Thank you to The Hive for Sponsoring this article.
Working from home can be great. You get to stay in your loungewear as long as you like, spend more time with your family, save money on gas, and exercise whenever you feel like it. But realistically your day probably involves your kids and partner interrupting your focus, a deep yearning for social interaction with other adults, and a lack of structure that makes it difficult to accomplish your goals. I’ve been working from home on and off since 2016, so I know both the pros and cons. Here are a few strategies I’ve found to help me thrive.
1. Dress How You Want to Feel
You’ve likely heard the “work from home” tip that you should always shower and get dressed first thing. That doesn’t mean you have to put on flawless makeup and dress to the nines. It’s just important to wear something that makes you feel confident, relatively put together, and ready to take on the day. Maybe for you, that’s yoga pants, a clean shirt, and a fresh messy bun. How you *feel* is more important than anything. This will help you get your mindset right from the start.
2. Set Realistic Expectations and Hold Boundaries
If you have young kids at home, give yourself grace. They’re not going to be able to self-entertain for hours on end, but it is important for you to communicate your expectations. My approach with my five year old is to “fill up” her “attention cup” first by spending a set amount of uninterrupted quality time together. Then I make sure she has a snack and something to work on/play with before I set the expectation. The next step is the hardest one: hold your boundary. With the exception of an emergency, if she interrupts me during the set time frame, I say, “When __ time is up, I will help you with ___.” and go back to my work. We’re not always perfect, but the key is consistency.
3. Divide Your Days by Theme
It takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to return to an original task after an interruption, according to a study by the University of California, Irvine. That’s why batching is such a buzz word in the productivity niche. A batch day is when you devote one day to work on a specific category of tasks, with minimal distractions. This allows you to focus on related tasks and finish them quicker. For example, if you’re an online entrepreneur, your schedule might be Mondays: Content Creation, Tuesdays: Social Media, etc. If your work doesn’t allow for this level of flexibility, you can try batching hours. Either way, focusing on one task to completion instead of attempting to multitask is going to help you get more accomplished than you would trying to do all everything at once.
4. Change Up Your Environment
Even if you have a beautiful home, it can become monotonous to work from the same place day in and day out. I find it helpful to commit to coming into a space like The Hive one day a week in order to add some variety to my routine and allow me to get out of the house somewhere I can feel professional. With unlimited bean-to-cup espresso/lattes/cappuccinos, it also allows me to enjoy a cup of coffee that I didn’t have to make! To top it off, the audio/video room has all of the equipment and setup to record social media content and take professional looking photos. Finally, the conference room and workshop room both allow me to put a professional edge to my business when I meet with clients (in person or virtually) and when I offer classes. Professionals as well as entrepreneurs find that the WiFi is unbeatable and the atmosphere is filled with natural light and inspiring decor, helping them feel welcome, energized, and productive.
5. Find Connection, Accountability, and Motivation
You’ve likely got your #momsquad, but do you have a group of women supporting you in your career/business? According to new research in the Harvard Business Review, “Women who have an inner circle of close female contacts are more likely to land executive positions with greater authority and higher pay.” Cultivate those friendships, whether you find them at The Hive or somewhere else. What makes us different? We have around 200 women in business in our network, who are supportive, encouraging, and have each other’s back.
As Brene Brown says, “Humans are hardwired for connection.” So get yourself around some healthy, supportive friends who understand what it’s like to work remotely! If you’d like to see if The Hive is a place where you could change up your environment and find connection, book a tour (yes, we can even do it virtually), and let’s chat!
I’ll even throw in a free day of coworking for you to try us out if you mention this Wichita Mom article.
Andrea Hattan founded The Hive, a women-focused space where professionals and entrepreneurs connect and empower each other to succeed faster.
It’s a coworking space and online community with resources and access to a valuable network. Andrea is also Mom to a strong-willed, fiercely principled, and astoundingly empathetic 5-year-old girlboss.