Four tips for working from home

A woman working on her laptop while her family are in the background eating
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Natalie Clarkson
by Natalie Clarkson
10 February 2021
It’s easy to get distracted when working from home. You might be supervising home learning for your children, have to fight your housemates or partner for the seat with the best video call background, or just find it harder to concentrate than when you’re in your office.

We’ve turned to Virgin StartUp founders, who are experts at working from anywhere on their businesses to get some top tips on being productive while working from home.

Save time cooking

Make life easier for yourself by batch cooking your favourite meals at the weekend, recommends Dee Momi, founder of MINT Wellbeing.

“In just an hour or two, you can chop, roast, soak and portion your lunch meal prep or cook up easy, reheatable options such as curries, sauces, dressings, soups, rice, quinoa and roasted vegetables,” she says. “Investing in a slow cooker, food processor or high speed blender will also help you cut your prep time down considerably!”

A woman working on her laptop with a child on her lap
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Work your way

Find the way that works for you. Everyone is different and will be most productive at different times of the day. “If you’re a night owl who has trouble sleeping until the early hours, don't set yourself up to fail by avoiding tasks until the morning,” says Clarissa Reneé, founder of Clarissa Reneé Coaches. “A key factor in productivity is to know yourself and therefore, when you’re truly more productive and what can sabotage your resolve.”

A woman working at her dining room table
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Take a break

Taking time out for yourself can be really helpful in keeping you on track, says Loral Quinn, co-founder of Sustainably. “For better concentration I go out for a quick walk or do some exercise to break up the day as you’ll be more refreshed. I walk my dogs and listen to an audiobook to recharge. I try to schedule my breaks in our shared calendar and on Slack so the team knows when I’m on a break.”

A man working at a desk while a girl plays behind him
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Pick three

Many of Virgin StartUp’s founders suggest being selective about what you plan to get done each day. Daniel Hinde, founder of Reformed Characters, says: “Structure each working day with three goals. No matter what, these are the things you must prioritise and get done. This could be separated into morning, afternoon, and evening – or loosely as three tasks.”

Hitesh Daudia, founder of HD Ventures, adds: “Choose only three tasks per day that will move the needle forward on your project the next day. Then, this is the important part, once you get those three tasks completed you must celebrate a win. Repeat the whole process the next day. And you will have more energy at the end of the day.”

Sam Lehane, co-founder of M.Y.O and Creative Jungle, suggests allocating an amount of time that you want to spend on each task. He says: “Don’t check your emails while you’re trying to get things done. Check twice daily and focus on your three tasks the rest of the time. If possible, try and keep mornings free of meetings so you can focus on deeper work.” 

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Want to know more about starting a business? Head over to Virgin StartUp for loads of advice and support for business founders.