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These tips to work from home are things that I have personally tested. In 2017, I started a virtual assistant business and walked away from going into the office forever.
Working from home is a whole new world for some of us.
A world with our favorite coffee.
A world with fewer pants.
One where you’ll get caught doing something strange on Zoom if you don’t remember to turn the camera off.
Working from home can be a lot of fun. I ought to know, I left the traditional workforce in 2017 to start my own business and never looked back.
Having said that, I know that working from home is not for everyone. It can get lonely. It can be frustrating. When you’re having a bad day, sitting down on the couch and giving into the Netflix binge isn’t coming when you finally get home, you’re already there.
How do we make working from home productive?
That’s a loaded question.
The worship of productivity
In my humble opinion, our culture is obsessed with productivity. We want to squeeze every drop of work out of every single person to achieve maximum results. It isn’t healthy for anyone, but I see it in our ADHD population even more often, this attitude where productivity has taken on a morality of its own, and our struggles with productivity can cause us to berate ourselves. This doesn’t lead to anything but stress and frustration for us, yet we carry on to attempt to fit the ideal.
In short, there are times where a person, ADHD or not, just can’t produce. We are not machines, and even machines get a break for maintenance. The expectation of constant productivity with no breaks is an unrealistic one that does us no favors. Yet this is the society we live in, and we all have to make it work.
Having said all that, here are my tips for working from home.
They are tips/suggestions, not hard rules because I don’t believe in hard rules for those of us with ADHD. I think we work best when we are able to move with the flow of our brains and modify as we see fit. So when I think about managing productivity, I think about what my brain needs on a daily basis and giving it that. That doesn’t always fit the traditional suggestions that we’re given about working from home, and that’s ok. The best thing you can do is be really in tune with what works for you.
Ready for those tips for working from home now?
Put pants on
I know, when you’re first starting to work from home, the big appeal is that you do not have to wear pants. It’s true, you don’t, there are no pants police. But consider this: there is such a thing as TOO comfortable, and it doesn’t lend itself to us being productive people. Working from home is all about work, and if we take ourselves too far into lounge land, our ability to produce will follow us there, and we’ll be couch potatoes instead of the industrious workers we’re trying to be. Is it ok to have a pants-free day? Absolutely, just try to make it a treat instead of a tried-and-true part of your routine.
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Having a workroom helps, but be willing to branch out if necessary
Ok, so everyone’s favorite tip for working from home is to tell you to have a workstation and make sure you’re working from there, etc, etc. I agree it is totally necessary to have a base from which to work, you should have your workday there. However, working and being in the same room for hours at a time can lose its charm and if you need to break loose, who could blame you? If you’re feeling antsy don’t trap yourself in one spot in the house or you’ll start to feel like a prisoner in your own home. Feel free to roam about the house if you need to, while having your work area be your home base. It’s totally ok, don’t worry.
Yes you DO need to take a break
When you work from home, the boundaries can blur between home time and work time really easily. I have started my work day more than once and looked up and saw that it was 9 o’clock and I was still in the thick of things. Time blindness works in more than one way, and that habit of losing track of time and overworking is one of them. Give yourself a chance to take a rest. Have devoted start and end times if you don’t have those established by a company you work for already. It is perfectly normal to want to get some extra work done, but remember: you DO need a break.
Have some work from home buddies on deck
Working from home means that you’re spending a lot of time by yourself. This can lead to isolation and loneliness for many of us. How do you connect with others when you’re in a home office by yourself for the day? The answer is simple. Find yourself some fellow work from home buddies. Meet up on Zoom and do some body doubling. Have a pal who you can call on your lunch break to talk about your day with. Get some tips from people who are succeeding in an area you don’t feel as successful in. Forming those connections will give you a new support network to draw from, and give you a sense of community even though you’re working solo.
Be careful about “needing noise” while working from home
Many of us talk about how we “need noise” from a television or radio or the news, and that’s totally ok, BUT it is an easy trap to fall into. More than once I have been preparing to turn the song to a different one on iTunes, saw a notification on my phone, and next thing you know I have pulled away from what I was supposed to be doing into whatever the original intent was. Same thing with YouTube. There is ALWAYS a rabbit hole to fall down, just don’t play along the edge of it then be surprised when you fall down.
Working from home can feel weird at first, but it will get better. Hang in there!
Until next time,
Bonus tip for working from home: Try Roxanne’s Focus Formula!
Roxanne Jarret is an AMAZING wealth of knowledge when it comes to ways to increase productivity. Take a look at her latest video and SUBSCRIBE to her channel, you will LOVE her energy and her knowledge.