Cherrelle Bird CEO EdFinders

From pillow to laptop and the journey between- practical advice for those new to working from home

My start-up journey.

For many modern professionals working at home, it can be easy for you to become your own worst enemy – easily distracted and less productive than normal. 17 months into my startup journey I have spent a significant amount of time at home and have had to face a range of social isolation issues. It is one of the biggest issues faced by many entrepreneurs but it is a sacrifice that we are more than happy to make. 

 

However, having that choice forced upon you will impact individuals in many different ways. Initially, it might be a nice time to actually reflect on your own performance and achievements throughout this year. However talking from experience, there may come a time when culture shock kicks in and you begin to lose your routine, motivation and resilience. 

 

  Videos with your class or colleagues might initially feel weird. When I was starting out I was dreading seeing my face staring back at me. The anxiety running up to it was unbearable, over-application of makeup and eye-liner was a must, to the point I was ready for a beauty pageant rather than a video call.

 

When the video call was underway there is often one of my children loitering in the background waiting for the perfect opportunity to strike. This would come in the form of a musical outburst or crayons being thrown across the room. Thankfully we have understanding co-founders who would only encourage her to sing louder. I am so grateful to be able to share my journey with my children as they inspire and motivate me every day. 

 Having lots of experience conducting business from home I thought it would be worth me sharing my tips and learnings to maintain productivity during these times. I hope it might help those who are new to it.

Daily Routine 

Keep your routine as close as possible to how you would during term time. Set an alarm, shower, make a brew, have breakfast while keeping up to date with emails. Dress to impress, when you look good you feel good. All key to boosting your energy and increasing productivity. 

Get started early

I find this key to making good progress throughout the day and avoiding sluggishness. Fire up your laptop before filling the kettle to get into a productive mind frame. Use the extra time you have not commuting productively. You will feel great making lots of progress by the time you’d normally just be pulling up at school.

Structure your working week

Dedicate a space in your home for you to work. Set yourself SMART targets, prioritise your workload around your start – finish hours. Focus on your top priorities first and take time to reflect on your performance each week.  Be honest with yourself and look for opportunities to improve the following week. 

Communicate Socially

It’s important to separate work and social activities and make time for both. Communicate daily with your family and friends, especially those who you live with. Even if it’s just to check-in and let them know when you’re not working and give your brain some time to focus on ‘non-work’ stuff. 

Take a daytime break

Something I am still learning today, you are allowed to take a break during the day. Take a walk, make a nice lunch, go to the shop, put your washing on. Anything to give yourself some downtime. Many studies have proven that short breaks will improve, rather than decrease overall productivity.

Remember to Eat

Your brain consumes around 20% of your daily calorie intake just resting but when required to work this quickly rises. So it is essential to ensure you maintain your usual eating habits and routine helping you stay energetic and focused. It goes without saying but the more nutritious the better (avoid the temptation to snack on biscuits and crisps). Ensure you’re getting your 2 litres of water daily.

 

I hope these little tips can go some way to helping you maintain your productivity and enthusiasm for the challenges ahead.

What is your biggest fear or worry in this current/future climate?