Best Way to Get Work Done, if You’ve Never Had to Work From Home Before

  • The Coronavirus outbreak has forced companies to require their employees to work from home
  • Fact vs. fiction of work from home life
  • How to create a support structure for your new work from home life
  • 6 tips to set you up for success when working from the comforts of your home

Now that Coronavirus is in the United States, many companies are requiring their employees to work from home.

If your company hasn’t made the switch yet, they likely will soon.

Suddenly, you’re going to be thrust into a new world usually inhabited by a tiny club of fiercely independent freelancers and home business owners.

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The Fantasy vs. the Reality of Working from Home

If you’ve never had to work from home, the first thing you’re going to discover is that the reality is very different from the fantasy.

I remember seeing a magazine cover in the ’90s of a woman in a bathrobe, leaning against a fax machine sipping coffee and smiling.

The headline? I don’t recall it exactly, but it went something like this:

“Good news! Pretty soon we’re going to have this amazing technology where no one has to go into the office ever. It’s going to be slippers, robes, and coffee for everyone!”

So, you can see that wasn’t the exact headline, but you get the idea.

The New Reality of Work-Life with the Coronavirus

Fast forward to 2020, and the new reality is:

Working from home is quickly becoming mandatory because Coronavirus is a real concern.

What does that have to do with you?

If you’ve never had to work from home, you need to create the support structure that working with other humans used to provide.

Here’s a quick list:

1- You need a time tracker. 

Actually, you need two. 

First, get to keep track of your hours and help you remember who to bill your time to. 

Second, use the timer on your phone as a type of countdown timer. This is important because if you know how long you’re planning to work for each segment of time, your brain will panic less, and you’ll be less likely to procrastinate.

2- You need food. 

Focus on quick food that you’ve already prepped. 

You won’t have time to take breaks in the middle of the day and make a gourmet lunch. Even if you work from home, the crock pot is your friend.

3- You need to stop working at your regular time. 

If you don’t put solid boundaries around your work day, you’re likely to suffer from a work-around-the-clock environment that can exhaust you. 

Constant work and exhaustion are a virus’s best friend. You’re better off quitting work at the regular time and getting a good night’s sleep, so you can quickly bounce back from a cold or any virus you may run into.

My tip for establishing work boundaries is to set a timer. (Are you sensing a theme here?) 

If work is supposed to end at 6 pm, then stop at 6 pm. Close your laptop and walk away. 

If you violate this rule, your productivity will suffer the next day. 

4- You need friends and acquaintances. 

Call someone, or at least message them daily. 

It doesn’t always have to be the same person. If you’re comfortable with, then use it. It’s important for you to communicate with others for your sanity.

5- You need a brain reset strategy. 

Any small hands-on activity acts as a brain reset, and will make you more productive for the rest of the day.

So when your brain shuts down from too much focused time, switch to a hands-on task… 

Make coffee or anything that requires you to move around a little. 

Do the dishes and laundry. Go for a walk. Do jumping jacks. 

6- Most importantly, take care of yourself. 

A friend and mentor once told me that burnout is a real danger for business owners and freelancers, and once it sets in, there’s no guarantee it goes away.

This is doubly true for people who have suddenly been forced into a work-at-home environment. 

It may be fun for the first few days, but you’ll quickly see that you need to create a safety net for yourself. 

Your safety net starts with setting up simple boundaries and self-care supports. Once you get the net established, you may discover that you enjoy working from home.

But even if you don’t like working from home and can’t wait to get back to the office, then at least you’ll have a way to maintain your sanity until the office reopens.

What’s next: If you’d like to discover how a former 9th-grade Algebra teacher/SAHM helps multi-million-dollar businesses increase sales with simple “teach for action” techniques, then go to