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Adventures in Scotland

We’ve been working from home for 20 years. Learn some top tips from our mistakes

work from home

On March 26, 2020 By Rebecca Field

How to work from home

We work from home every day. For the entire time in which we have been running Scot Mountain Holidays our home has been our business. However, this is an unusual blog post for us, due to the unusual circumstances in which we find ourselves at the moment. Normally we don’t look so much behind the scenes at working aspects of Scot Mountain Holidays. But perhaps now the time has come to share with you our tips for working from home – one side of our business we don’t usually boast about. As you’d expect from a small business like ours, we work from home. However, to complicate matters further our home is also our business. We’ve had to struggle for years with balancing home and work but now we’ve also got to add in the home schooling complication. We thought we might share some of our tips with you – though we realise some will be more difficult to adhere to than others.

During your designated working hours

1. Set targets:

Make sure you take some time first thing in the morning or last thing at night to make a list of what you’d like to accomplish. It’s difficult to stay really motivated right now when there doesn’t appear to be an end in sight to the restrictions placed on our lives by the government, but it will come to an end. Will life have turned around completely by then? It’s doubtful. I have no doubt that when we can, we’ll get back to the adventures we hoped to have this year.

2. Keep to a timetable

we all need structure in our lives. If we drift aimlessly right now, all we’re going to accomplish is being up to date on Facebook and other social networks and chatting endlessly online.

3. Avoid distractions

during your working hours (whatever you designate as your work time – doesn’t now have to be a 9 – 5 day) don’t be tempted to read the news, watch TV/Netflix/Amazon Prime etc, go on your social channels to take a break. Before you know it, half the day will have disappeared and you’ll not have accomplished any of the tasks you set yourself.

4. Create a workspace for yourself

over the years we’ve had a few different work setups. In the very beginning, when a lot less of our work was online, we even shared a computer. Not advisable, especially now! Even Gregor (age 11) has his own Chromebook now he is doing Google classroom instead of going in to school. Never share an office if you have enough space to create your own.

5. Take regular breaks

It’s very easy when you’re working from home to end up working all the time. Or at least you might think you are.

6. Try to vary the tasks you do

It’s easier when you’re at home to get stuck in a rut.

If you find you have free time on your hands

Decide what your project is going to be for the next wee while. If you have the luxury at the moment of having a bit more time on your hands than usual (which despite having no guests to look after, I don’t have) set yourself a target –

 

  • find and app or audio book which will teach you a new language;
  • take up a new craft of finish off the work-in-progress which has been sitting in the corner gathering dust. Anyone I know who knits has at least one project on the go. Can’t wait to finish off the jumper I’ve been working on so I can move on to weaving but have yet to take up my needles for more than 5 minutes at a time.

family activities

  • complete any outstanding DIY jobs
  • fortunately it’s spring so if you have a garden, you’ll have more than enough jobs to keep you busy and judging by the lack of fresh food in the supermarkets you’ll need to concentrate on planting up for the summer. We have tomato, courgette, cucumber and squash seeds being pampered indoors just now. About to put some salad and brassicas in the polytunnel to germinate.
edible garden

Our edible garden behind Fraoch Lodge

  • keep in touch with friends and family remotely. More important than ever while we are temporarily confined to our households. You can even re-establish contacts you’ve let fall by the wayside. It’s even more important than usual to keep up contact with those further away from you as you don’t have the means to meet up with your usual social circuit. You could even consider going back to the old fashioned way of speaking to people over the phone. The wifi networks are after all going to be exceptionally busy while there are so many people trying to “work from home”. Think of this as a time to enjoy some quality time with your partner or family.

Eve reads Gregor a story

  • learn to cook or take time to try out out those new recipes you’ve been hoarding (though you may not have all the ingredients if you are in an area where there have been panic shoppers on the loose.
dessert

Amazing meals at Fraoch Lodge

More advice

  • PS Best way to avoid waste and overbuying is to plan your week or 2 weeks before you shop.
  • remember to take time to dream – this won’t be our life forever. We will be able to get back in the outdoors eventually and then we’ll get back to the adventures we have put to one side for a brief moment.
hiking with horses

Ponies in training

I’ll put up some weekly menus shortly and you can let me know if any of them are possible to create at the moment or what adaptations you’ve had to make (if they worked).

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