Tips to help you work effectively during this time of turmoil
For most people working from home is uncharted territory. However freelancers, and especially those of us who work across time zones, have an understanding of what it's like to have your work/life balance intermingle in a way that makes the two indinguishable at times.
So before you try anything else, if you or your business is affected by not being able to go outside consider the following
phone your your clients
1) ask how they are and how they are affected
2) re-assure by explaining what you are doing to mitigate this situation (not business as usual but neither we have the “solution to fix all” either) Be human and talk your worries with them, it will go a long way.
3) give your peeps the low down on how and when they can contact you and how you’re working through this.
Communicate your phone number & email and your hours and your messenger and the fact you’re working from home and that funny story about your dog jumping on you and trying to lick your face when you had the VP of global marketing on the phone the other day.
And remember that, you really shouldn’t promise “zoom infomercials“ till kingdom come because they don’t make you relevant and they are by and large not useful at all... be human first the rest will come.
micro task for success
because you see, when you’re at “work” chances are there’s a boss, or subordinate or colleague or whatever to keep you focused & distractions are not quite of the same magnitude as when you’re at home with an 11 year old who decides to “use the entirety of the worlds bandwidth to play Sims Online whilst streaming Joe Wicks videos at top volume (true story btw...).
If you define what you need to achieve at the beginning of the day and cut it down into chunks you are more likely to manage it.
resources are scarce... use them wisely
Anyone who’s ever played a post apocalyptic RPG, and there’s bound to be at least one gamer on here, will tell you that first you scavenge, then you build, then you hunt!
Why should real life be any different?
Right now we’re all hurting because we can’t put the same business processes in play like we used to but for those who want to get back in the game it’s important to “arm yourself appropriately before you head for the woodlands”. Your biggest asset and resource right now is time so use it wisely.
You should also gather your tools, ie secure access to the laptop or phone, or kitchen table that you intend to use (especially if there’s kids in the house). If you’re going to video call make sure Joe Wicks is nowhere near anyone’s YouTube playlist, but also make sure that the tik tokers and the Spotifiers and the Netflixologists aren’t about to get the urge to revisit 1920’s French Art Deco cinema in any form...
Google is your friend so use it to learn a new skill or put the dots on the i’s to complete that task you never got round to. If you are working with a team remotely, schedule your time religiously and expect nothing less from anyone else. And remember to talk to folk around you in the house and plan how you’re gonna achieve the micro tasks you set yourself earlier.
wear your shoes!!
if you are working remotely, which let’s face it is really a euphemism for ”you’ve turned half the loo into your office and it’s debatable whether an expansion to the pantry is viable at this stage...” it is a challenge because homes are where we relax not where we work.
Nothing in our homes is geared for work and everything is at a premium. For example, those of us that have kids know that a quiet space around the house is probably more scarce a commodity than toilet roll at the moment. Having said that, wearing your shoes really is about getting in the mood to go to work. It’s about psychologically putting yourself in that mode. It’s a part of your work routine that is missing and is often forgotten when working from home. So do the thing you would normally do before you set off for work and wear those shoes! It will make you feel like you mean business...
PS if you’re stressing to high ho and want an hours breathing space, join my clients wellness and gratitude group for a bit of respite from the madness, click here to go to facebook (it's free)
PPS I’m just as scared and frustrated as you are but, we will get through this and if it hasn’t sank in yet PLEASE stay safe and stay the fudge at home (it could save a life!)