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Strategies to make the most of working from home

Whether you work from home year-round or are transitioning as a social distancing measure, a home office presents its own set of challenges. Sure, you don’t have to worry about your morning commute, but you do have to navigate avoiding a kitchen full of snacks, pushing your cat off your keyboard, and managing your kids yelling in the other room. Fortunately, The Optimist Daily staff are remote working pros and, with some help from Thrive Global contributors, we have a list of tips to help you remain productive and focused while working from home. 

  1. Establish clear working hours. Designate time to sit down and work, but also commit to not checking work emails after you log off for the night.
  2. Close non-work tabs. Computers are the ultimate distractors. Keep Facebook and other web distractions closed and away.
  3. Write things down. Working remotely likely means more screen time. Use good ole fashioned paper and pen for reminders to clear your mind.
  4. Tidy up. A cluttered workspace leads to a cluttered mind. Create a clean and organized designated workspace.
  5. The “no pajamas” rule. It’s tempting to work from your bed all day in your sleep clothes. Comfort is okay, but change into something fresh every morning when you get up to tell yourself it’s time to start working, not lounging.
  6. Establish a designated work area. If you have a home office, great! If not, set a certain space to become your office for your working hours. If it’s away from the kitchen and television, all the better!
  7. Take meal breaks. Eat meals away from your home office and treat your lunch break as you would if you were going out with coworkers.
  8. Step outside. Fresh air is important. Take breaks and small walks to clear your mind and refocus. 
  9. Exercise. This goes hand-in-hand with outdoor time. Remember to fit in exercise to benefit from those endorphins. This can be as simple as practicing yoga in your living room.
  10. Start your day with mindfulness. We at The Optimist are big meditation advocates. Start your day with breathing to set the tone for your day.
  11. Schedule a call or meeting every morning. Rather than grouping meetings all together on Monday afternoons, set up one meeting each morning to stay in touch with goals and coworkers and not lose focus during hours of virtual meetings.
  12. Maintain priorities. Set goals for the day and the week. Share them with your team to hold yourself accountable.
  13. Stay connected. Working remotely can make us feel disconnected from coworkers. Remember to stay in contact with teammates and interact as you would in the office.

There are endless strategies for maintaining a home office that is as productive as a traditional workspace. Some remote workers even host “happy hours” where they all meet on video chat after work with their beverage of choice to chat and share a virtual cocktail. If you’re working from home right now, try some of these strategies to make the most of your home office.

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