If you’ve just moved from a formal working environment into a home office space, chances are you’re overwhelmed with the freedom of it all. Choosing your own hours, working anywhere and anytime – the possibilities are endless! Unfortunately, so are the distractions. So if you feel yourself reaching for the remote instead of your laptop, it’s time to put some guidelines in place.
1 Create a routine
While not working the nine-to-five slog can seem freeing, sometimes it can be a little too freeing – particularly if you’re easily distracted. The trick is to establish a routine early on, so you have a framework to stick to in order to boost your productivity. Find the working hours that suit you best, slot in time for lunch and regular breaks, then make a commitment to following your new schedule as closely as possible.
2 Get dressed
This might seem like a no-brainer, but unless you make the effort to look like you’re going into work, you might not be motivated to actually work. Yes, it’s wonderful being able to do your job in your pyjamas, but a sloppy appearance could eventually lead to sloppy work, so slip into something a little less comfortable and get cracking.
3 Say no to social media
Did you ever go onto Facebook to check one update and then somehow still find yourself there three hours later? While there’s no boss to monitor your social media use, it’s important to limit your time on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, as posting pics now could see you working till midnight on Sunday in order to meet your looming deadlines.
4 Find your focus
Are you a morning or an afternoon person? Is your energy high first thing or do you come into your own later in the day? Whenever you’re at your most productive, that’s when you should be doing the bulk of your work. Find out when this is and schedule your most important tasks for this time. When you feel your energy dipping, that’s when it’s time to do admin, like reading emails and returning calls.
5 Create a dedicated workspace
Sure you could work on the couch or in the garden, but isn’t a nap always more appealing than whatever it is you should be doing? Keep yourself focused by choosing a dedicated work space away from comfortable home distractions and concentrate on the tasks at hand. Then, when you’re done, go right ahead and treat yourself to those forty winks.
Looking for more quick tips? Read our DOs and DON’Ts of working from home.