According to the 2019 Modern Workplace Report from Condeco Software, 41% of employers offer some sort of remote work option. But that number has rapidly increased as many people have had to transition into working from home for the first time.
While it can be stressful having your normal routine drastically altered, it’s possible to create a productive and even enjoyable work from home environment. Many entrepreneurs started their businesses working from home and have been doing it long enough to implement effective strategies that keep them on track throughout their days.
Ahead, 10 entrepreneurs share how you can make the most of your time working from home.
Create a peaceful space
“My best advice is to create a space that allows you to fully focus on work once you are in that space. I spend so many hours in front of the screen, as many do, and I am quite sensitive to what my eyes land on. For me, it has been important to create a mini island in my home that is very serene and simple. With two kids at home, the rest of the house is not quiet and tidy. I make sure the view I have from my desk and the view of my background when I see myself on conference calls are both calm and pleasant. I also think that it makes it easier for others to stay energized on calls when they don’t have to visually battle with my background.” — Ida Tin, CEO and co-founder of Clue
“I stay focused throughout the day by doing a number of activities during breaks. I meditate using the Headspace app. I will sometimes write out a list of 10 things that I’m grateful for. I also will go on a walk alone to clear my head. Another idea is to call loved ones and ask them how they are doing. Lastly, I try to be of service to another person, whether it’s a friend or a stranger.” — Kevin Miller, founder and CEO of The Word Counter
Schedule a “worry window”
“I started implementing a worry window every day. For 15 minutes a day, I dump all my worries into a journal. If I find my mind wandering into a negative space during my work from home day, I remind myself that I need to postpone those thoughts until my scheduled worry window. For 15 minutes a day, I indulge all my fears and worries. After that, I go back to hitting the pavement. It’s helped my mental health and performance immensely.” –Priscila Martinez, founder and CEO of The Brand Agency
Establish a routine
“Get up at the same time every day and take a shower or whatever you’d usually do in the morning, and hit the desk at the same time as an office worker in your field would. This will keep you on professional hours, and if you have to go to a meeting (or take a video call), you aren’t interrupting your day to get dressed.” — Susan von Seggern, founder of SvS PR
Meditate before work
“Every morning, I wake up before everyone else in the house, just in time for sunrise, and I meditate listening to Deepak Chopra (the soul of healing meditations) for 15 minutes while I soak up the first rays of the day, followed by five minutes of breathing exercise. That practice helps me approach the day with a calm and relaxed mindset.” — Josephine Musco, founder of Olyxir
Make a to-do list
“I’m most inspired and motivated in the morning (after I’ve had coffee, of course), so before getting into any work, I write down my goals and tasks that I’d like to achieve for the day. It’s easy to get sucked into email and other distractions, so having a list that I can continually go back to keeps me focused and on track.” — Monica Watson, founder of Berlin Skin
Take days off
“For better or worse, we are not robots! Even, or perhaps especially, during times of stress or uncertainty, it is important to resist the urge to ‘hustle’ and ‘grind’ every single day when doing so might impact your health. I plan three or four half-days off per month. I’ll take a morning and just snuggle with my kids and watch a movie, an afternoon to deep-condition and braid my hair, another half-day to try a new recipe and Zoom with a friend. These breaks give me something to look forward to and are incredibly restorative.” — Adiya Dixon, founder of Yubi
Limit your phone usage
“Designate two to three hours a day to put your phone in Airplane Mode to avoid distractions from social media, text messages, and memes. This will allow you to focus entirely on the project or projects at hand.” — Tracy Sandler, CEO of Fangirl Sports Network
“Studies have proven that what we wear has a big impact on how we feel. Personally, I am making the effort to get dressed and put on a little makeup, even if I don’t have video meetings scheduled. I feel more like myself and much happier.” — Nicole Robertson, founder of Swap Society
Set up a “just for fun” message thread with coworkers
“Social interaction is a huge part of working in an office, and working from home can make it difficult to feel that same connection with your colleagues. Set up a messaging channel for your employees and peers that is to be used only for non-work-related topics and fun discussion. Make sure it doesn’t get out of hand and become a time-waster, but it can be a great way to create that ‘water cooler’ feeling and keep spirits up.” –David Adler, founder and CEO of The Travel Secret
xx, The FabFitFun Team