We’re in lockdown, and for the immediate future, this is the ‘new norm’.
What’s amazing is that the coronavirus pandemic has forced over half the worlds population into some form of lockdown, and it’s forcing many people to change their habits and routines.
One of the biggest changes is that more people that ever before are working from home. For some people and some businesses, this isn’t a big change at all, but for others, it’s massive.
This blog post today is a collection of ‘best practices’ for working from home that are based on ideas a friend sent me. I hope you find them useful.
I know lockdown can be challenging… as can the stress of uncertainty, but I encourage you to find a way to stay positive. A few days ago I shared this post on my Facebook page about five things I’m grateful for in the midst of lockdown:
Stay positive, there’s always a silver lining.
The final thing I’ll share with you before getting into the content today are these two updates that you may have missed, and how you can get free access to our latest training program:
- The Building Blocks of Success – This is my blog post from March 1st, about ‘The Prosperity Puzzle’ and the 6 core building blocks to success. Read this to find out how you can access The Prosperity Puzzle FREE.
- My Book Reading List – A short review of every book I’ve read in the past 6 years. There are some real gems in here, and I’ve just updated the list with 6 new books I’ve read in the past couple of months, check it out.
And here’s how you can register for free access to The Prosperity Puzzle:
Get your name on the waiting list, and we’ll send you free access instructions in the coming weeks (everyone else will need to pay $99).
Let’s dive in!
1. Keep a Dedicated Office/Workspace
Establishing a designated workspace can help tell your brain you are in the place where you do work productively.
Don’t work with the computer on your lap, likely you will not be productive and working a long day having a laptop on your lap will be uncomfortable. Ideally find a desk and a laptop/computer that’s exclusively used for work. It doesn’t need to be a big space, but make it yours only.
Having a work only designated area will also help to set ground rules with the people in your space.
2. Create a Morning Routine
Generally, it is best to keep the same routine as you would normally have when going to work, but with having the entire family full-time at the home each morning, routine may not be possible.
Create a morning schedule for all family members, including children, give them certain responsibilities that they need to complete.
Consider weekly or an end of the day rewards program for completing those routines accurately in their entirety. Plan for education and entertainment.
3. Don’t Work in Your PJs
Honestly, this can be one main reason why people love working from home. Even if you don’t have to leave the house, make it a point to set a morning routine and change into comfortable attire, do your hair or whatever you would normally do each day.
Making a point of getting ready in the morning will put you in a certain mindset that will prepare you mentally and physically for the day.
Also, you don’t want your colleagues, and certainly, customers, seeing you in your PJs if you happen to have an unexpected video conference!
4. Maintain Regular Hours
Remember, going fully remote is a new experience for many companies and their staff, so set a schedule, and more importantly stick to it.
Regardless of your daily/weekly agenda, be sure to establish regular work hours to follow each day. Communicate those work hours/schedules to colleagues and your supervisor.
5. Create a “To-Do-List”
It’s easy to lose track of your priorities at the best of times, it’s even easier when you’re working from home!
In order to stay on track, quickly write down all the things that need to get done at the start of each day (or even better, the night before). If your list is quite lengthy, then set goals and time limits for accomplishing each task.
Creating a list instead of just having it in your head is much easier. The technique of crossing tasks off your list can help you stay motivated and has been proven to be effective and fulfilling.
6. Use a Rewards System
This is an easy way to help you get things done, even the things you have been procrastinating or putting off.
For example, after accomplishing tasks or difficult projects, take a five-minute break to see the family, get some fresh air if you’re able to, and interact with your kids/family.
Although it seems simple, using a basic rewards system, like a walk, will help you get things done and also feel fulfilled.
7. Stay Off Social Media
I think we can agree that we are all guilty of this one from time to time, or sometimes every day. Social media can be a giant distraction, especially if you’re home for a long time.
If you are a social media fan, then make it a habit to shut off social media notifications during the workday. Not hearing them will help avoid distractions, so you can focus on getting more done.
