The BEAST team are work-from-home connoisseurs. As a 100% digital agency, we’ve been working from home since the prehistoric times before social distancing. Working from home is amazing – you don’t have to deal with 8am or 5pm traffic, you can take a comfortable nap during your lunchtime, and you don’t have to brush your hair (unless you have video calls). But, working from home can get a little tricky, especially if you’re prone to distractions. We’ve mustered up a few tips that we use to keep our team on track and happy – because even though you’re at home, work-life balance is still a thing.
Start your day the right way
Set your alarm clock at the time you usually wake up for work. If you already work from home, set your alarm at least a couple of hours before your morning team meeting. Why? Take advantage of not having to commute. Set up a morning routine that works for you.
Wake up > Get dressed > Grab coffee and read a book you’ve been wanting to read or journal > eat breakfast > Set your #1s and schedule your day > Start working!
If you need help setting up a morning routine, check out this video here.
Keep in mind that you don’t have to have a crazy morning routine where you wake up at 4am and get 20 things done before the rest of your house wakes up. Figure out what works for you and stick to it.
It’s all about having a positive mindset and starting the day productively so that you can accomplish the rest of your day like a beast. Which leads us to the next tip…
Change out of your pajamas!
Remember when we said 2 seconds ago that it’s all about having the right mindset? Well yeah, change out of your pj’s, we promise you’ll feel better. You don’t have to get all “dolled-up,” but change into something other than what you were just sleeping in for the last 8 hours.
Science has even backed this up by concluding that wearing work clothes (or at least something other than pj’s) increases productivity. Don’t believe us? Read here.
Now, if you have a meeting and depending on the type of meeting, we suggest at least brushing your hair and looking decent. Even if it means wearing a professional top with yoga pants or shorts.
Designate your workspace
Set up your battle station (I mean, workspace). Designate your workspace so that you know when you enter that room or go to that desk (or kitchen table), you’re ready to get your beast mode on and conquer the day.
Having a designated workspace will increase productivity and will ensure that you do not get distracted. Working in front of your TV does not work! 10/10 you’ll get distracted. This will also let your family members know that you’re working, and hopefully they won’t bug you.
Morning meetings & define #1’s
The BEAST team likes to define each team member’s #1’s for the day. This is equivalent to having a to-do list. During our morning calls, we like to go around and discuss our #1 priorities for the day. This can be just one task/project you need to complete or it can be a few things.
Note: we advise not having more than three #1’s in a day. You’ll feel overwhelmed if you have 10 things on your list that need to get done that day. Be realistic! If you know that one of your projects is going to take 4 hours, then maybe you have only 2 #1’s for the day.
Determining #1’s each day makes clear goals for you to accomplish and holds each team member accountable. Our morning meetings are also used to answer any questions, brainstorm ideas, go over meetings for the day, and give a sense of direction that the work day is beginning. Make sure to communicate with your team throughout the day for any updates/questions.
It can be hard to stay focused when you’re working from home. This is when procrastination can take over your body and you turn into a cleaning monster.
ALERT: Your oven does not need to be deep-cleaned at 9am. Sure, tidy up or do laundry during your breaks, but don’t overdo it.
If you feel the procrastination coming on or you can’t seem to get yourself started with work, review your #1’s and get the hardest or longest task done first. Why? Well, if you start with the easy work, it’s actually harder to do the tricky stuff later on. It’s all about mindset – if you start with the hardest task, then you know that your day is only going to get easier. And, the hardest or longest task is probably the most crucial task on your list.
You can also try focus sprints. TheFutur uses this method. Focus sprints require you to focus on just one task at a time with no distractions. You set a specific goal (your hardest task *hint hint*), work on it for 90 minutes, and then take a 20-30 minute break. Which leads us to the last tip in this blog (finally, TL:DR warning should have been at the beginning of this blog)…
Don’t forget to take breaks! Working from home can be even more hectic than working from the office. Schedule time in your day to take breaks, even if it’s just walking to your kitchen to grab some water.
Pro tip: Schedule your lunchtime like you would normally take lunch. Part of being happy and having a work-life balance is eating right and getting away from the computer for a bit.
We hope these tips help you have a productive work-from-home day. Remember to stay positive and keep on doing what you’re BE[A]ST at.