Life at Perficient

Working From Home: 10 Ways to Make the Most of Your Free Time

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At a time when many offices are working remotely, the Perficient team is collaborating and sharing their best tips and tricks to stay inspired and successful. This post is the second in a series on keeping your body, mind, and spirit active while practicing social distancing. Check out the first post, Working From Home: How Perficient is Making Fitness A Priority.

An Excess of Time

As a nation typically on the go, we are encountering a problem many of us are new to: an excess of time on our hands. With the limitations in place due to COVID-19, it is easy to claim boredom and give in to the temptation of rewatching Tiger King. However, we at Perficient encourage you to use this extra time to shake things up! Without further ado, here are just ten ways you can make the most of your free time.

1. Share Your Expertise

Perficient is known for hiring the best and brightest talent out there, so let that talent shine!

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Have you always wanted to start a blog? Write a book? Create a photography series? Bring that vision board to life! Many of our daily routines have been disrupted, leaving gaps where we used to commute to work or take our children to soccer practices. Use this time to create something meaningful that uses your special skills and knowledge to help others.

  • Write for your company blog (Perficient even has a blogging rewards program!)
  • Record yourself teaching a lesson and share it with your team and social media
  • Create a Spotify playlist and share it with your team to all listen to the same thing during the workday
  • Check out these self-publishing websites to get started on your own book
  • Start your blog using WordPress or Squarespace
  • Jumpstart a Youtube series and share your expertise with others
  • Up your photography game with these photo challenges you can complete at home

2. Reconnect With Your Favorite People

While most people don’t like the term “networking” it is a critical part of building success for your business and professional life. Externally, go through old business cards of people you met at conferences and send them a LinkedIn message. Internal networking is important, too. Remember that favorite coworker you don’t get to see much? Or that colleague with the great ideas that will help you brainstorm your strategy? There has never been a better time to reach out and stay connected to your team. 

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Now that we must create space from our favorite people, we appreciate them more than ever.

On the home-front, FaceTime friends and family, give them a call, or even get into letter-writing! You can even make new penpals by taking advantage of the free-to-use site, Postcrossing. Postcrossing allows you to send and receive postcards to individuals all around the world. You can practice learning a new language or share your own culture with others. This hobby is easy to pick up, as you can order interesting postcards online and then send them out yourself. Consider even creating and decorating your own postcards to send! Click the video below to get a look at how Postcrossing works! 

3. Explore Your Creativity and Master A New Skill 

Luckily at Perficient, we have a multitude of ways to continue our education such as online learning through the Udemy platform, access to skills training and certifications, attending major conferences, not to mention all the internal thought leaders we have access to, like our Chief Strategists.

READ MORE: Why Sitecore and Episerver Developers Choose Perficient

In fact, Adobe shares a fun fact that we can personally attest to…

In a survey where companies were analyzed for their creativity, those who ranked highly for fostering creativity were also recently awarded recognition for being a “best place to work.”

(Source: Creativity At Work)

READ MORE: Colleagues Rank Perficient as Top Workplace Across the Country

READ MORE: Perficient Named Atlanta Top Workplace of 2020

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It’s not all work, no play!

Perhaps you’ve had Duolingo downloaded to your phone for months, but just never found a moment to dive in. Maybe you’ve been meaning to step up your yogi game. Now is the time to practice those sun salutations and learn to speak Portuguese! Try your hand at gardening or scrapbooking. Choose an interest, and run with it. Luckily, YouTube tutorials exist for just about everything. Even if you can’t apply your knowledge out into the world, you could be learning the basics. 

4. Get Your Mind and Your Space Right with Spring Cleaning 

Everyone knows when your space is clean and organized, you can focus on the task at hand instead of worrying about putting the loose papers and mail away or where the iPad went.

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There was an interesting study by Harvard University on productivity of students tasked with working in environments of varying levels of clutter. By working in a clutter-free workspace, students were able to work steadily for 7.5 minutes longer than the students attempting the task in a cluttered workspace. The study concluded that an untidy workspace can “undermine people’s persistence in completing tasks.”

