This week’s GOFISH blog is brought to you by our Social Media and Marketing Manager and Young Ambassador, Nicola Davis.
Top Tips On Working From Home
I have been self-employed for over 5 years now, running my businesses Nicola Davis Crafts and Corsham Creative Market from home. I work from my home studio and office and over the years have learnt how to really make working from home a success.
Here are my top tips for GOFISH:
1. Start Your Day Right
Just as you would with an on-site job, you need a good night’s sleep and a healthy start to the day. I have an alarm set for Monday – Friday and before I start work, I ensure that I have had a good breakfast, a cup of tea (or two!) and am dressed for the day. If I have a creative day ahead of me, I tend to wear comfortable clothes, if I am working on admin for the day or if I have any meetings scheduled I prefer to dress a little smarter. It is very easy to fall into the habit of living in pyjamas and waking up when you feel like, but if you want to succeed, you need to set rules and follow them.
2. Have A Plan For The Day
It is a really good habit to start your work day by writing down your goals. What do you need to achieve? What deadlines are looming? For me, I have a notepad that is split into three sections: ‘Must Do’, ‘Aim To Do’ and ‘Would Like To Do’. Write a few tasks under each section and always work from the top, crossing off each task as you go. For some people it can help to have an hourly rota with regular tasks such as checking emails set to certain hours, try both techniques and see what works for you.
3. Create A Dedicated Work Space
When I am in my studio I am in ‘The Zone’. I can spend hours at a time working in there with no distractions. I have made it a productive and positive working space that has everything I need in there. It has good natural lighting and plenty of colour. My partner understands not to distract me when I am in my studio, and even my dog has learnt to understand through routine that my room is a calm area. In any other room she will be at my feet with a tennis ball! Despite my studio mainly being for ‘practical use’ where I create my artwork, I have found that if I am struggling to focus on my emails or accounts, I will bring my laptop into my studio and my focus improves greatly.
4. Have Regular Breaks
Its really important not only to have regular breaks, but ‘real’ breaks. This means put your phone on silent, close the office door behind you, and let your mind have a break too. Try to get some social interaction and talk to your family or housemates, or give a friend a call whilst walking around the garden. Being outdoors and talking to someone are both especially important if you are finding yourself stuck on a task or becoming frustrated. You will come back refreshed and ready to work.
5. Look After Your Health
Workplaces often have multiple measures put in place to look after your health such as ergonomic office chairs, monitors set at the correct working height and angle and adjustable desks. You may not be able to afford all these fancy gadgets when working from home but you have the freedom to adjust your workspace to your comfort level. Ensure you have good natural lighting, open windows for fresh air, a comfortable and safe work station, healthy snacks and regular breaks to stretch and move around. The NHS has a list of tips for sitting at your desk correctly here www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/how-to-sit-correctly.
6. Switch Off At The End Of The Day
This for me is the most important aspect of working from home. I often find myself sitting down to dinner and I think ‘Oh I’ll just check my emails’. Next thing I know I’m knee deep in a never ending back and forth e-mail that could have waited until the morning. When you are finished for the day ensure that you separate yourself from your work and don’t look back! Make sure to plan fun things for your evenings and days off. Not only will this allow you to forget work but it will give you something to look forward to during the week.
Enjoy working from home!