12 WFH Tips That’ll Keep You Productive *and* Less Stressed
Staying productive is not about staying busy. It's about organizing yourself in a way that helps you get things done while also staying healthy, and ideally reducing your stress levels. For me, when I make a to-do list I breathe a sigh of relief. Even though it's long, I can easily prioritize what's most important, and I don't have to worry about forgetting something. For my partner, a to-do list is a total stress trigger. We all have different ways of working.
With a global pandemic unfolding before our eyes, many of us are navigating a huge shift in how we work. At first it felt like, okay it's easy to handle a week working from home, no need for a desk, no need for a set schedule. Now that we're entering week five (crazy, I know), we thought we'd share some of the ways that the B+C team has been optimizing that WFH life.
Behind the Scenes with Team Brit + Co (clockwise from top left): Editor Theresa Gonzalez at her standing desk / sewing desk combo; Founder and CEO Brit Morin's dining table station amidst toddler chaos; Community Lead Anne Carney's cozy book nook, and Brand Partnerships Director Kamelle Cornell's perfectly organized work corner.
And here's me, Co-Founder and CCO Anjelika Temple, with my favorite 3-year-old coworker Anokhi Temple ;)
From handling a shared space with the whole family to the importance of defining the start and end of your workday, we hope these tips help you stay productive and feel better.
DEFINE A SET WORKSPACE
"Find a designated place where your housemates and/or family won't be a distraction. And on the topic of distractions, turn off notifications when you really need to focus. It's not always productive to always be connected." — Theresa Gonzalez
"Create a workspace for WFH that doesn't feel temporary anymore. Make sure you have all necessary tech at hand, chargers, headphones, mouse, screens, etc." — Anne Carney
"Try to work in front of a window or somewhere near natural light. It cues your body to be more energetic and awake, and bonus, it makes you look better on Zoom :) Also, don't snack all day. It might be easier when the refrigerator is so close, but it can make you more tired! And or course, stay hydrated per usual." — Brit Morin
"Find a good playlist. I like listening to a coffee shop playlist to get my work day started. My go-to is Spotify's Soul Coffee playlist." — Kamelle Cornell
"Do your best to ensure your desk, computer and chair are ergonomic or else you're going to have some serious body aches! Working from home can mean many hours in front of a screen, not just 1-2 like pre-COVID life may have been. Adjustable chairs, proper height of computer, proper angle of arms and knees, etc are all very important." — Brit Morin
STICK TO A SCHEDULE
"Give yourself a start time rather than try to juggle work, life, kids as soon as you wake up. Take the first hour or two to get yourself ready for the day and be present with kids if you have them. Shower, eat breakfast and try to get out for a walk or do something active before you "clock in." You'll feel less stressed and have a sense of accomplishment before you've even started your work day. Same goes for an end time - put work away at the end of the day for better work-life balance at home." — Theresa Gonzalez
"I often find that getting 'ready' for my day, even if it's just a shower but no makeup, makes me way more focused and productive. " — Brit Morin
"For sticking to a schedule with watching the littles, the way my husband and I have done it is to split the day in two halves, so we're each working for 4-5 hours and solo with the kids for 4-5 hours. We all try to eat lunch together while we switch shifts. Communication is also key. If you're on the morning shift with the kids but have a couple emails to send first thing, tell your partner and your kids. When you try to multitask on the sly, everyone gets stressed out." — Anjelika Temple
"Keeping a work and unplug routine if you can, even scheduling them in the calendar helps!" — Anne Carney
WORK YOUR KIDS INTO THE ROUTINE
"Be reasonable with your kids and yourself. This is a whole new way of working and parenting. When your kid interrupts what you're doing, remember that she's used to being able to come and sit on your lap whenever she wants. Treat her with warmth and kindness even if you're frustrated and even if she's on the verge of a meltdown. Your coworkers will understand the interruption. And if you are feeling upset or at your wit's end, take deep breaths and calm your body just like you tell your toddler to do ;)" — Anjelika Temple
"If you're working at home with kids, consider having two types of work.
- Family-Friendly Work: If you're doing an internal team call, or doing a task that doesn't take as much focus, open the door to the room you're working in to signify that your kids are free to stop by and say hi, even though you're working. I also keep a notebook and stickers at my desk so that if my toddler wants to come in and be my coworker, I can give her something to work on quietly.
- Focus Work: When you need that uninterrupted time, make it clear that this is a different part of your day. If that means putting a post-it on the door that says "Shhh" or telling your kiddo that you can hang for 5 minutes but then need to spend 2 hours working alone, those have both worked for me." — Anjelika Temple
"If you do need to put your kiddo in front of a screen for a work call or to catch up on email, make it interactive vs. passive. I've found for my 5-year-old she's totally engaged with Cosmic Kids Yoga and Outschool, where she can interact with the teacher and a small class size via Zoom." — Theresa Gonzalez
Any WFH lightbulb moments to share? Productivity tips? Hit us up @britandco to share.
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Fall is right around the corner, and we're getting amped up for our next session of Selfmade, Brit + Co's 10-week interactive startup school. Designed to help you create a new business or grow your existing one, this course is personally led by Brit + Co founder Brit Morin and co-founder Anjelika Temple, and supported by more than a dozen of the top female entrepreneurs, creatives, and investors in the country. Students receive personalized coaching on everything from how to get out of your comfort zone to how to scale your business, and everything in between. And now, thanks to Office Depot, even more of you can join the course!
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