When I signed on to work as a publicist for Icon three years ago I knew I would be working remotely. I had no idea what to expect because I had previously only worked in offices with teams and cubicles. The idea of working at home was exciting – hello, yoga pants – but also a little daunting. How would my days be structured? Would I like flying solo or miss being able to see my colleagues on a daily basis? Through trial and error I’ve learned a few things that help keep me both sane and productive. Here are six rules that help me make working from home work.
- Get dressed. I don’t always dress as if I was going into an office but I feel my best when I look somewhat pulled together. I change out of my pjs, brush my teeth, somewhat fix my hair and put on a fresh outfit. Of course some days this doesn’t always happen – I’ve been known to still be sporting my robe and disheveled ponytail at 2pm.
- Have a designated work space. I learned very early on in my working from home days that I didn’t function properly when working from my bed. Or the couch. Both are way too cozy and have me dreaming of a Netflix marathon. I need a space where I go each day to focus with minimal distractions. While we’re in the middle of this move my work space is my parents’ dining room table and I am already planning what my office will look like in our new place.
- Make a list. Every morning I make a list of all the tasks I need to accomplish by the end of the day, including any meetings or calls. This helps keep me on track and holds me accountable. I live and die by my list.
- No chores while working. I like everything to be nice and tidy, and since I’m at home it’s so easy to take breaks throughout the day for laundry, cleaning the kitchen, vacuuming, etc. But I don’t. I save the household chores for my lunch break so I don’t fall into the black hole of housework.
- Communicate with colleagues often. Working from home can feel isolating at times, so I try and connect with the ladies on my team throughout the day. Some days that means multiple phone calls to talk through challenging projects and others it’s a lengthy text strand full of gifs.
- Take breaks. I refuse to die from sitting too long, so I make a point to take short breaks throughout the day to set away from my computer. I stretch, walk around the house or neighborhood, make a snack or do a 10-minute power yoga workout.