As the world of freelance, contract and mobile work becomes more and more popular, the option of working from home is very much a reality for many professionals. And while there are many pros to being home-based, you’d be surprised at how difficult it can be to stay focused!
Distractions are everywhere: the slab of chocolate sitting on the kitchen counter calling out to you, your dog that you better wash NOW, or the Sex and the City box set that you HAVE TO watch from beginning to end for the third time… Working from home takes a lot of discipline to master, here’s how to make it work:
DO establish a morning routine
Set time goals to accomplish tasks so that you know what needs to get done before your work day starts. Such as: wake up at 6:30am, shower, eat breakfast by 7am, walk the dog, sit down to work at 8am.
DO make an effort to look and feel good
Change out of your PJs, brush your teeth and hair and put on some mascara. Not doing these things makes you less likely to get into work mode.
DO take a proper lunch hour
Cabin fever is real when you work from home. Being without human contact day in and day out never did anyone any good, so call a friend and meet up at your favourite lunch spot.
DO break up the day
Take regular breaks throughout the day. Sit in the garden or on the balcony and get some fresh air!
DO put away your cell phone
Keep your phone on silent and only respond to messages or calls during your breaks. Same with checking social media updates.
DON’T work in the bedroom
Having your desk or workstation in your bedroom is a big no-no. Psychologically, working in a different room is better for your sleep and libido.
DON’T leave the house more than once
Looking for excuses to get out the house is not going to help with your productivity. Try to get all your chores – grocery shopping, laundry pick up, tea with gran – done as part of one outing.
DON’T be afraid to leave it for the morning
Avoid working overtime and be sure to finish at the same time every day. You wouldn’t go back to the office to print that document, so don’t do it at home.
Related: 6 Ways to work smarter (not harder!)
DON’T turn on the TV
Switching on the television is a major mistake. Before you know it, you’ve watched three episodes of Dance Moms and that deadline is looming.