If you are fortunate enough to be able to continue to work by making your home a place for work, this guide is for you.
I know how hard it can be to transition to making the home a productive work environment. I haven’t always been a wedding photographer. Over the last 3 years I’ve learnt a lot about making working from home ‘work’.
Working from home might sound easy but you might be surprised to discover the new challenges it brings to staying productive and getting your work done.
These tips will help you to build good habits for your new working environment so that you can nail working from home and enjoy the new lifestyle. It could even free up more time for you to crack-on with your wedding planning too- bonus!
1) Show up for work ‘on time’
You could get up a little later than normal, after all you have zero commute. But, if you maintain the discipline of getting up at the ‘normal’ time for you, as if you had a commute, you’ll create so much more time in your day. Maybe you could use it to push towards your goals like smashing that ‘wedmin’ or just have extra downtime?
(Ok this assumes you don’t have any children. The days of the lie in are long gone for me!)
2) Dress like you are going to work
Let’s talk about mind set. This is key to being productive.
Don’t roll out of bed and straight into your makeshift office in your PJs- I know its tempting there’s no commute and no one’s going to be seeing what you’re looking like.
But I find if I do this, I’ll bring my ‘Pyjama mind’ to the table also. You know the kind of lazy Sunday morning mind that say’s hey I’ll just make a coffee and I’ll start to procrastinate…
Make an effort to dress like you are going to put in a full day’s work to focus your mind. What you wear can affect how you feel and think about your work, a bit like how the posture you adopt can affect your mood.
Dressing for work will help to remind you that you are supposed to be hard at work, so when that postman comes and you hear the letter box clink you’ll be less tempted to be distracted to think I’ll just go and get that. Or, if you go into the kitchen to grab some water you’ll be less tempted to think ‘hmmm, I could do a few dishes’.
3) De-clutter your home
Here’s the situation, you’re at your desk and that washing-up from the night before starts beckoning or the dishwasher (game changer if you have children) starts calling, or that bin suddenly needs emptying or… you get the picture!
Try to take care of these jobs the night before, or plan to do them as part of your planned breaks in your working schedule.
This will help you to leave the office on time and not be too distracted. It’s difficult to focus if there’s a lot of mess about.
4) Work like your boss is in the room
It’s so tempting, and we all do it, to get pulled into the time-sinks that is social media.
You are working with no-one looking over your shoulder so you could easily find yourself opening another tab cheekily perusing Pinterest looking for wedding inspiration. We all do it. You’ll just be less aware when you are doing it and probably do it more often than before you worked from home. This might mean that you could end up needing to work longer hours to get through the to do list for the day.
Try putting a temporary block on sites that you feel the need to look at too often. There are loads of great apps you can find for both your smart phone and laptop / desktop that will help you to cut back on the time-sinks. Then when you are done for the day, you’ll be free to scroll away- remember that hour you saved having no commute?
5) Phone a friend
Working from home can feel quite isolating.
Not having colleagues around can be hard. You won’t have the constant buzz of banter or the compulsory tea run. When you work at home you have only yourself to talk to and you can go a little stir crazy. Some days I’ll have ideas whizzing around my head or I’ll have things that I’m just plain stuck on and there’s no immediate sounding board.
I’m sure I drive my wife crazy when she gets home because sometimes I’ll just brain dump. Plan some time into your day to phone colleague’s for a 5 min catch-up even if it’s just to check-in and say hello, it will make all the difference.