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Isolation, WFH & The Rona...

The world's gone mad and we're being ruled by The Rona.

I've seen so many posts within the last week from first-time WFH'ers (Work From Home) with tips & tricks to make the most of this new-found environment and I can't lie- it's been interesting to read the things that I take for granted as a Freelancer who spends my days either doing exactly that or walking 80,000 miles around venues herding delegates.

With that being said, I thought I'd throw my 5p in on things I find useful- or not- when trying to be productive at home.

A desk with an open laptop showing the time, plant pot and notebook

Create an office- then leave it every now and then!

So I made it my mission to create a home office in a bid to stop working from bed, the sofa and in front of the telly as I thought it would make me more productive and give me a work space to physically leave at the end of each day. I had visions of an Instagrammable space that got boring pretty quickly but nonetheless, office was created... and used less than the kitchen table. I've realised that there are times that I am productive in my office and times when I am not, so it's OK for me to change scenery for short bursts and work from the kitchen table or a nearby cafe when I feel like it (cafe obviously not an option at the moment!).

Headphones on a bright yellow background

Background noise or silence- find what works for you.

I absolutely cannot function in a silent space-namely because that's the time that my stomach decides to be vocal for the both of us. Being in events means generally working on more than one thing at a time and having to speak to people constantly and I'm 1 of 5 kids, so silence isn't a productive setting. However I have realised that having background music slows me down and makes me more distracted and more likely to jump from work to social media more often. Nowadays, I'll put on YouTube videos or podcasts from the likes of Gary Vee, Steve Bartlett or Hayley Mulenda while working with intermittent music as a reward when I change locations.

Bowl of popcorn

More food, less snacks.

Anyone else eating their way through this madness? I refuse to believe it's just me! Having regular food breaks is a good thing, but constantly snacking just makes you want to- well- constantly snack and not actually do any work. For me, breakfast isn't a thing so I skip it and generally go on the hunt around 11am/midday after some work or a morning workout. If I can manage just one afternoon snack break before dinner then I'm doing well- but it's an easy wagon to fall off!

Speak to at least one person on the phone that isn't a colleague.

I'm lucky to have an amazing tribe of people to call on whenever I need some inspiration, a pick me up or just a distraction during the day so I make a point of doing this every day. Having a non-work catch up gives me the same little motivational boost as having a work-related vent because it helps me realise that I'm not alone, it's not a stupid idea and that not everyone is out living their best life while I'm chained to my desk passive-aggressively 'responding to all'.

Working 9-5 doesn't work for everybody!

I've realised that working conventional hours doesn't work for me. That's not to say I don't put in the hours, but that I've had to learn when I'm most productive vs when I'm not and capitalise on that. So whilst a lot of people might be ready to start work at their desks at 9am, I've usually been up for a couple of hours beforehand getting on with my list.

Trust me- this is not a daily occurrence and I am not one of those 'sleep is for the weak' weirdos, but I take each day as it comes dependent on how much work needs to be complete by the end of my day. I've had to work on projects across different time zones so 5pm to me just means a UK deadline for placing orders or speaking to anyone in an office rather than signalling the end of my work.

So how are you coping with week one under your belt and potentially a couple more to go?

Send help or is someone going to need to drag you back to the office..?

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