Running my own business for the last couple of years has definitely had me feeling like a Jack of all trades, Master of none. There is always something new to learn and it's hard to shake the feeling of never being quite good enough or knowledgeable enough.
But now my moment has come.
2 years of working from home has finally made me an expert in something relevant! So here are my tips for turning your home sanctuary into a productive but happy place:
1. Get Dressed.
The first challenge of the day is sometimes the hardest. It starts with the first email of the day - you're in your pj's but it can't wait, so you just dash off a reply quickly from bed. But whilst you're doing that another comes in. And another. And before you know it, it's time for lunch.
Getting dressed is a good, clear way to mark the start of the day. You could also get changed at the end of the day to bookend it. ie at 630pm you return to a tracksuit and no more emails shall be answered.
I also recommend putting shoes on too. It will affect the way you sit at your desk/table/up ended laundry basket and make you feel more professional.
2. Make a to-do list/Timetable and include a set time for lunch.
Each morning write down what you are going to do. This will focus your day (and make the day ahead seem less daunting). Include a specific hour for lunch and try not to go into your fridge until then.*
Feel free to add in an hour at the beginning/end/both for anything extra curricular you usually have in your week, if you do yoga on a Wednesday morning, find someone doing an online class and factor that in. Or if you listen to a podcast on your way to work, do that with your breakfast. Try and stick to some sort of routine/schedule. Trust me it will help your brain keep it together.
*this one is more do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do.
3. Treat your flatmate like a co-worker
This could be anything from being mindful of their space and things to how would you handle conflict.
Don't blast loud music without asking them first, try and maintain an air of professionalism, you never know whether their virtual meeting is with a friend or a client and you don't want to get them in trouble by reenacting that scene from Risky Business in the background. Equally try to keep domestic squabbles out of the designated "work time". If it helps you can still send each other passive aggressive messages about the washing up, just don't expect them to do anything about it until the end of the work day.
4. Mark the end of the work day.
Particularly whilst we can't go outside, the end of the work day for many is the switch from using a laptop for emails to using it for Netflix. In between this do something. Anything. If you are lucky enough to have a designated office then shut the door and go be somewhere else. If you are working on your kitchen table then do an exercise video, meditate, lie on your back in the dark for 10 minutes, phone a friend. Just something that means the work portion of the day is clearly ended.
I'd love to see where everyone has set up. Send me a picture of your view/desk/new colleagues (particularly the furry kind). Either email them to firstname.lastname@example.org or tag @kipperandchalk on instagram/twitter.