9 tips if you’re struggling with working from home

May 04, 2020

Covid-19 has affected all of us in different ways. We’ve all had to learn and adapt as we find our own ways to cope with our new working circumstances. 

I caught up with some of our Apprentice Leaders, who spoke about what they’ve been doing to help adjust to life working from home, reflecting on the highlights and challenges of changing their working habits. Here are some of the themes that emerged and the advice they gave.

  1. To make it feel like I still have a commute every morning, I pack my bag with my laptop and notebook then take it downstairs to work in my living room. Even though it’s a much shorter commute, it helps me get into the mindset of travelling to work.
  2. Work and home life has been intertwined, so sometimes I find it difficult to switch off when it’s my lunch time. I now use this time to do some extra walking, to make up for the walking I would normally do during my commute.
  3. I find it difficult being in a household with a lot of distractions and noise, especially during important meetings. What I do is make sure everyone knows when I’m about to dial into a meeting, and even put a sign up on my door saying “meeting in progress, do not disturb!”
  4. I really like having more time to do things I normally wouldn’t have time to. I use my commute time to go for walks, or even sometimes cook. I’ve also picked up on new habits, such as braiding my hair. 
  5. I find it more difficult than normal to draw a line with team members when blocking time out to do apprenticeship work. I feel like my workload has gone up since working from home, which means I have less time for my apprenticeship work. Something I’m now doing is blocking out a set duration of time every week at the same time (e.g. every Friday afternoon) so that my team knows this is my protected time for apprenticeship work.
  6. If I’m feeling demotivated, I take regular 5-10 minute breaks where I walk away from my working area. “If your brain doesn’t want you to do something, then simply take that break”.
  7. I have a list of goals that I work towards everyday, and the thing that keeps me going is that feeling of satisfaction when it’s done. I also break each project down into smaller steps, which I find more manageable to keep on top of everyday.
  8. To prevent myself from getting distracted, I keep my phone in a different room. I have scheduled breaks which is when I go and check my phone.
  9. Working in a cooler place in the house helps with my concentration. Sometimes I like to work next to an open window, or even outside if the sun is shining!

It’s so easy to get lost in only focusing on the negatives of our new circumstances. However, focus on that self-reassurance in knowing you have control over the drive and motivation for your work. Focus on the things you now have time to do, that you may not have been able to do previously. Focus on how you get to spend more time with your family at home, if you’re lucky enough to live with them. Focus on working on yourself, whether that’s physically, mentally or spiritually. 

Don’t dwell on things that are out of our control. Live each day as it comes and take it slow. 

What are you doing to stay motivated at home? Do you have any tips or tricks to continue driving your work?

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