Apr 3, 2020

9 Tips for Working and Studying from Home

Written by Caroline Hollick-Ward

Whether you are Studying for Working from Home - Keep yourself Healthy, Happy and Productive with these 9 TIMELESS top tips.

Tip 1: Get Dressed - You’ll see plenty of tips recommending you to dress as if you are going to work. Depending on your work dress code, this actually might leave you feeling a bit out of sorts - personally, the idea of sitting suited and booted at a desk when I won’t be seeing anyone does nothing other than make me feel a bit ridiculous and uncomfortable. 

The key takeaway in this tip is really about the psychology of starting the day as a workday.

Keep to starting the day as close to a normal routine as possible. So, get up, shower, get your breakfast, and get dressed - don’t stay in your pajamas all day and start the day as close as possible to your normal workday routine.

Tip 2: Create Your Space - Make sure you have a dedicated space and that you have easy access to everything that you need. That includes getting the temperature and lightning right (blinding sunlight and a virtual meeting is not a great mix). Make sure your space allows you to sit comfortably at a desk space, somewhere that’s quiet and that will allow you to concentrate. You can also learn some tips on how to look your best on a video call. There are a plethora of articles available on this,

Tip 3: Organize Your Time - Plan and coordinate your day. Take control and set your day up so you can manage your time effectively and be productive. Check out what meetings you have the day ahead, you may have to coordinate with those within your household: for example, my spouse and I try not to have virtual meetings at the same time, so one of us can act as a parental vigilante/referee during this time.

The important factors in this top tip are motivation and productivity. So set a to-do list, make sure you address the priorities and challenge yourself to tackle a handful of those little horrible tasks that you could easily kick down the road for another day.

Tip 4: Goal Setting - Yes, this tip could be included in organizing your time. However, its importance really shouldn’t be underestimated. To keep yourself in a happy headspace, make sure that the to-do lists you create are realistic and achievable. That will make it more rewarding and keep you focused.

Tip 5: Minimize distractions - The critical word here is “minimize”,  it’s near impossible to remove or eliminate all distractions, especially as we are all online. Trying to multitask won’t be productive and will leave you feeling frustrated and agitated so when organizing your schedule do small things to make your sure your space is calm - turn off text and email notifications and schedule in times to address/respond to these. Create a signal/sign so that your family/housemates know when you CAN and CANNOT be disturbed.

Tip 6: Take Breaks - It can be tempting when working from home to power through and keep working but regular breaks will boost your productivity and focus. Furthermore, it feeds into keeping that normal routine - if you had an 11 am coffee/tea break when working from an office, do the same at home. Physical exercise and timeouts are also good for maintaining your mental health and wellbeing so stretch your legs at lunch, try some meditation or do a workout using the many apps and videos that are available.

Tip 7: Go Digital - There is a myriad of technology apps, tools, and platforms to let you communicate with your clients, colleagues and fellow DMI members. Use video technology, where feasible, IMs, and DMs to communicate. Take full advantage - it's good to talk for business and for mental health, so make sure you're fully present.

Tip 8: Stay Connected - Get creative and make excuses to get together with your colleagues. This is so important - it reminds us that we are all working together for a common goal. It provides an opportunity to share problems and celebrate wins and completed tasks. Here at DMI, while we work from home, we’ve been using our internal platforms to share pictures of our workspaces, photos of teams coming together for online meetings. We have shared pictures of uncooperative pets invading workspaces, weekly communal online tea-breaks have been set up, as have our Friday BYOB cross-departmental signoff session. Just a handful of ways in which you can come together. If you have a tip on staying connected, why not pop over to the forum and let your fellow members know what you are doing to keep connected to your team and colleagues.

Tip 9: The Finale, Look After Yourself - Saving the most important tip for last! A happy rested you is the key ingredient. Get those eight hours of sleep. Make sure there is a degree of separation between work life and home life - when your working day is done, close over the door to your workspace. Be mindful of the information you consume about current events or any other news.

Invest time in yourself - Learn, Exercise, Play, Rest, and Laugh.

Caroline Hollick-Ward
Caroline Hollick-Ward

Caroline was the Membership Manager with the Digital Marketing Institute until 2023. Caroline has worked in membership and event management for over a decade, and is dedicated to growing and developing the features, benefits and service offerings through a global membership community. Prior to this, Caroline has worked in both education and recruitment sectors.

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