Tips on Working from Home
I have been working from home for quite a while now. I hear a lot of people say things like, “I could never work from home.”, “I need to go into an office.”, or “I’d get distracted.” This can happen, but only if you let yourself. Here are the tips I’ve learned about working from home and staying productive:
- Setup an office for yourself. Go to your “office” everyday at a certain time, and leave your “office” at a certain time. Setting up a routine will help you remain devoted. Buy notepads, filing folders, pens, and other organizational materials. You can never have too many lists.
- Remember the outside world still exists. Make it a point to get out of the house once a day, whether it’s for lunch, an errand, a jog, or just walking the dog. Getting out of the house is a good change of scenery and escape from your computer screen.
- Locate 1 or 2 places nearby with free wifi in case you experience an outage. Also, if you like to go out, once a week it can be nice to go work elsewhere with people.
- Create a schedule and stick to it. If you are not clocking in and out of work, it is still essential to set yourself guidelines and a schedule to follow so you actually accomplish your work. Aim to work an 8 hour day, but don’t let yourself work 12 hours and get burnt out. If you finish your work in under 8 hours, then that’s fantastic too!
- Take a real lunch break. Go to the gym, eat in front of your favorite TV show, browse celebrity gossip and Pinterest, or meet a friend for lunch. There’s a reason companies are required by law to give you a lunch break. You will come back refreshed and working harder than before.
- Set boundaries. Your clients should know not to call you at 9 pm at night. The best way to establish these rules and good behaviors are by setting boundaries for yourself and letting your client know what hours you work. Once you are done with your day’s work, turn off your work email and separate yourself from your office space. If you can’t turn off your home office, your leisure time at home won’t be restful.
- Set goals. Make to-do lists and stay organized, just as you would at any other job. Set realistic goals for yourself to achieve daily, and hold yourself accountable for them. You won’t get anything done if you don’t make goals.
- Keep your fridge stocked- with healthy food. There are days you won’t be able to sit down for lunch. It can be tempting to binge eat something unhealthy when this happens, but your refrigerator should actually be your best friend, as food is your main source of energy. Use your home refrigerator as an easy way to stay productive, healthy, and full of energy. Buy snacks like baby carrots, celery, hummus, almonds, and pretzels rather than candy, chips, or ice cream. If you don’t have bad food in the refrigerator or pantry, you won’t be tempted to eat it when you get overly hungry.
- Do something you enjoy everyday! This one seems very in-the-face obvious, but you might forget about it. I know I have in the past, but it is really important to take time out of your day to dedicate to something you enjoy everyday. It can be a 20 minute TV show, cooking dinner, picking your kids up from school, or having a cocktail. Whatever floats your boat, do it, and you will be happier because of it as well as more focused for your workdays.
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