WFH survival guide: Audio master, Mike Russell, shares his top tips

Creators are no strangers to working from home. Whether you’re busy editing to a next-day deadline or perfecting your podcast into the early hours, homes often double as offices. However, with the spread of COVID-19, we’re all spending more time than ever before creating from our sofas, and though it may be very comfortable, at times it can be hard to concentrate, if a little claustrophobic.

To help you through these testing times, we caught up with audio editing expert and WFH veteran, Mike Russell. His top tips will teach you how to start the day with a spring in your step, which daily distractions to avoid at all costs, and why ‘unlimited snacks’ may be a blessing and a curse.

mike russel working from home

Tell us about your daily routine when working from home?

It’s really important to have a daily routine, it keeps you focused and gives you motivation to get started on things. For me, most mornings start with 10 minutes of focused breathing, 30 minute treadmill, shower with 15 seconds of cold, make the bed then breakfast with family and a cup of tea before starting work.

No.1 tip for staying motivated?

Watch something every day that motivates you. I like to fit this in with my treadmill time and will usually pick up on Tim Ferriss, Gary Vee, Pat Flynn (and others) or simply pick a TED or TEDx talk about something random.

tim ferriss ted talk

Best thing about working from home?

Unlimited snacks.

Worst thing about working from home?

Unlimited snacks. Got to try and keep healthy! 

What’s your advice for Creators who are sharing a home workspace with friends, partners or family?

Stay open to being adaptable. Sometimes you’ll be working on a laptop from the sofa, other times you’ll need to go into another room to make that call. Most importantly, try and stay accountable to someone else so you always have something you’re working on and a deadline to meet.

How do you look after your mental health when working from home?

Meditation really helps first thing in the morning. I’ve found that I generally feel better when I keep to a strict morning routine that includes exercise and a healthy breakfast.

healthy breakfast at home

What should you absolutely never do when trying to be productive from home?

Stay away from social media as much as possible. Sometimes it’s unavoidable for work but don’t keep hopping in to see the latest updates. Also, try and stay away from the news, (I know it’s kind of hard to do that during this pandemic). If you can’t keep away from news, try to limit yourself to checking it once or twice a day.

We’ve had our fair share of patchy video calls. As an audio expert, what’re your 3 top tips for a successful video call?

  1. Get a decent microphone so you sound good.
  2. Wear headphones so that the audio doesn’t feedback.
  3. Invest in a decent webcam so you look much better than just using your internal webcam.

What’s your go-to ‘let’s get this done’ track?

Eskai & SNR – Swipe, or any episode of A State of Trance with Armin van Buuren!

Eskai & SNR - Swipe

If Mike’s tips inspire you to try 15 seconds of cold showering in the morning, or encourage you to have a super healthy eating day, we want to hear from you! Tell us all about your ‘creating from home’ experience on our socials @getlickd.

For those of you who are using this time to upskill and learn new things, our Lickd tutorial channel (ft. Mike) has a whole host of audio editing hacks for you to try. They’re completely free and include tips for a range of editing software including Adobe After Effects, Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere Pro and Vegas Pro.

Sophia Patsikas
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