Being able to work from home, or wherever you want, has become more common and essential than ever in the recent year and a half. The concept of working from home sounded like a dream job, that was until you actually had to give it a try.
Waking up in the morning and starting your work from your couch (still in your comfiest PJ’s) seems pretty incredible, but working remotely can be tricky to manage. Trying to get yourself into a productive mindset and also manage your time well is really difficult when you’re working from home!
If you’re struggling with that as well, here are five tips for working from home or on the go!
1. Designate a Space
Your big, comfy couch can be pretty tempting, but if you’re going to be sitting for prolonged periods of time, having a desk (or at least a table and chair) is essential to making sure that you can get your work done.
“It’s beyond tempting to let yourself sleep in until noon and work from the couch. You’re working from the comfort of your own home so why not? However, there are many reasons not to, including the toll that’ll take on your focus and efficiency.” – Like A Voss
Designating a “work” space can be great for getting your mind in the right state to get things done and be as productive as possible. With a space designated solely for work, it is a lot easier to switch between “On” and “Off” working mode. Being able to switch mindsets between home time and work time is essential for anyone working from home.
2. Set a Time and Stick to It
One of the major challenges of working from home is sticking to your task at hand. The little thoughts popping in your head like “Oh, I should just throw some laundry in while I work,” or, “Gosh, the kitchen is such a mess. I should clean that first,” are the thoughts that will ruin your productivity. When you’re working from home, you can’t help but think of all the other stuff you need to do other than your work.
To combat this, set a time that you will work until and treat that time as your top priority. This doesn’t have to be a huge chunk of time like eight hours, but be sure to pick a time that works for you. This could be separating your day into two sets of four hours with a long break in between or four sets of two hours with little breaks in between. Figure out what times work best for you and stick to them!
3. Plan for Lunch and Breaks
On the other end of the spectrum, working from home sometimes makes you forget that you can’t be expected to work non-stop. While breaks are mandatory in a physical workspace, it can seem easy to skip or forget about yours at home. Make sure you take breaks, strand up, and give yourself time to eat lunch.
Don’t just grab your lunch and eat it while you work either. Take a few minutes to enjoy your food and relax. You wouldn’t be eating at your desk at an in person job so why do it at home? Don’t blur the line between “work” and “rest.” That’s the quickest way to burn out and grow to resent your job.
This is a tricky one, especially if you’re working in social media or some other digital workspace. However, it is important to treat your remote job like you would any other traditional job. Try not to answer personal calls or get sucked into the rabbit hole of Instagram or Facebook.
Also, having Netflix running in the background while you work may seem like a harmless idea at the time, but it will definitely hurt your productivity in the long run.
5. Enjoy It
Yes, this sounds contradictory to everything else in this blog, but working from home can be awesome because of all the freedom it brings. Depending on your flexibility, you can work whatever hours best suit your schedule that day. That means if your friends invite you to go swimming one morning, you can just work around it rather than saying you can’t come. What other kind of job allows you to do that?
Also, you don’t need to put the time into physically preparing for work, which saves so much time in the morning. You know what that means? More time to sleep in!
Working from home is great when you know how to manage it! So, try out some of these things and see if they work for you!
What strategies do you use to stay focused when working from home? Let us know in the comments below!
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This blog post was originally published in June 2018 and has been edited to improve accuracy and readability.