TIPS AND TOOLS: increasing your productivity working from home

My typical day as an entrepreneur of 2 businesses, a full-time cook for a greedy boyfriend, dog mummy of 2 and a part-time blogger!

I’ve had lots of messages on my Instagram asking me to share with you my typical weekday daily routine. Maybe you’re also wondering how to structure your day? Maybe you’ve recently had to start working from home due to COVID-19?

For some (me being one of them), working from home seems like the dream. But for others, it can be a nightmare!

So what does my day look like?

0530 – alarm goes off. I debate whether to get up, but I decide I should probably make some coffee and get ready for the day. For those that know me well, I LOVE COFFEE!

0630-0830 – social media & blog content. That’s for my blog (you found it, well done!), The Gin Kitchen & Engage Exhibitions. I don’t have the luxury of a Marketing Manager, so it’s down to me to maintain. During this lock down period, your consistent marketing is more important than ever!

I work most effectively in the mornings so I always try and plan ahead. I use Hootsuite & Later for scheduled posts across various platforms. There’s lots out there but I’ve found these 2 work best for me. I use these fab daily & weekly planners from Collins Debden as there’s nothing I love seeing more than how much I have accomplished at the end of the day.

Collins Debden Daily & Weekly Planners kindly [gifted]!

0830 – make breakfast. James will come in from work for 10-15 minutes so I try sit and eat with him. I’ve perfected the poached eggs, finally! One of us will then feed the dogs.

0900 – tidy time. Quick hoover of the house, wash up, tidy up, light my scented candle and get dinner’s meat out the freezer if needed. I feel far more productive working from home when the house looks and smells lovely.

0930 – time to tidy myself! It’s so tempting to stay in my PJ’s all day but motivation levels have been scientifically proven to be higher when you look and feel good. So, I always put on an outfit that I would happily go out and be seen in, maybe minimal make-up and away I go.

1000-1300 – work, work, work. I put some background music on and get down to business (I’m probably on my 3rd coffee by now!). I respond to any emails, pick up the phone to prospect clients and check in on my teams. This should take place in a designated ‘work area’ within your house.

My home office!

1330 – lunch. James comes back for lunch most days. I’ve tried to get organised and either make extra dinner the night before or have some homemade soup in the fridge to reheat. Neither of us want to be sat around for long, so something quick and easy but healthy(ish) too.

1400 – power hour. To save me falling into an unproductive afternoon rut, I either run some errands (living in the countryside means getting in my car for these), put some clothes in the washing machine or do an hour of DIY to get my brain working again.

1500-1800 – back to work.

1800 – dog walk. We always aim for an hour, usually the dogs are filthy from swimming in the canal or Duke has emptied the woods of ‘fetch’ sticks by then!

Dog walking in the countryside! Photo by Martha Lily Photography.

1900 – prep dinner. I’ve been using Hello Fresh for over 6 months now and I absolutely LOVE making a different meal each day. All the produce is fresh, British meat and the recipes are super tasty.
Should I share some of my favourite recipes on my blog for you? Let me know in the comments below.

1930-2030 – final hour of social. Engagement and check in. This is usually when I scroll through my feeds and catch up on the day. I will check in with family and friends before putting my phone on charge, away from me. The next couple of hours are for whoever you’re living with, partner, family, children, pets.

2100-2300(ish) – arguing over the TV choice. I won’t go into detail but it appears James doesn’t like Love Island, I’m A Celeb or Made In Chelsea and would rather watch some American Murder Investigation Documentary?! Should I be worried?

Monday – Friday, repeat daily.

Related Reading:
Working From Home
Roam Working…making the world my office!

Disclaimer
Please note that I am not working in collaboration with any products/services mentioned in this blog post. All thoughts are my own, and are my genuine opinions. I have blogged about this topic as I’m genuinely passionate about them, and want to share my thoughts to help you. None of the links in this blog are affiliate links.

Around the world, millions of people have been told to self isolate and work from home in the bid to slow the spread of Coronavirus or Covid-19 as we know it as more recently.

I’m sure many others in the Events industry will agree, Coronavirus and Covid-19 are two words we dread hearing, especially after we’ve all just gone through Brexit. The Exhibition Industry has seen many shows cancelled or postponed throughout Europe, leaving organisers, exhibitors and contractors in financial positions they never saw coming.

It looks like a lot more people are now working from home as businesses shut their offices, particularly in parts of Central London, that includes Apple, where the chief executive Tim Cook told staff “feel free to work remotely if your job allows”. I’ve heard a lot of people stressing about working from home, fortunately there are now a variety of tools and services available to help employees perform their roles effectively out of the office environment.

I’ve been working from home or remotely across the UK for 3 years now. Following on from a previous post on “Roam working…making the world my office”, it seems more relevant than ever to share with you my top tips…

Have a designated work area!

Just because you’re not in your usual office, sat at your usual desk, next to your favourite (or maybe least favourite) co-worker, doesn’t mean you can’t create an office. We’re all guilty of being creatures of habit that just need to adjust to new ones. Creating a dedicated space to go to every day in your house, not only keeps your motivation levels higher but also helps differentiate work and personal time.