Working remotely requires you to over-communicate. Tell everyone who needs to know about your schedule and availability often. When you finish a project or important task, say so.
Over-communicating doesn’t necessarily mean you have to write a five-paragraph essay to explain your every move, sending a quick message to your supervisor or coworker informing them what you are working on or will be undertaking next.
9. Interact with Others
Although under normal circumstances, working from home is enjoyable… that can quickly change when you’re surrounded by the entire family for weeks on end.
Try to ‘virtually remove yourself’ for a little bit and make it a point to chat with colleagues, team members, or customers each day. Tools like Facetime, Whatsapp and Skype make this easy.
To foster team consistency, set aside time for more informal conversations. Share some humorous stories that happened at home or ask how colleagues are coping with everyone being around. Make the most out of this unusual situation.
10. Discover Your Peak Productivity Periods
Every individual is most productive at different times of the day. Additional stress at home from having the entire family constantly around may alter your productivity periods.
Focus on times when other family members are busy with their own work. For example, some individuals are “morning people” and they are most productive, alert, and focused during the morning hours.
If you are the “morning’ person, then take advantage of that time to complete the task that you need to focus on and likely once everyone is up you will not be able to concentrate completely.
Considering the current circumstances, the main point here is to discover when you are most productive and build your work schedule around your peak productivity periods.
11. Leave the House (if you’re allowed and if it’s safe!)
In Argentina I’m not allowed to leave the house, only to buy essentials (food, meds)… but the general feeling in Argentina is that people should NOT leave unless absolutely necessary (I’ve been inside without leaving for 10 days now).
If you’ve got an outdoor space, or if you’re safely able to leave, then make the most of this. Taking a short break outdoors will help you focus better and actually will increase your productivity and creativity levels.
12. Think About Others
About a third of workers in countries that are in lockdown cannot work remotely.
This includes factory or fast-food workers, people who are stocking the shelves in grocery stores or warehouses, the doctors and the nurses that are there putting themselves in front of the virus and helping us every day.
Think about them. Even though working remotely when we’re forced to do so may not be what you want to do, we are certainly very fortunate that we can continue to work. The situation could be a lot worse.
Some people have lost their jobs. Some business owners are going through the biggest challenges they’ve ever faced. And some people live lives that are so tough, they couldn’t care less about coronavirus.
Recognize that this unforeseen obstacle is temporary and that others are facing far greater worries.
Make an effort to connect with your family that otherwise would have not been possible to do if you were at the office and commuting.
13. End Your Day with a Routine
Just as you should start your day with a routine, create a habit that signals the close of the workday.
This may be as simple as signing off from the instant messenger or shutting down your computer, turn on a favorite podcast or take the dog for a walk (if you’re lucky enough to be allowed outside!). Whatever you choose, do it consistently to mark the end of working hours.
Remember, the most successful remote employees have a reputation for being extremely disciplined and focused. After all, it takes serious focus to do any full-time office job from an unconventional space.
That being said, having the entire family home also full-time and at the same time being disciplined can be challenging.
Try to appreciate the benefits that do come with remote work.
EXTRA TIP: Exercise!
Finally, if you’re someone who likes to exercise, then keep exercising. If you’re someone who doesn’t exercise often, then maybe now is a good time to start.
There are lots of good apps out there that can guide you through workout routines (I’m currently using ‘Freeletics’ and finding it to be great). An exercise block is a great way to reset your mind and burn off some physical energy, all while staying healthy.
An exercise block doesn’t need to be that long, you don’t need equipment, and you don’t need a big space either. Give it a try 🙂
Finally, getting stuck in the negative aspects of lockdown won’t do you any good at all. Focus on whatever positives you can find during this challenging period and always start your new day being open-minded. And always remember about those that are not as fortunate as we are.
We are all in this together. Do what you can to be productive and stay positive.
Before you go, remember to register for free access to The Prosperity Puzzle here:
Get your name on the waiting list, and we’ll send you free access instructions in the coming weeks (everyone else will need to pay $99).
