Dog with glasses sitting in front of a laptop computer on a desk.

I don’t know about you, but a month into this Pandemic’s “shelter in place” orders, and I’m already tired of the phrase the “new normal”.  For many of us, that “new normal” involves working from home – with children schooling from home.

Last week, I posted a few tips on how I work from home, something I’ve been doing for over 20 years.  Here are a few more how-to “work from home” tips for you to see what might work best for you.

Embrace Technology

Yes, we’ve all discovered Zoom and other conferencing platforms. There are also quite a few other productivity apps that will help you in your “work from home” endeavors.

Project / Task Management Systems

If you’re not using a project/task management system like Slack or Trello, maybe now’s the time to try one out.  Some allow for team collaboration & communication, others track time spent on specific projects. All help improve your efficiency.

I personally use Trello to keep track of individual projects and their individual tasks. I can share when and what I’m doing with clients. When needed, I also assign/share tasks with clients, especially when I need content & images for a web development project. This way everyone knows what needs to be done and who is responsible for each task.

Time Tracker/Management Tools

Another app I like to use that dovetails with Trello is the app Pomello. Pomello uses the Pomodoro method to help you stay on task.  This method uses a ratio of 20 minutes of work to 5 minutes of break-time.  Or you can set your own ratios – another great way to “Block” work time from home/family time. I use Pomello because it syncs with my Trello Boards & Cards.  There are other apps available that also use the Pomodoro method or similar time management structures.  Find what works best for you.

Technology For Home Life Too

Technology doesn’t just have to be for the business aspect of working from home. For example, my smartwatch reminds me to relax and takes me through deep-breathing exercises. Working from home can mean sitting for long stretches, since we’re not getting up as often to take “water cooler” breaks, meet with colleagues, etc. Fitness apps can help remind you to stand up and stretch. Doing so helps boost stamina and use your time more effectively. These apps & reminders can also help you “block” out family time too.  It’s easy to get lost in a work project and “forget” to take the time to interact with loved ones or simply transition into “me time”.

I’m still not going to overwhelm you with work from home tips.  This should be enough to try-out for a week.  Explore the technology that’s available.  If you have a “work from home” problem or issue, chances are there is an app or system that will solve it for you.  So, Google away!

I’ll be back with one last category of work from home tips.  At least, I’m pretty sure it will be my last (at least for now)!

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