Lots of people dream about being able to work from home. So why do many people who work from home find themselves stressed, procrastinating or less productive than they expected?
Being your own watchdog, without the pressures of an office atmosphere, can often be very difficult and requires a lot of motivation and self-control. Here are a few tips to make the most of your at-home work:
1. Plan it
Instead of getting lost in insignificant activities while you should be working, plan out your morning routine and stick to it. A morning routine sets the tone for the day. Schedule your breakfast, bathroom prep, and exercise. Then, get to work. Having a clear picture of what you will do each morning will prevent the wasting of time. If you need to do an extra task on a particular day (laundry, cleaning, grocery shopping, etc.), schedule it in. If you need to take breaks between activities, keep them short and focused.
2. Dress up
Although you might imagine that it doesn’t matter what you wear to work at home, it does. Getting dressed in the morning puts you in a work mode and mentally signifies a separation between work and rest time. Although you probably don’t need to wear a suit at home to accomplish this mental trick, make sure to wear something that makes you feel professional and confident.
3. Love your desk
If you’re working on your living room floor, it’s no wonder that you’re not giving enough time and attention to your at-home work. Start showing your work a little respect by giving some love to your workspace. Ideally, set up a desk in a dedicated corner of the house, away from too much distraction. But even at the dining room table, your workspace should make you feel energized, happy and focused. Clear the clutter around you and decorate your at-home desk if you want.
4. Eat lunch
Studies show that people work better when they take a break for lunch. This applies to an office setting and at home. So when midday comes around, take a break from your computer or workspace and eat a healthy meal for 15 or 30 minutes. When you eat lunch while doing work, neither activity gets your full attention and your mind doesn’t get the diversion it needs to stay focused. It might be hard to break old, stress-inducing office culture habits, but you’ll reap the benefits if you do.
5. No guilt
The freedom of working from home lets you accomplish other things during the day, whether taking care of kids or devoting more time to your art hobby. Don’t feel guilty about getting other things accomplished, besides work. If you have your own business, there might always be more work than there are hours in the day. Sometimes people feel guilty about not filling every free moment with work. But time spent away from the desk will ultimately help keep you focused. Remember why you wanted to work from home in the first place!
6. The working hour
Most people notice a time of day when they feel the most creative and/or productive. Take advantage of this and sit down to get some work done when you most feel like it. Working at home allows you the luxury of boosting creativity and inspiration with music, art, exercise, or anything you want – it’s your house!