There have never been more opportunities to work at home (remote working), especially with the outbreak of the Coronavirus and the modern kind of connected world we’re living in. However, working from home can be tough, and it can be very difficult to stay motivated and on task.
With a blurred lack of boundaries between your personal and professional life, distractions from around your home, and a lack of colleagues to spend time with, the challenges of working at home are very real. However, to help you make the most of it, here are 11 powerful tips you need to know.
1. Work Set Hours
It’s important you have set working hours when you work from home because you’re either going to end up working all the time, or not at all. If you do a little bit of work here and there and then break up your day with leisure activities and doing washing, etc. you’re going to be nowhere near as productive as you should be, and this will take its toll. It is so easy to get distracted, especially going down a rabbit hole on Facebook or popping on Amazon to just do a quick bit of shopping. So set your work from home hours and stick to them.
2. Have a Dedicated Workspace in your home
If you are lucky enough to have basement, think about clearing that out and making it your work space. I don’t recommend working in your bedroom or living room. In those rooms, you’re telling your brain that when you go into these rooms, you need to be in work mode. If you work all day in the living room, and then you go there to watch TV, you’ll find yourself feeling stressed about work and things you’ve got to do. And in the bedroom it may be hard to fall asleep if you’ve spend all day working there.
Break it up, have clear boundaries, and work in a dedicated workspace, like a home office. Try working at the kitchen or dining room table if you can.
3. Have a Morning Routine that you follow even when you work from home
Anyone that’s experienced a lengthy morning commute knows how fantastic it is when you can work from home. It means that your commute is from your bed to your home office. Your commute is reduced from miles to just a couple hundred feet. It’s great working at home because you never have that panicked feeling where you need to jump out of bed, rush out the door, and then commute to work when you’re running late. However, you need to develop and work on a morning routine that will still get you up and into a working state of mind.
4. Get Dressed even when you work from home
Read any of those “be your own boss” type books, and they always extol the virtues of working in your pajamas. While it can be quite nice spending a day working in your PJs without actually getting out of bed, this isn’t a sustainable way to work, for most people. By getting dressed, you can dramatically increase your productivity because you’re taking your brain out of ‘sleep mode’ and into ‘daytime living mode’ where you can get work done. Skeptical? Just try it once or twice and see if it works for you.
5. Find Your Best Working Times at home
One of the biggest benefits of working at home is that you get to work whenever you want, for some people that are not on a typical 8 am to 5 pm schedule. If you have the flexibility to set your own hours, it’s important to take your time to figure out when your best working hours are. When are you at your most productive? Early morning? Late at night? Middle of the afternoon? Figure this out and plan your days around it. If you don’t figure this out you’ll end up “working” all the time and not being as productive as you could be if you had set hours.
6. Make Sure You Have Breaks when working at home
It’s easy to fall into the habit of just working and working and working and not taking any breaks. However, it’s so important for your health to take breaks and to let your mind have a little rest before carrying on. If not, you’re only going to end up burning out. Even if a break means just getting up to go outside and check the mail, or water the plants. We all need breaks, even when working from home.
7. Use To-Do Lists to Focus
Productive people say getting up in the morning and writing yourself a to-do list is one of the best things you can do. This way, you’re choosing what you’re prioritizing for the day and what you’ll be focusing on, rather than mindlessly plowing ahead with whatever comes to mind. You can also prioritize the things you like least first, that way you can cross them of your to do list sooner vs. later and not dread getting to them.
8. Use VPN Security
If you are an introvert like me, you relish working from home. But some people just need to get out to a coffee shop or somewhere other people are. If this you, ensure your internet security is maximized, make sure you use VPN technology to protect and secure your internet traffic while connected to public hotspots. Don’t just connect to any internet WiFi as that could allow hackers to get into your computer.
9. Rid Yourself from Distractions at home
Many don’t realize how many distractions there are when you work from home. If you have kids, they either need to be able to entertain themselves, if they are older, and little ones will need someone to take care of them. And, as much as you might like to believe that watching television and working is the best way to work, it simply isn’t, and you’re going to get hardly anything done. Work in a distraction-free environment where you can concentrate. That means no kids, no phone, no television, and no partner. Music you can get away with if you can work to it.
10. Get Out the House Every Now and Then
It’s so easy to find yourself cooped up at home all the time, and days can pass before you realize that you haven’t actually gone outside. Instead, go for a walk, see a friend, run, or go to town for shopping.
If you’re reading this during the COVID-19 outbreak, remember if you go for a walk to keep your distance and to be safe with your breaks.
11. Don’t forget to eat and drink regularly (and not junk food)!
So many people that work from home become slaves to their laptops, only getting up to snack here and there and never preparing a healthy lunch. Remember water is really important for us and especially our brains to function regularly, so don’t forget to regularly drink water. A good way is to always have a glass by your work station. Another tip, if you really won’t have the time to make a lunch during your work from home day, then make it the night before. Keep healthy snacks like fruits and vegetables in the house rather than carb heavy crackers or sweets that leave you feeling lethargic in the afternoon.
Hope these work from home tips are helpful now and as more and more people work remotely and work from a home a majority of the time.
Beatrix Potter works as an HR manager at Term Paper Help and Statistics Assignment Help writing services. Beatrix writes about work ethics and helping people get the most out of their remote working opportunities. She also is an online proof-reader at OxEssays website.