The idea of working from home can be daunting to some, but after nearly two years of doing so, I have found that I am actually way more productive and happy with my lifestyle! Here are 5 tips to making the most of working from home!
1. Set a Timed Schedule
This is KEY. I set a timed schedule at the end of each work day for the next. This allows me to have peace of mind as I sign off for the evening, as well as enables me to get up and immediately know what the day looks like vs. putzing around and wasting time on my phone. The timed piece is important because it causes you to scope each task and make sure that everything is achievable within the hours of the day, giving you a realistic to-do list/schedule!
2. Create a Designated Workspace
The couch is seemingly a nice place to post up and is often a great option to switch up your view. However, sitting at your counter surrounded by clutter or in front of the TV next to your roommate is not the best set up. If you aren’t in a place to create an office space, at least clear off a surface with at least a foot of space on each side that is comfortable, but not allowing you to lounge. Sitting in your unmade bed, staring at the laundry you need to put away will only bring you to do just that.
For more specifics, check out my 8 Tips for Designing a Productive Workspace here.
The biggest thing I hear is, “I don’t know how you do this, I need human interaction!”. This causes people that don’t normally WFH or are just starting to be tempted to gchat, pick up their phone every 5 min, or call people as they work. What helps me is to either put my phone in a drawer, put a show on my phone so I am not tempted to touch it (also creates background noise), and close my iMessage app on my computer. Another great tip is that sometimes two screens can actually cause distractions! If your task really requires you to focus, disconnect from that monitor or shut your laptop to deter you from opening another tab to shop or browse social media.
4. Take a Break
We often feel the need to be heads down all day when working from home. Additionally, the hours tend to fly since we are removed from the distractions of an office or wanting to just get out for lunch. Burn out can happen, so set time aside within your schedule for a quick errand or a walk around your block to get some fresh air!
5. Set a Hard Stop
Creating your timed schedule will ensure this, but its also easy to just push back by 30 minutes, then an hour…and before you know it you are still working at 8:00 at night. I make it a goal (unless it’s a hard deadline or a call) to sign off on the dot each day. Shut everything down, keep your computer at your workspace, don’t look at work emails and go take care of you!