Tips for working from home from a Social Media Manager
A vast majority of the UK has been working from home for the last six weeks. Adjusting to this change can be quite difficult, especially when you factor in the lifestyle changes we are all facing because of Covid-19, possibly having to work with partners or children in the house or maybe having no designated desk or work space.
I have been working from home for the last nine months and it takes a long time to find what works for you. I have discovered that, as much as I hate waking up early, this is when I work best. I enjoy spending my evenings exercising, socialising with friends or sat watching my favourite TV. I work late into the evening when I have to, but it would never be my preferred choice.
One of the golden rules for working at home, so I have read time and time again, is to stay away from your phone. However this is not possible for everyone. As a Social Media Manager I have to spend a lot of my day on my phone looking at social media apps, researching new trends or analysing analytics. So here are my tips for working from home, for those who have to be, or have no option other than to be surrounded by distractions.
Being raised as a dancer, discipline is something I practice everyday. Discipline means to obey rules or a code of behaviour. The first thing to establish, obviously, is what is the code of behaviour you wish to achieve. This could mean not working with the TV on in the background, only checking your emails three times a day, practicing yoga and mindfulness each morning or always making sure you stop for a lunch break away from your work screen. This code of behaviour must be individual to you, and reflect the goals you wish to achieve in the future. There is no point being disciplined to a behaviour which is unhelpful to your mental, physical, financial or spiritual growth. Have a think about what you want to achieve, how you want to achieve it and then set about disciplining yourself.
One of the things I always make sure that I do, is spend a 30 minute lunch break away from my work. This is important to me as it gives my brain a rest away from work, which allows me to mentally recharge for the afternoon. I have also found splitting the day into a morning and afternoon makes the day seem less overwhelming - especially on days when I have a lot to do.
Try to remain positive
Trying to remain positive is something that we hear a lot about in the current climate. But when we are working from home it can become easy to be wrapped up in our own little bubbles; so a great work day feels amazing, but a bad one can really get you down. To this end, I always like to fill my days with small tasks that make me feel good about myself when I achieve them. I always try and drink 2L a water each day and I like to spend 30 minutes reading each day too. These tasks are things I actively do that I know are important for my mental health. Working from home means that you have the chance to try out small positive tasks like this, that you may not otherwise be able to. A great example of this is, someone recently told me, on social media, that they were using their normal commute time into work to go on a morning jog. What one task can you do each day which can help you try to remain positive?
Get quality sleep
Sleep is very important for our mental and physical health. Working from home means that we can create a better nighttime routine for ourselves, to promote quality sleep. I like to sleep listening to a podcast called The Snoozecast which are audiobooks, often the first chapter, which gives me enough time to fall asleep. I also like to spray my bed covers with lavender as I find this helps me drift off easier. Staying away from your phone, or enabling the blue light filter, can be a great way to warn your body that it is time to settle down and sleep. Getting good quality sleep will also help you feel more positive the next day and focused on your work.
Exercise and outdoor time
As you all should know, I am a big lover of exercise. I am currently spending 1.5/2 hours of my day doing some form of exercise. As well as helping me sleep of a night (see above point for more advice on sleep), exercising makes me feel good about myself. It takes me away from my work and think of other thoughts which are bigger than what I am currently working through - don’t believe me? Plank and see how long you are thinking about work. I guess you will start thinking of the pain of the plank pretty quickly! But exercise doesn’t have to be competitive or hard working, taking a walk outside can help brighten your mood and take you away from work and the confines of the house. Sometimes a little 15 minute walk is all you need to clear your thoughts and come back with new and creative ideas.
Time management is key
Another skill that I am insanely proud of, is my time management skills. Once again I thank being raised as a dancer for this, although I do feel my perfectionist tendencies could play a part. Are you spending your time effectively? Are you using your time to do things which will help your company, colleagues, family, mental health, physical health, children? Or are you doing tasks that you think may help but you’re not too sure why? Spending all day on one thing that isn’t important because you’re so overwhelmed by the rest of it?
Managing your time effectively is a skill that some find easier than others, but this doesn’t mean that it cannot be improved drastically. Apps, such as Toggl, can be used to track how much time you spend on each project. This means at the end of the week you can evaluate what is taking up the most time and if that is how you wish matters to continue. If you are finding you are repeatedly spending too much time on tasks which should be further down the line of importance or relevance, then it may be wise, if you can, to delegate these to a colleague, outsource to a VA or find apps to help speed the system up.
There are a million and one other tips and tricks on the internet to help with working from home, but the important thing is finding the systems that work for you. We could be in social distancing and home working measures for a long time, and henceforth it is vital that you discover ways to make it work for you, your family and work. If you need any help or advice or just wish to speak to someone who understands working from home, then please get in contact!
Stay safe and stay positive.