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5 tips on staying sane while working from home

I’ve had the privilege of working for Metaverse Mod Squad for the past couple of years, and what an amazing experience it has been.  When I tell people that I work remotely, most would say, “Oh, that’s so nice! I wish I could work from home.”  Sure, there are perks that come with working from home. I’ve also come to learn that there are also challenges. You see, I tend to be a bit of a workaholic. If I’m not careful with how I manage my time and tasks, it can easily lead to a lot of stress. I thought I would share these tips that have helped to keep me sane (so far!):

  1. Find a good “to-do list” system
    ID-10043426You may need to try a few systems before settling on one that works for you. I’ve tried multiple things…sticky notes, virtual sticky notes, sending emails to myself, notepad, and many many many online to-do lists. To me, what was important was finding a system that enables me to add tasks easily, is cloud-based, allows me to manually organize my list by moving tasks around, and offers a customizable recurring tasks option.  I tried out multiple web-based to-do lists before settling on one that I love (Astrid). Getting things out of your head and on paper or a list frees up your mind so that you can focus on other tasks.

  2. Eat That Frog
    frogThe premise of Brian Tracy’s book, “Eat That Frog,” is that if you had to eat a live frog every day, you should get that done as early as possible so that once that task is over, you can get through the rest of the day with the satisfaction knowing that you’ve completed that task, and that it’s probably the worst thing you’ve had to do all day.If you procrastinate, you’ll go through the whole day dreading that task. At the beginning of each day, list out your “frogs” and tackle them before you work on anything else. Start with the ugliest frog. I happen to be terrified of frogs so when I read this book, I truly understood this concept.
  3. Get out!
    I find that I am far less distracted when I’m working from outside the home. I’ve made it a habit to go to Starbucks every Monday morning. I bring my laptop with me, I grab a cup of coffee or hot chocolate, and I get work done… I get a LOT of work done. It breaks the monotony and I feel refreshed.  I’m ready to tackle the rest of the week.Also, even though I’m an introvert, social time with friends outside of work hours is a must! I love my family dearly, but sometimes, a girls night out is much needed.  I also love to schedule lunch dates with my friends.  It forces me out of the house and I get some social time in.  When I get back to work after that lunch hour, it’s amazing how much more refreshed and focused I feel.
  4. Gimme A Break.
    ID-10056706I struggle with this one. When I’m really focused on a task, it’s so easy to lose track of time. I’ve often found myself working non-stop for hours on end.  At that point, the only thing that tears me away from my computer is a massive headache.  I recently read an article about the 20-20-20 rule.  This has helped tremendously.  Basically, every 20 minutes, take 20 seconds to look at something that’s at least 20 feet away.  Ideally, this should involve movement to help circulation.  Grab a cup of coffee, pace around the room, jump up and down (ooh, I should get a jump-rope!), or just STRETCH.  There are lots of tools out there to help remind you to take a quick break every 20 minutes, so find something that works for you.  It can be as simple as using a stopwatch.
  5. Set up a home office
    Your work area should be in a quiet area of your home, free from distractions.  At times, when I want to break the monotony or when I want a “change of scenery”, I take my laptop to the kitchen table and work from there, or even the backyard.  But generally, I work in my office.  My family knows that when I’m at my desk, I’m not to be disturbed unless something is bleeding or on fire.  Also, keep your work area neat and tidy.  A messy desk is really distracting when you’re trying to get work done!  Put those dirty dishes in the sink, and hang a cork-board on your office wall to pin up all of your flyers, bills, notices, etc.

Hope this helps!  If you have any more tips or advice, I would love to hear them as I am always looking for ways to be more efficient.

Char Ferrara
Senior Project Manager

 

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Talk Back

David
Posted on July 3, 2013

Sometimes I feel like a herpetologist!

Cathy
Posted on July 3, 2013

WURD!

Great job putting it in great perspective Char.

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