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Sign of the times: Today our questions are mostly about working from home!

How do you get out of “business mode” when it’s time for bed? When you work hard all day and into the night, it’s easy to turn out the lights and find your mind still racing. You have to start shutting down long before bedtime—preparing for quality rest is just as important as preparing for quality work.

When you’re new to working from home, it can be hard to maintain boundaries between when you work and when you don’t. For some of us, this results in never getting any work done. For others, it results in working all the time, and the same problem encountered in the first question!

If you were used to working in one location and having “home time” in another, getting used to doing both in the same building is challenging. But you can still take advantage of “location” cues as simple as doing all your work at your desk and all your reading on the couch. And there are two other levers you can pull, forming The Focus Triangle:

– Device
– Location
– Time

If you’re finding it difficult to separate work and play when it all happens at home, try using different devices and different times for different activities to reinforce those boundaries. And don’t get too frustrated with yourself: this takes a lot of practice.

When a job application asks you to define yourself in 500 words or less, what do you do? There’s a lot more to you than can be contained in 500 words… but what this question is really asking is, “What makes you a good fit for this job?” To answer, start by figuring out why you want the job, what would make the job great (whether it’s your dream job or not), and then write down all the ways that you’ll bring your best work to the job if you get it.

And, most important: ignore that word count when you’re writing it all down. Write first, then edit.

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