How are you???

It’s definitely a weird and challenging time right now, and for many of us, our routines are dramatically changing. Change can bring with it fear and uncertainty. It can also bring hope and opportunity.

Yes, I’m definitely scared, however, I’m choosing – and yes, it’s an effort – to be hopeful and to see opportunities.

Some of my opportunities include

  • getting to spend more time at home and with Shaun
  • taking time to finish writing my second book, and probably my third book!
  • focusing on my health – sleeping, eating better, exercise
  • spending more time talking to friends on the phone
  • read more!

If we flip the fear to opportunity, we will get through this.

working from home

The biggest change a lot of us face is that we now need to work from home.

I’ve worked from home for about 15 years. And mostly I love it. I love that I don’t have to commute, I can stay in my yoga pants (and no, I don’t usually do yoga, but the pants are SUPER-COMFY!), I have more flexibility, I save money by buying fewer clothes, less makeup and contributing to fewer work morning teas!

7 helpful tips for working from home

1. Set clear boundaries around the hours you work

This is important so you don’t find yourself working every waking moment, and also so the others who are at home with you understand you are there to work.

Work out your boundaries in terms of the hours you will work – you might stick to 9-5-ish or. You might not. And then tell the other people in your home what they are. If you need to work in a common area at home, have some sort of symbol that reminds others that “I’m working”. You might wear a hat, pin a sign to your back, or wear a particular shirt.

2. Set clear boundaries around WHERE you work

Ideally you will have a dedicated space to work from, such as a separate room that can be converted into an office, or a desk or table where you can set up your computer and other work supplies. However, this isn’t going to be possible for some of you, so you’ll need to be creative! Similar to setting boundaries around your working hours, try and set a boundary around your working space. This is helpful for others, but also helpful for you as, over time, you will start to associate that space with work and other spaces for non-work.

3. Create rituals around working from home

My friend Sue has also worked from home for years, and every morning gets dressed into work gear and puts on makeup. Another friend goes for a walk every morning and when he comes back, he makes a coffee then goes straight into his office to work.

4. Make time to talk to real people every day

If we all go into lockdown this is going to be even more important. Think about how you can use video calling such as Facetime and Zoom instead of relying on email or instant messaging. If you’re calling your boss or a colleague, use Facetime instead of only using audio.

5. Make time to exercise and move

An easy way to increase your steps is to walk every time you’re on the phone (and don’t need to take notes). I once racked up 10,000 steps walking in very small circles in a tiny hotel room while on two one hour teleconferences. For me, a 10 minute phone call is equal to about 1,000 steps. As well as exercise, don’t forget to move – we aren’t made to sit all day! If you need to set an alarm to remind you to stand up and move a few metres every 30 minutes then do it!

6. Structure your day as you would in the office

What time would you start, have lunch and stop work each day? Do you have regular meetings? What deadlines do you have? What regular activities do you do every day? Use your calendar to help structure your day and your tasks.

7. Get some fresh air and natural light

Open a window, stand on the balcony, go into the garden, sit on the deck to read a book or have a cup of tea. My office has French Doors and whenever the weather is suitable they are open.

What about you? Do you work from home? What’s your favourite part? What ideas do you have to make it easier?

I’d love to know.

Join me next week when I’ll share some advice on how you can stay connected with your team working remotely.

You can connect with me on LinkedIn or Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #thisconnectedlife and tagging me @melkettle. I’m always happy to hear from listeners, and if you have a guest you would like to nominate or would like to nominate yourself, you can apply here.

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Mel Kettle is all about connection, communication and collaboration. She works with CEOs, leaders and teams to help them better communicate and collaborate (online AND offline) to achieve better relationships, revenue and results. Mel is a facilitator, trainer, speaker, author and mentor who provides practical advice that achieves results while having some fun!

Download her latest whitepaper, The Social CEO – from invisible to influencer or order a signed copy of her book, The Social Association. To inquire about working with Mel, please email mel@melkettle.com or call her on 0404 600 889.

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