Working from home can make you happier and more at ease, but there are some downfalls as well. Distractions, kids, not enough structure and much more. Here are some tips you can use to ensure you are as efficient as possible while still enjoying the perks of working from your home environment.
1. Create a schedule and routine
Set strict working hours from the start and stick to them. One of the disadvantages of working from home is you either don’t know when to stop working or you are constantly distracted by various interruptions which can include your kids, pets, your partner or even the smallest thing: the television! For these reasons, it is beneficial to set out a schedule for each day. Quickly jot down everything floating around in your head, this way you will remember everything you need to get done and it will ensure that when you make a schedule, everything is included. Visually seeing what you need to do that day provides clarity and structure to ensure you complete all your work. Setting working hours also allows you to continue with a normal life after 5pm. In this way, you can make time for other things after a normal working day.
2. Create a working space
Try to find a separate room you can work in. If you don’t have a spare room, find a little spot and place a divider of sorts to create an office environment. It is important to do this to ensure some sort of structure in your daily work routine. Choose an area in your house with enough space and very little distraction. Invest a little extra money in your working space to ensure it is an efficient but comfortable space.
A suggestion: if you feel the need to separate your work space from your living space, go to a coffee shop to get your work done. This will allow you to get out of the house and focus on your work for a solid few hours.
3. Get a designated phone just for work
Many people who work from home often complain that people interrupt them at odd hours of the morning or night for issues that are work related. This can be very frustrating for you as well as your family, especially when you receive a call at five in the morning on the weekend! So here is an effective solution: get a landline or home phone that has an answering machine function to allow people the option to leave a message after working hours. In this way, you are not disturbed and you won’t lose out on business.
4. Get out of your pyjamas
It might seem quite pointless, but showering and changing out of your pyjamas and into normal clothes can give your day a lot of structure and make you more productive. It serves as a reminder to you and everyone in the house that you are actually working.
You need discipline to avoid trekking to the fridge every ten minutes. Make sure you instil structured meal times to avoid over-snacking. You also need discipline to avoid the urge to accept visitors over for coffee or lunch. This is a major distraction to your work routine and can eliminate a large amount of useful working hours you could have used to be productive. Lastly, you need discipline to create a sense of importance around your working space. Make sure everyone in the family is aware that you are busy and that interruptions are not allowed unless they are emergencies.
Never forget the great privilege of working from home, however if you struggle… remember that you are not the only one. There is always a solution to everything! When you need a break and feel your concentration dwindling, go for a run or a swim or maybe even take a little break surfing the net… enjoy this little luxury.