Article provided by Bernadette Chapman, Director of UK Alliance of Wedding Planners
I have been working from my home office for 17 years now, and it took some time for me to find a style and routine that made working from home fun, and productive.
Here are my top tips to working efficiently from home:
Have an inspiring work space
I feel if your space is cluttered and messy it can be hard to be productive. When I moved into my new house the office was the first room I decorated, the wood chip and dado rails were stifling my creativity. I now have a space that feels calm but more importantly me. I need a calm space so when working with others on their business, I have no distractions. My office is filled with green touches which always feel fresh and bright to me, I always have lots of plants and scented candles. I look out into my garden which isn’t quite my oasis yet, but will be one day.
I stream music onto my echo and schedule dance breaks into my day, 90’s pop can see me dancing and singing round my desk.
Cute office accessories
My best accessory is my dog Freddy who can be seen curled up by my feet or on his dog bed I bought especially to coordinate with my office.
Dress for success (whatever that means for you)
Even if working from home I ensure I am dressed for work, doing my hair and makeup and even spraying my perfume. I will admit sometimes I’M smart from the top to my waist then can be a little more casual as no one can see when conducting zoom or lives
Train friends and family
this may take constant reminders on your part. Just because you work from home doesn’t mean you’re available for an hour “chat” on the phone, it doesn’t always mean you’re available to pop out to lunch. Although working for yourself means if you want to, that’s your decision to make. If family ask can you just pop over to fix something, say no but arrange a time after you have finished your working day. If you have children ensure they know that this is your work space,no toys allowed, no answering your office line. Sometimes my children have sat with me in my office and coloured or written stories whilst I’M working. And I love this
Forget the cleaning
Ok this is a strange one but I have spoken to so many people in the past that say they can’t manage to work from home because by the time they have made the beds, cleared up, cleaned, ironed there is no time for work. In my opinion that means they are putting housework as a higher priority to work. And that is crazy. Either hire a cleaner or adopt the ability to ignore the mess until “after work”. Adopt a morning routine where the housework is included in that routine, set yourself working hours and stick to it. Does it matter if the cleaning has to wait until after the school run? Use your time more efficiently to create success.
Have a schedule
Take some time away from your desk, take the dog on a short walk. Eat your lunch in a different room, in other words take a break. Just a short 15 minutes will recharge you and increase productivity. Set a time for starting and finishing work. It can be tempting to keep checking mails throughout the night, or keep your computer on. But don’t. You need time away from work and you also need time to spend with friends and family. So set yourself a start and finish time for each day and schedule at least one x 15 min break.
It can be isolating working from home so set time to interact with others via video conferencing and set coffee dates to meet colleagues or industry peers. We all need that human face to face interaction at times.