• Madeline Ford

Working From a Mobile Byrd Haus


Here at Byrd Haus, our team is mainly remote. Most of us live in different states, so communication is typically via email and Google Meet. It is a blessing, especially in today’s world, to have the luxury to work from home and create our own schedules.


But, this comes with having to learn to manage our time. When you work a normal 9-5 job in an office, you usually have your start time, lunch breaks, and departure planned out for you. When working from home it’s easy to get carried away in a project, then you look up to realize it's 4pm and you forgot to have lunch! We don’t normally have someone here with us to remind us to take a break...


I asked my colleagues to share some of their insight on how they keep themselves productive while working from home. It’s interesting to see how differently people function, and I realized that your routine is going to be unique to you!



Byrd Haus Advice

S. Alex Dooley, creator and owner of Byrd Haus, has put together a beautiful workspace in her home, and has a lot of helpful advice for working remotely:


Tips + Tricks

Create a workspace that is free from distractions (as much as possible). It might be tempting to sit in bed on your computer, but that's not a great long-term plan for productivity.

Have productive work break activities. When you work from an office, there’s a natural routine to your workday and workflow. Some basic examples are getting to work at a specific time, breaking for lunch mid-day, and leaving work for the day. However, when you’re working from home, you may not necessarily need to wake up, get ready, and leave at a certain time to make it to the office, your coworker isn’t there to stop you at noon to go grab a bite for lunch, and we certainly aren’t leaving at 5pm to have happy hour anytime soon.


So, when you’re sick of staring at a computer screen or feeling your routine is out of whack, find a few 5-15 minute at-home activities or remedies to help find a productive workflow. For example, a few quick “breaks” could be making your bed, swapping out/folding laundry, loading & unloading the dishwasher, checking your mail, taking your dog for a short walk — all things you would typically have to do when you get home, but can now serve as a therapeutic and productive mind break from work.


Here are a few suggestions:

  • If you’re missing your afternoon gourmet coffee break, splurge for a frothing machine and some stout coffee beans to make your own at home! It’s a little more labor-intensive, but is a great 5-10 minute break with an even better reward.

  • If you need a longer break (15-30 minutes), this would be a great time to run a few quick errands — post office, dry cleaners, etc.

  • If you’re eating schedule is out of whack and you find yourself starving just to look at the clock to see it’s somehow 2pm and no wonder you’re about to eat your pet, set daily repeating alarms whenever you want to take a break for any reason.

  • Whatever you do, don’t sit down to watch “an episode” of your favorite TV show unless you’re the most disciplined person ever.


Motivation

Keep your routine. I think keeping your new "COVID routine" as similar as possible to your old work routine might be the best way to keep up your motivation — and also won’t send you into shock when or if you go back to work.


Stay Away from Over-Socializing on Social Media. Don’t let your screen time get away from you on social media. If you’re big into scrolling through any type of feed, just make sure these are positive spaces that encourage you.


Home Office Must-Haves

Anything you had at your office desk, bring it home or invest in another — chargers, office supplies, pictures, plants, comfy chair, etc.


And if you’re someone who was once going to the gym on a regular basis, walking to work, or relying on your old routine for exercise, consider an exercise ball, a Square Bike, or some other type of exercise you can do while working from your home office.


What would your current self tell your old self when you first started working from home?

Don’t take for granted the value of human interaction and connection.


Steven Fox, our strategist and wordsmith, recently moved from New York City to Memphis and has a cool workspace to organize all of his projects. Here's his input on working from home...


Tips + Tricks

To be honest, I don’t have many tips and tricks but the few that I do have are what keeps me mobile and agile.


The first is my calendar. I try to schedule everything and stick to it. Everything from meetings to rest to work to having fun. I understand that we all have the same amount of time in each day so I try to make the most of it by being as organized as possible. Using Jira, a workflow management system, can help maximize this.


My second trick that I’ve implemented lately is to have short meetings, usually no longer than 20 minutes. The key part of making sure that this trick works is by having an agenda ahead of time and making sure that the right people are in the meeting.


My third and final trick is to use the 4 Disciplines of Execution. This focuses on 1-2 primary goals, seeing a formula that will guide you towards the future (example: go from $1 to $18k by October 9, 2020), assigning tasks to support the formula, having a scoreboard, and having accountability meetings. When I stick to this execution-ed strategy, I’m pretty golden. I also use the Atlassian Software to help manage my tasks, documents, and means of collaboration.


Motivation

In regards to my motivation, it's really simple — I do the things that challenge me, serve others for the greater good, and make me happy. I also love having a great quality of life and earning lots of money is what allows me to travel, invest, and enjoy my life.


Home Office Must—Haves

  • Desktop computer

  • JBL Speaker with low-fi music

  • iPad and Apple Pencil

  • iPhone

  • Money Tree

  • Whiteboards and My PS4

What would your current self tell your old self when you first started working from home?

Don’t try to do everything from an iPad.


And Last but not least, myself — Madeline Ford. I am much newer to the whole working from home thing, but I still have a few things to add!


Tips + Tricks

Have a notebook to keep track of what you’re working on and what you have to do. My brain tends to be all over the place so when I first open my laptop each day, I make a list of all of the things I need to work on. This way I can focus better on one task at a time and not be overwhelmed by all of my tasks.


Make a playlist of music that helps you focus. It helps me to have lofi music in the background to help me drown out any outside noise. I also have tinnitus so complete silence will drive me crazy. I find that having music I’m familiar with that doesn’t have too many words helps me get in that “zone”.


Motivation

After I have all of my tasks written down for the day, I usually tackle the ones I don't want to do first. This way I can enjoy the end of my day and it prevents me from becoming burnt out. I also find that if I’m “stuck” on a task to put it on hold and switch over to another one, usually by the time I get back to the original task I have a refreshed view on things and can get past the block I was having.


Home Office Must-Haves

  • Laptop + Mouse

  • iPad + Apple Pencil

  • Cute desk plant

  • If you have a pet, make a spot for them to hang out by your desk!


What would your current self tell your old self when you first started working from home?

Your best is enough, don’t overthink it.


In Conclusion...

As you can see, everyone functions differently and we all have our own ways of staying productive. Working from home has become a normal part of 2020, so finding ways to maximize your production in a new workspace is important!


Questions, comments or tips you'd like to add? Feel free to send us a message to hello@byrdhausdesigns.com.


  • Facebook | Byrd Haus Designs
  • Instagram | Byrd Haus Designs
  • LinkedIn | Byrd Haus Designs
  • Pinterest | Byrd Haus Designs

870.270.5580 • hello@byrdhausdesigns.com

© 2020 Byrd Haus. All Rights Reserved.