It’s the dream scenario, isn’t it? No travel to the office, flexibility, more time, less office gossip. Most people would love to work from home, but it’s not that easy. Whether you are working for yourself, or working for someone else, here are some tips to help you get the most out of working from home.
Ditch the excuses
There are so many things at home that can keep you from your work. A load of washing to hang out, a leaky tap that needs fixing, dishwasher to unpack, lawn to mow. You decide to complete just one of these tasks and before you know it, it’s time for lunch and you haven’t opened the laptop yet!
To avoid this scenario I use the ‘kit kat’ approach when working from home. Sit down and work for an hour, then take a break. Your break is when you take the ten minutes to hang up the washing, make a cup of tea then sit down for another hour before doing another task. Not only is it efficient, it gives you a chance to switch off from your work and return to it refreshed.
Be mindful of the distractions
If there are others in the house whilst you are working from home, it can be particularly difficult to work uninterrupted. If you have the space, find a room and close the door. If you are working on the kitchen table or other shared space, make a visible cue that tells people that you are in work mode, not play mode. It could be something that you wear, such as a hat or something that you can place on or near you that gives others the same message.
Have a schedule and stick to it
You will be far more productive if you stick to a similar schedule to that of the days when you are not working from home. Try to keep coffee breaks, lunch times and finishing times the same. Ensure you have a list of tasks that you want to accomplish and tick them off as you go. This will help you stay focused and on track.
Mix it up
Working from home doesn’t mean you literally have to stay in the house all day. A change of scenery is good for increasing energy levels and creativity. So if the neighbours have decided to have a party or you are being distracted easily, take yourself out of the house.
If you don’t have 3G or 4G capability on your device to be able to work at the local park, then other options could be a café with wi-fi capability, or the local library (although they probably won’t appreciate your presence if you like to talk a lot on your phone!).
Turn the music up
This is the best part about working from home. Your choice of music. Your choice of volume. No pesky work colleagues or family members around to complain. Make the most of it whilst you’re at home and turn it up loud!
It’s all too easy to lose focus when working from home. To ensure that you continue to be productive, be conscious of your distractions, and physically remove yourself from them if you have to. Keep yourself accountable to completing tasks and most importantly, enjoy the time you have available to work the way that suits you the most.