home, and according to Twitter and Facebook, maybe suffering from boredom, invest in yourself by doing some gentle life evaluation. I’ll be posting a free PDF resource that has helped many.
10. Develop a home exercise routine. Do some stuff to stretch and move every day. Getting in better shape shouldn’t require a gym. It’ll help in tons of ways.
Well, those are my thoughts. I hope something spurs an idea! If you’ve got more to add, use the comments.
Oh, yeah! Wash your hands!