How do you make working from home work? While most people would jump at the chance of getting to do their job surrounded by things they love (the TV, for a start!), it can be harder than it seems. There are a million and one distractions at home – until you’ve tried it, you’ll never know how much you’d prefer to load the dishwasher than send that email. If you really want to give it a shot, though, here are some great tips on making working from home work.
You need to have a plan if you are ever going to make working from home work. Set yourself daily and weekly goals, and make sure you prioritize the most important tasks. Create sticky-notes with deadlines on, and set alarms to tell you when you need to get something specific done. Without a schedule, it’s too easy to lose track of time and get nothing done.
You really can’t expect to get anything done without having dedicated work hours. Being home alone means that there is a real good chance that your work day will never really kick into action, and you’ll end up frantically working at bedtime to try and make the deadline. Save yourself the stress by setting work hours, and getting everything done within that time. At 9am, your day starts. At 6pm, turn off the computer until 9am the next day. Your brain will thank you.
Sleeping ‘til noon might be really tempting, but you’ll lose a lot of time. Self discipline is really important when you work from home, so set your alarm and save those lie-ins for weekends. While you might not be frantically trying to race the boss to your desk at 9.10am, don’t think they won’t notice that all your work gets done at 1pm…
Working in your PJs might sound like a dream come true, and it’ll probably drastically reduce your ironing time, but it’s not great for productivity. You don’t need to sit in your best suit, but clean, comfortable clothes are essential. Mentally, getting dressed signifies the start of the day, too. As an aside, don’t underestimate the chances of the postman or the window cleaner turning up unexpectedly, giving you a frantic rush to find something to wear…
Set up somewhere to work, and stick to it. A desk and chair are the best options, being comfortable and tidy. Keep it neat and tidy, and try not to pile up the clutter. Definitely don’t put the ironing pile there! Avoid working from bed, which achieves the bizarre act of making you feel super-sleepy when you are trying to work, and super awake when it’s time to sleep.
There is far too much chance to get distracted at home without checking Facebook and Twitter constantly, or watching the latest episode of Teen Mom 2. Avoid logging into sites or watching programs that are nothing to do with your work, and keep them for leisure time. You’ll get so much more done if you stick to this – tough love is necessary!
Working from home can make you a bit of a hermit, so take active steps to prevent it and make working from home work. Leave the house at least once a day, if you can, even just for a quick break. Maintain regular contact with your boss and colleagues, even if it’s just quick phone call. Don’t forget to make the most of your spare time outside the home, too – join a gym or get a hobby that takes place outside.
It’s worth the effort to make working from home work. It does provide a lot of freedom, and it makes getting a doctors appointment or seeing the hairdresser a lot easier. Just make sure that you are being productive and sticking to work hours most of the time, so you aren’t called back into the office straight away! Have you got a tip for making working from home work? I’d love to hear it!
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