On Sunday night, set up your office space with everything you will need (minus the coffee) so when Monday hits, you can feel empowered to start the week fresh-eyed and bushy-tailed. And don’t just take our word for it.

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After work, take a page from Joana Gaines’s book by revamping your living quarters. Perform a deep clean on your home, sort through those neglected junk drawers, redecorate or create a stronger organization system. Watch this video with tips to tidy up from Marie Kondo to get inspired!

Use this time to go full minimalist! Sort through your home and wardrobe to identify items you no longer need.

5. Put a Focus on Wellness and Pamper Yourself 

Sweatpants can easily become the norm after working from home for a period of time. Challenge yourself to stay refreshed with a morning routine. Use video chat as an excuse to spend some time on yourself in the morning, making sure you look presentable just in case there is a call on the fly. 

Taking care of yourself is more important than just for vanity’s sake.

“People that look after themselves [and practice self-care] do have better cognitive ability. They do have better focus and they do have better concentration,” Dr. Russell Thackeray, a licensed clinical psychologist who consults on the topic of productivity, told Trello. “They tend to actually produce more.”

KEEP READING: Self-Care Isn’t Just Good For You—It’s Also Good For Your Productivity

In addition to meditation apps like Calm or Headspace,there are lots of ways to practice mindful presence by doing a methodical craft, such as making your own lotion.

6. Work on Your Practical Knowledge

Go back to the basics. Think about the skills you use everyday and wish you were better at. Maybe it’s navigating Excel, knowing how to write persuasively, or simply brushing up on the fundamentals of your profession.

Top Free Learning Platforms:

Use this time to accelerate your practical knowledge at home, too. Study how your car works, pick up some new recipes, or learn to sew.

Baking bread has particularly been on the rise. You may have seen the trend of making your own “sourdough starter” sweeping social media as individuals struggle to keep themselves busy. Make your own, no yeast necessary!

7. Dedicate Time to Your Health

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Although many gyms are closed, there is an abundance of ways to stay active! In fact, the first post in our Working From Home series focused on just that! You can try Daily Burn’s 60-day Free Trial to get yourself two months of workout videos! Several gyms are posting live workout videos to their social media pages, including Orangetheory Fitness! Join a group online for accountability and encouragement!

8. Get Your Podcast On

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Now is the perfect time to fall in love with a podcast! Check out the top motivational podcasts of 2020 to get inspired. You might even consider creating your own using Anchor. Is there a topic you know a lot about? Want to share and inspire those around you? Creating a podcast could be your new favorite hobby — and one that helps you grow personally and professionally, nonetheless!

9. Enrich Your Mind with Reading 

When in doubt, bring it back to the basics with books.

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To stay connected, join a virtual book club to connect with other story-lovers!

Book of the Month and Just the Right Book are two websites that send you books monthly to devour and discuss! Get your book-loving friends in on the action and host book club meetings via Facetime. I personally enjoy Reese Witherspoon’s recommendations. Check them out here!

10. Focus on Quality Time with Those Close to You

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Finally, to all of our readers living with families and roommates, find ways to connect! Game nights, bear hunts, and digital cooking lessons are just a few ways to spend quality time with your housemates. And who could forget the abundance of TikTok challenges you and your housemates can participate in? Learn choreography together or play a round of Jackbox.

Whatever you choose to do while social distancing, you can make this time memorable and meaningful. Don’t be afraid to think out of the box!


MORE ON WORKING FROM HOME

Perficient strives to share the best and brightest tips for you to achieve success. Follow along with our Working From Home series to discover great ways to continue your achievements while working remotely.

Learn more about what it’s like to work at Perficient at our Careers page.

Follow our Life at Perficient blog on Twitter via @PerficientLife.

Connect with us on LinkedIn here.

About the Author

Laura is a Talent Acquisition Coordinator at Perficient. Her professional interests are in writing, design, marketing, and public relations. In her free time, Laura is an avid rock climber and guitarist.

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