Leave a comment below!
I’ve been working from home for two years now and I can say the most helpful tip here is having a dedicated work space and knowing how to balance home time and work time. Not an easy feat but it’s something people can start working on since we all don’t know how long this situation will last.
Totally agree with that.. I actually lock myself into my workspace (my home office) during work hours to keep the creatures (my kids) out!
we are indeed very lucky to have jobs that are remote and can be done at home. Weeks in to this covid situation and my level of respect for frontline workers skyrocketed.
Couldn’t agree more Daniel.
Needed this thank you! Stay safe Aidan 🙂
Stay safe Emilie!
I use the rewards system too with my kids since they have no choice but to stay home – finish a chore and get a snack! Also helps us keep track of our snack stock!
Good tip, ration those snacks!
So easy to fall into an unhealthy food situation when in lockdown. I will say everyone should practice eating and cooking healthier foods too to encourage healthy living in the family, along with exercise.
Yup.. huge trap right there!
Great tips, Aidan! Thanks!
Thank you Aidan, your tips always are positive and help out.
Love the Kibo kickstart videos.
Great tips Aidan!
Like many, I’ve been working from home for a couple of years now and without a schedule or a defined action plan, my days used to be so bad… Nothing better than making sure that you’ve got a daily plan scheduled!
Daily plan is key!!!
Hi Aidan, I’m from Argentina and living in Buenos Aires, like you?
Thank you very much for your comments. All the things that you say have a lot of value.
I set up all the business with Kibo code and I didn’t start the campaign yet because of the financial restrictions. Hope will start next week.
Finally want to know your thoughts about the following:
What do you think about the performance of this Kibo Code business in this rare time thanks of Coronavirus.
I put a lot of efforts configuring all the things in order to put the system into works but I wonder if the business will be profitable once started.
Many thanks for your reply.
Hi Enrique, great to connect with an Argentine 🙂
Yes, I’m in BA, I’ve lived here for about 15 years now!
Our Kibo members are doing VERY well.. there are some out-of-stock products, but we just don’t promote those, and instead focus on things that are in-stock. China is back to full manufacturing capacity now, so that will filter through to the USA soon, which will also help. Check out our community to hear some of the success stories 🙂
Thank you, Aidan. Good, helpful stuff. I always enjoy diving in to what you have for us in these talks. I’m about to head to my small but adequate home gym for a refreshing workout. I have a couple acres with flowers, lawn, and trees to take care of so the past few days during nice weather, I’ve been getting my workouts outdoors. But rainy today, so back inside. After that I’ll have a simple evening meal that consists mostly of plant-based whole foods. Gotta put good fuel in the tank so the work is optimal. Then I’ll spend another couple hours at “work” until winding down for the evening. Thanks again for all the helpful advice and suggestions.
Sounds like you’re living in paradise…. being stuck in an apartment, I’d love to have a lawn and trees right now! Thanks for commenting.
I definitely function better when I get up and go through my normal morning routine – shower, brush teeth, etc. Making my “to do” list at the end of the day has also been the best practice for me for a long time, as that is when the thoughts/activities of the day are still fresh and any lingering items are still at the forefront of my mind. I can rest easier and drop fewer balls when my thoughts are organized then. Thanks for the tips!
Great feedback Sarah, I also do far better when I prepare for the next day before closing up shop for the evening.
Thank you for the excellent tips! I find them truly helpful – especial #13! I often have trouble signing off and this gives me incentive to do so. Much appreciated for keeping us in a positive mindset throughout this unprecedented situation.
All great tips Aidan. I don’t adhere to the PJ advice right now nor do I bother with make-up as I am not going out. My husband falls into that category of people who would be endangered if he caught the current virus. So I don’t want to catch it and give it to him.
But nice perks are my husband, now at home as his manufacturing business is shut down, has greater interest in what I am doing. And not going out shopping has made me super productive.