Employers – a great way to keep employees motivated rather than distracted is to look at an accountability tool such as Focusmate. This software claims its product reduces procrastination by allowing a continuous video stream.

My home office in Cheshire!

Take frequent breaks!

Whether it’s making lunch, putting some washing on or changing your bedding. Not only will this free up your weekends but it will recharge you to do better work.

However, don’t let making snacks, playing with pets or household chores become more appealing than the work you’re being paid to do. Which leads me on to the next tip…

Dog walking in the Cheshire countryside! Photo by Martha Lily Photography.

Structure your day!

This is key, don’t over compensate by working longer hours or assume you need to be working 100% of the time to be more productive. Most people don’t actually work 9-5 non stop in the office as meetings break up the day.

I like to use daily and/or weekly planners like these Collins Debden ones below so I can see what needs to get done. Get outside at lunchtime; I walk the dogs and give myself a clear head to accomplish afternoon tasks.

Collins Debden Daily & Weekly Planners kindly gifted!

Stay connected!

Working from home can feel lonely at times, it’s important to check in with co-workers. I recommend video conferencing, however when on a conference call, mute yourself until you need to speak.

In China, up to 22 times as many people are using Cisco’s Webex videoconferencing service since the outbreak of Coronavirus.

Employers – my favourite is Zoom, they offer a free video-conferencing plan where you can host 1:1’s or group sessions of up to 100 participants.

Don’t just take my word for it, it’s been scientifically proven that dressing to impress when working from home improves your motivation levels!

Stay safe & secure!

Last, but certainly not least for those new to working from home, you may become a target for hackers. To keep information secure, most companies will use a VPN network. If you don’t have a virtual private network, I recommend controlling your computer using a remote desktop software.

Check your home internet is reliable, there’s nothing worse than slow downloads when you’re trying to work remotely, so you may need to upgrade.

Microsoft 365 (a brand we’re all familiar with) has responded to the current epidemic by offering a free six-month trial of Team’s which allows file and screen sharing as well as online document collaboration.

If you’re unsure on Cyber Security then reach out for help.

In conclusion, I seem to find myself these days having a more productive day working from home. By following the above tips, you never know, you might be wanting to continue working from home!

With support from all industries, I have my fingers crossed that businesses, particularly small start-ups can pull through together!

In the meantime, please stay safe and be wise. Follow all guidelines and procedures that are frequently being updated online.

Chloe Bucknell

My typical day as an entrepreneur of 2 businesses, a full-time cook for a greedy boyfriend, dog mummy of 2 and a part-time blogger!

I’ve had lots of messages on my Instagram asking me to share with you my typical weekday daily routine. Maybe you’re also wondering how to structure your day? Maybe you’ve recently had to start working from home due to COVID-19?

For some (me being one of them), working from home seems like the dream. But for others, it can be a nightmare!

So what does my day look like?

0530 – alarm goes off. I debate whether to get up, but I decide I should probably make some coffee and get ready for the day. For those that know me well, I LOVE COFFEE!

0630-0830 – social media & blog content. That’s for my blog (you found it, well done!), The Gin Kitchen & Engage Exhibitions. I don’t have the luxury of a Marketing Manager, so it’s down to me to maintain. During this lock down period, your consistent marketing is more important than ever!

I work most effectively in the mornings so I always try and plan ahead. I use Hootsuite & Later for scheduled posts across various platforms. There’s lots out there but I’ve found these 2 work best for me. I use these fab daily & weekly planners from Collins Debden as there’s nothing I love seeing more than how much I have accomplished at the end of the day.

Collins Debden Daily & Weekly Planners kindly [gifted]!

0830 – make breakfast. James will come in from work for 10-15 minutes so I try sit and eat with him. I’ve perfected the poached eggs, finally! One of us will then feed the dogs.

0900 – tidy time. Quick hoover of the house, wash up, tidy up, light my scented candle and get dinner’s meat out the freezer if needed. I feel far more productive working from home when the house looks and smells lovely.

0930 – time to tidy myself! It’s so tempting to stay in my PJ’s all day but motivation levels have been scientifically proven to be higher when you look and feel good. So, I always put on an outfit that I would happily go out and be seen in, maybe minimal make-up and away I go.

1000-1300 – work, work, work. I put some background music on and get down to business (I’m probably on my 3rd coffee by now!). I respond to any emails, pick up the phone to prospect clients and check in on my teams. This should take place in a designated ‘work area’ within your house.

My home office!

1330 – lunch. James comes back for lunch most days. I’ve tried to get organised and either make extra dinner the night before or have some homemade soup in the fridge to reheat. Neither of us want to be sat around for long, so something quick and easy but healthy(ish) too.

1400 – power hour. To save me falling into an unproductive afternoon rut, I either run some errands (living in the countryside means getting in my car for these), put some clothes in the washing machine or do an hour of DIY to get my brain working again.

