OKOLOLA proudly started out of an apartment, a beautiful 120 years old vintage apartment in Berlin. And what I can say from my experience is that if working from home was so bad, I would not have been able to build a functional platform in a short span of couple of months. It would be ideal to have a team of like-minded people and a well-lit spacious office from day one. But most startups don’t start like that. To make the journey more effective, here are my tried and tested tips.

  1. Follow a routine: Set an alarm for the same time everyday and try to make it as early as possible. I wake up around 7 on most days and I envy people who wake up at 5 am like my friend and entrepreneur, Monique from Fra lippo lippi. Check her amazing vegan lipsticks here. And dress up like you mean business. Don't sit in your pyjamas because clothes influence our mood to a great extent. 
  2. Create a workspace: I could not really be productive until I was working from my bed/couch or even dining table. Eventually, I bought a work desk and placed it next to a big window that brings in natural light. This was followed by putting small objects that would inspire me in a creative way. You can see the floral jungle in the picture below. It just makes me very happy to sit there and work. Instead of feeling sad about not having an office yet, I actually feel thankful and grateful to be able to work in such a personal and well-done place. All about creating a space that looks beautiful and feels comfortable. 
  3. Make to-dos: Ultimately, what makes us happy is amount of work done. Not so much the space. But for that you don’t have to slog your way because it will only leave you frustrated and confused. You gotta work smart. Create monthly to-dos, break them into weekly and then into days. Stick to them. Complete your tasks for each day no matter what. That’s how I get peaceful sleep or else there is a weird panic roaring up and down my stomach when I go to bed.
  4. Socialise: Working from home means less social interactions and that can be depressing. That’s why I make it a point to do something fun and interesting, besides regular work. Try and plan lunch or coffee dates with people you can learn from or who are doing similar things. Inspire each other. Go out for dinner with friends. On days when I have no meetings, I pick my stuff and go to any of my favorite neighbourhoods to window shop or visit a gallery. Looking at beautiful objects adds a new dimension of perspective to my own creative flow. Imagine Holly Golightly from Breakfast at Tiffany's. It works.
  5. Flexibility is good: When starting a new business, there are many things that are bound to stress you out. But luckily while working from home, pesky colleagues or timings that don’t suit you are not one of those problems. You can decide when to look at the business plan and when to write the blog post and when to just brainstorm on new ideas. We are all aiming to grow, which means getting a bigger team and office space in future and losing this current flexibility. So make yourself a nice cup of coffee or matcha and enjoy this side while it lasts. 

What do you all think? Did I miss something? What are your tips? Share with me in the comments section.