You’ve probably gained an extra hour by not commuting and everything that involves, use that extra time to clear your emails and think about what your day has in store for you.
Pretend like you are going into the office.
Don’t spend the day in your pyjamas. Get up, walk the dog, take a shower, get changed and go to work – but at home.
Find your space
Do whatever you can to have a designated work space separate from family life. It took me a while to realise how important this is but I haven’t looked back since I did. It could just be a desk in a corner of the room but try and find a dedicated area for your working life that is yours, and yours alone.
Plan your day
It’s easy to get overwhelmed and lose motivation. Use lists, online planning tools, whiteboards and whatever else you need to keep track of the work and your deadlines. Plan your day and stay on task. End the day when you’ve done today’s tasks and planned tomorrow’s. Then walk away.
Be strict with yourself and your family
Work time is work time. Be focussed on the job and get it done. “It can be tempting to try and multitask – home-schooling the kids, doing the household chores and putting up those shelves you’ve been meaning to do. Allocate specific times to do the chores and DIY, perhaps during the evenings or at the weekend, and set the children’s schedule to work with yours, when you have important calls or need to focus, set them tasks or projects that they can work on independently and you can check in with them later. Remember you can only do your best!
Find time for a proper lunch, sit down away from the computer and have a break – value your downtime. Depending on how things go take a walk if you can, go for a surf, play with the kids or (even) do a household chore.
Pick up the phone
It’s easy to bang out emails and texts, send files and forward feedback but pick up the phone, get clarity about what you’re doing, share a laugh. It’s likely (especially at the moment), that the person on the other end of the phone could do with some human interaction too. Text first to check they’re free though.
Lean on your network
Keep your contacts up, ask for help when you need it. Stay in touch with your wider industry contacts, whether it be on the phone or online. Know who’s got your back and support your colleagues whenever you can.
Stop when you’ve done enough
You have to look after yourself, it’s not a sprint. Set yourself a realistic target for chargeable hours and try and stick to it. You’re gaining time with your non-commute so you’re ahead already. If you can’t hit your target, use that extra time to plan and do something about filling the funnel for the future.
Roll with punches
There’s going to be fails, the Wifi will drop out during a virtual client meeting, don’t take it personally, these things happen. Have a down-time list, things that need to be painted or a project you’ve wanted to do, so you can look forward to the down days. In my experience, if you have a plan they won’t tend to happen.
Most importantly, be kind to each other, look after your working posture, wash your hands and stay hydrated.