We do enjoy some social media for the clever memes and video people are creating right now. I do believe humor is important every day. Bad things are happening but we will survive and thrive. Stay safe! ❤️
Bringing families together is one of the biggest upsides of this crisis in my opinion.. the main thing is that you guys are safe. Keep working at it Kit, hope you’re doing well 🙂
Awesome post Aidan. Thanks for breaking it down and making it as simple as life should be. Continued success and thanks for all you do.
Seeing your mug in the background that shows-PROCEED LIKE SUCCESS IS INEVITABLE – forced me to write a comment. I believe that way of thinking with all my heart makes all the difference to new successes. Thank You Holy Triune God for all Your teachings???! Thank you Aidan for helping people online! Keep the faith (forever abiding in true holiness) all of you that know or believe the eternal value in it!
Thanks Marina, I’m GLAD you commented, and I couldn’t agree with you more about thoughts making all the difference.
Good afternoon Aidan:
Firstly, I want to thank you, Steve Clayton and Sean Agnew and the many others who are part of your KIBO Code team behind the scene.
I am enjoying every bit of the content from Modules, over the shoulder training, my Accountability Group, your daily videos (or almost daily) and your reading list suggestions!
So far, I am running ads (Google so far, I am a bit behind and ok with this) to 3 products and no sales yet, but happy to learn and optimize as things progress.
I am looking forward to Sunday’s first “big day” in lieu of Orlando Live Event.
One of these days I look forward to meeting some or all of you in person and many KIBO Code Members, so we can all share our success stories with KIBO and success with COVID-19 in 2020!
Penticton, BC Canada
Hi Nancy, thanks for sharing, it’s been an amazing journey with The Kibo Code over the past couple of months, lot’s more to come!
Great Tips, Aidan, THANK YOU! Love your energy with your Silver Lining Vibes………VERY IMPORTANT AT THIS TIME! I have worked from home for almost 20 years! The 1 tip that is most powerful for me in terms of productivity is honoring my Peak Production Hours. 7am -1pm are my Golden Hours! Also I ALWAYS DRESS and I can say heart on hand I have never worked in my PJS. One last requirement that is a MUST for me that is not on the list………my surroundings have to be clean, organized and beautiful to my eyes! This improves my productivity level allowing me to relax and focus. Good health to everyone!
Great tip about having things clean and organized, I definitely agree with that… I hate clutter!
Great advice here Aidan, thank you very much! I feel very grateful that my business partner and I have found the KIBO code and have now actually the time to really get stuck into it! Being in New Zealand we are in full lockdown as well, luckily we live on a lifestyle block which we feel very blessed to be on. As you said there are always a lot of things to be grateful for, which we certainly are. You guys are great, and we feel fortunate to have found you. Stay safe and healthy and keep up the good work!
Hi Simone! I’d LOVE to be on a lifestyle block right now.. I’m looking forward to us getting through this crisis and back to normal 🙂
Diana and I are in the KiboCode programme, and are in lockdown at Sandspit, 1 hr north of Auckland NZ, and a very lovely part of the world. I enjoyed your lock donw tips, and was pleased to note that we had engaged at least 80% already. We note the general slow down of our observable world, people are kinder to each other, and in general our extended family are enjoying working from home. Those with young families in lock down fare the worst!
I now realise that I have gotten myself distracted doing this- so back to product listing.
Thanks for your dedication to our success which I am sure for us is just around the corner.
Hi Mark, beautiful part of the world indeed! Thanks for commenting, stay safe, and good luck moving forward!!
Thank you for your positive posts and videos.
Working from home is a big challenge for Mums especially with small kids, choosing the most effective working hours is not an option in this case in my opinion, you need to work in fixed hours when your kids asleep.
But it is a big and exciting challenge, I hope my efforts will be reflected to a good results in my business so I can go ahead with other supporting plans.
The most important point in this period of time is staying safe and taking care of your loved family.
Thank you Aidan
I hear you Sally… Our one year old still has morning and afternoon naps, and our three year old DOESN’T… he gets pretty intense in the afternoons, it’s a challenge for sure, so I hear you! Do the best you can 🙂