1500-1800 – back to work.

1800 – dog walk. We always aim for an hour, usually the dogs are filthy from swimming in the canal or Duke has emptied the woods of ‘fetch’ sticks by then!

Dog walking in the countryside! Photo by Martha Lily Photography.

1900 – prep dinner. I’ve been using Hello Fresh for over 6 months now and I absolutely LOVE making a different meal each day. All the produce is fresh, British meat and the recipes are super tasty.
Should I share some of my favourite recipes on my blog for you? Let me know in the comments below.

1930-2030 – final hour of social. Engagement and check in. This is usually when I scroll through my feeds and catch up on the day. I will check in with family and friends before putting my phone on charge, away from me. The next couple of hours are for whoever you’re living with, partner, family, children, pets.

2100-2300(ish) – arguing over the TV choice. I won’t go into detail but it appears James doesn’t like Love Island, I’m A Celeb or Made In Chelsea and would rather watch some American Murder Investigation Documentary?! Should I be worried?

Monday – Friday, repeat daily.

Related Reading:
Working From Home
Roam Working…making the world my office!

Disclaimer
Please note that I am not working in collaboration with any products/services mentioned in this blog post. All thoughts are my own, and are my genuine opinions. I have blogged about this topic as I’m genuinely passionate about them, and want to share my thoughts to help you. None of the links in this blog are affiliate links.

Around the world, millions of people have been told to self isolate and work from home in the bid to slow the spread of Coronavirus or Covid-19 as we know it as more recently.

I’m sure many others in the Events industry will agree, Coronavirus and Covid-19 are two words we dread hearing, especially after we’ve all just gone through Brexit. The Exhibition Industry has seen many shows cancelled or postponed throughout Europe, leaving organisers, exhibitors and contractors in financial positions they never saw coming.

It looks like a lot more people are now working from home as businesses shut their offices, particularly in parts of Central London, that includes Apple, where the chief executive Tim Cook told staff “feel free to work remotely if your job allows”. I’ve heard a lot of people stressing about working from home, fortunately there are now a variety of tools and services available to help employees perform their roles effectively out of the office environment.

I’ve been working from home or remotely across the UK for 3 years now. Following on from a previous post on “Roam working…making the world my office”, it seems more relevant than ever to share with you my top tips…

Have a designated work area!

Just because you’re not in your usual office, sat at your usual desk, next to your favourite (or maybe least favourite) co-worker, doesn’t mean you can’t create an office. We’re all guilty of being creatures of habit that just need to adjust to new ones. Creating a dedicated space to go to every day in your house, not only keeps your motivation levels higher but also helps differentiate work and personal time.

Employers – a great way to keep employees motivated rather than distracted is to look at an accountability tool such as Focusmate. This software claims its product reduces procrastination by allowing a continuous video stream.

My home office in Cheshire!

Take frequent breaks!

Whether it’s making lunch, putting some washing on or changing your bedding. Not only will this free up your weekends but it will recharge you to do better work.

However, don’t let making snacks, playing with pets or household chores become more appealing than the work you’re being paid to do. Which leads me on to the next tip…

Dog walking in the Cheshire countryside! Photo by Martha Lily Photography.

Structure your day!

This is key, don’t over compensate by working longer hours or assume you need to be working 100% of the time to be more productive. Most people don’t actually work 9-5 non stop in the office as meetings break up the day.

I like to use daily and/or weekly planners like these Collins Debden ones below so I can see what needs to get done. Get outside at lunchtime; I walk the dogs and give myself a clear head to accomplish afternoon tasks.

Collins Debden Daily & Weekly Planners kindly gifted!

Stay connected!

Working from home can feel lonely at times, it’s important to check in with co-workers. I recommend video conferencing, however when on a conference call, mute yourself until you need to speak.

In China, up to 22 times as many people are using Cisco’s Webex videoconferencing service since the outbreak of Coronavirus.

Employers – my favourite is Zoom, they offer a free video-conferencing plan where you can host 1:1’s or group sessions of up to 100 participants.

Don’t just take my word for it, it’s been scientifically proven that dressing to impress when working from home improves your motivation levels!

Stay safe & secure!

Last, but certainly not least for those new to working from home, you may become a target for hackers. To keep information secure, most companies will use a VPN network. If you don’t have a virtual private network, I recommend controlling your computer using a remote desktop software.

Check your home internet is reliable, there’s nothing worse than slow downloads when you’re trying to work remotely, so you may need to upgrade.

Microsoft 365 (a brand we’re all familiar with) has responded to the current epidemic by offering a free six-month trial of Team’s which allows file and screen sharing as well as online document collaboration.

If you’re unsure on Cyber Security then reach out for help.

In conclusion, I seem to find myself these days having a more productive day working from home. By following the above tips, you never know, you might be wanting to continue working from home!

With support from all industries, I have my fingers crossed that businesses, particularly small start-ups can pull through together!

In the meantime, please stay safe and be wise. Follow all guidelines and procedures that are frequently being updated online.

Chloe Bucknell