working from home tips

Kristin Gonzalez’s 7 Tips for Working from Home

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7 Tips for Working from Home shared by Kristin Gonzalez, Artios Christian College Student Services Advisor:

Tip #1 – Designate a workspace

Have a designated workspace and make it functional for you. Make your workspace in a location that helps you work more efficiently. I have 4 children, so my office space is right off the playroom. That way I can work and still spend time watching them play. It doesn’t interrupt my work routine much because I know where they are and they know where I am, so they can play contently while I accomplish work tasks.

Tip #2 – Set aside a daily work time

Set aside a daily work time. My work hours are flexible so I aim for when I know I can be the most focused (i.e. nap time or early morning before children wake up). Be flexible. I try to look at my calendar a week in advance and schedule if I will be working mornings or afternoons. However, I must be willing to adapt if it doesn’t work out.

Tip #3 – Practice patience and grace

Practice patience and grace with yourself and those that are home with you while you work. You are going to get interrupted. My children still need assistance with daily routines. I have learned to have scratch paper or sticky notes to write a note to myself what to do next when I return to my work station.

Tip #4 – Get up and move

Be sure to get up and move about every now and again. Be mindful of taking a mental break. I even schedule time to get up and stretch my legs while multitasking with a couple of household chores. I work about an hour and then get up and toss in a load of laundry.

Tip #5 – Divide your workday into time segments

Focus on short work bursts. Divide your workday into time segments. For example, you can divide into 15-minute, 30-minute, or hour time segments. Having focus times of purposeful work helps you manage your day instead of just working from home all day. You will find you become more efficient. Example of my daily schedule (time allotment may vary from day to day but I break my work into these sections):
    1. 15 minutes (early morning) – Check email and task list – organize my day (usually first thing before my kids are awake)
    2. 30 minutes – Answer emails (as my children are getting ready for the day and have already eaten breakfast)
    3. 2 hours – perform the task(s) of the day (usually while my children have independent play)
    4. 30 minutes – make any needed phone calls (during my youngest child’s nap time)
    5. 1 hour – Finish any remaining task (late afternoon before my husband arrives home)
This gives me (depending on the load of the day) between 2-4 hours of focused work time. Instead of being at my computer and focusing on work all day while constantly being interrupted, I focus on time segments where I know I can be effective. Try not to skip an allotted time because you didn’t finish what was needed in the time segment. Instead, put that into segment #5 where you finish an undone item.
Be very cautious to not mix the tasks in the time frames. Don’t use the 15-minute email and organize segment to also get distracted and think you should put in a phone call. This will make what should be an organized time of work into a hodgepodge of things being crammed into one section.

Tip #6 – Up-to-date technology charged and ready

Have your technology up-to-date, charged, and ready for each day. Having the computer run virus scans at your busiest work time or a dead phone only causes frustration and lost work time.

Tip #7 – Give yourself grace during COVID-19

Mid COVID-19, I have had to drastically change my routine because I have 4 children home all day. Three children are completing online schooling. So, my work is being completed in more compressed times (i.e. early morning, after they go to bed, or during afternoon playtime). I have to practice more patience and realize I am not as productive workwise during this time and give myself grace. What may have been a day’s task is now broken over a couple of days.

Kristin Gonzalez
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