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Personal Insights

Home Office Tips: Be productive and have fun!

We as SAP Developer Advocates work mostly remote because we are spread around the world and we travel a lot too. So we don’t really go to the office that much and work from home, a hotel, plane or on some conference most of our time. Over the time I started with this role I’ve learned some things about being remotely or at home most of the time.

Working from home

  1. Treat every workday like you would go to the office
    • Try sticking to your regular routine, whatever that might be: Sport, Coffee, Podcast, breakfast with your family, …
    • Get dressed and make yourself ready for the day even if you’re not going to leave the house. You will feel better.
  2. Try to do some sort of exercise even if it is just going for a walk, meditation is also great. Stimulation of your brain and body through blood flow and oxygen circulation can help you focus better on work and/or relieves stress.
  3. Stick to your work routine! Try to do your work like you would do it on a regular office day.
  4. Keep your Home Office work area clean and organized. This will help you focus more on what is important.
  5. Try to find a quiet place without much distraction. At home distractions can be everywhere, find a place where you can be undisturbed. If the circumstances don’t allow a fully private are, ask the people around you to be respective about your situation. For example I live with a roommate where we both try to be respective as we both know we work from home.
  6. Everyone is different but for me I work for 1-hour to 1 1/2-hours concentrated on a task and then I need a 10-20 min break. I would recommend taking breaks during the day like you would do in the office. Go have a chat with your spouse, go for a short walk with your dog or just have a relaxing coffee on your balcony.
  7. Set yourself goals you want to achieve this day! Make yourself a schedule: 9am – 10am mails, 10am – 11am meeting with Josh, 11am – 11:20am go for a walk. You get the idea.

Staying at Home Ideas

I thought that I would give you some ideas on what I do to keep myself busy on weekends and after work. Maybe you like an idea and try it out yourself.

Learn a new Hobby:

At some point I got so bored at home on the weekend that I thought that I need a new hobby I can do at home. First I started out building these models you can get online; the ones with the pieces and in the end you have a car or ship. This was fun… for a day. Then I thought, I can’t buy these models every week and then throw them away because I have so many 🤷‍♂️. So I was listening to some Hip-Hop and thought: I can do that! So I did some research and downloaded a music producing software. I opened it up and then it came to me in an instant… I can’t do that… at least not without learning a lot. Naturally, as a developer, if we want to learn some new tech we do it. I found a lot of great courses online for free as well as for some cost, the software I am using has a 90-Day trial so enough time to try myself out.

Like with this there are a lot of things you could discover and try out. Other examples could be learning an instrument (YouTube has a ton of cool tutorials), learning a language (Apps in the App Stores), starting to sketch or paint, starting a blog about your past travels, plant some plants in your garden or balcony, the list can be endless.

Learn some new Tech:

If you’re interested in technology or software development, you could learn something new there as well. You might not have the time to look into other topics you’re interested in or you can just spend limited time to learn it. Now if you’re bored on the weekend you could visit https://developers.sap.com

Meditation and Self Reflection:

Usually I am not a spiritual guy but the last couple of days being at home I thought I give meditation a try. I used an app on my Apple TV, sat down and did what the person in the video told me to do. If you stick to it you can achieve an unbelievable relaxed state. This helped me a lot to just relax and be everything as it is for a bit. It also helped me to self-reflected about myself and work, this helped me to adjust my goals and be more focused again. Not everyone might need that but if you want to give it a try let me know how your experience was.

The questions I asked myself:

  • Who am I as a Person?
  • What are my goals for the next 10 years?
  • What are my general goals in life?
  • What do I have to do or change to achieve my goals? (More often then thought these long-term goals change)

Goals can be defined not only work related but also in your private life. For me personally I was slacking the last year when it comes to sport. I used to love going to a climbing gym or outside and just do some good bouldering. I know to get back to the point I was, I need to put some work in so I created a short-term goal I can achieve if I do a bit of exercise every day until the climbing gyms open again.

Exercise:

If you can exercise I can say it helped me a lot just to do a little bit everyday. I watch workout routines you can do at home on YouTube at least 3-4 times a week. It helps me to recover my mind for the day.

There are also workout apps you could use instead of YouTube.

Re-discover forgotten hobbies:

I’ve told you about me trying to become the next great music producer right? Well doing that I had the idea to play some electric guitar and record it. Luckily I used to play guitar and haven’t touched the instrument in years. That brought me back to at least put the guitar back in my hand and play a bit. I also picked up my ukulele in a long time, I am telling you if you want to play a fun, easy to learn instrument which will give you a smile as soon as you play it then you have to get a ukulele .

Maybe you have a forgotten hobby you want to pick up again.

Keep in touch with your family, friends and loved ones

For me living in California with all my family being in Germany it can be hard sometimes. I try to talk to my family as much as I can via FaceTime for example. I can say it’s great staying in touch with your family even if they are far away. If your family, friends or loved ones are living in the same household, you could take the time to spend more time together, do something interesting like sports, cooking or making music together.

Conclusion

With that I’ve told you a little bit about how I spend most of my time next to working from home. Please remember, all the points above are just suggestions on what you could do. Use these ideas as inspiration and develop your own way.

With that, as always, keep coding!

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