I’ve been quite lucky to work for brands who champion a more modern take on a achieving a work/life balance; enabling me to work from home when needed. Being able to work from home means allows you to pursue both personal and professional goals on a schedule that suits you. But it’s not a simple process; working from home can easily turn into a day on the sofa watching TV, so I’ve compiled my top tips on how to work from home without getting distracted.
Get up, get washed, and get dressed
Yes, you’re working from home, but this isn’t an excuse for poor hygiene and lazing around in your PJs all day. Getting up and showering is going to help your brain switch on and get ready for work. Change into ‘work clothes’ to get you focused. I’m obviously not suggesting a shirt and tie, but something other than what you slept in.
Make a work space
Your bed does not a desk make. Apart from the obvious posture issues and impending back problems from trying to work a full day in bed, staying where you sleep is going to be the ultimate distraction. Create a structured work space, be it at a desk in your room or at the dining table, it will help you get into the working mind set.
Timing is everything…
Even when working from home, depending on your job, you will be beholding to certain normalcies like working hours. While you can be flexible, if you work with outside stakeholders and other business, the chances are they work a solid 9-5, so you need to be available. But the power of working from home is setting your own schedule. I find that when working from home although I still get up and workout early, I do come home and lounge around, rarely starting work until nearer midday. But this is fine for me, because I prefer to then work later into the evening. Working from home should be about making a schedule that suits your life. One day all you might need to do is send some emails to keep conversations going, and that’s fine because the next may be a 12 hour day of conferences and presentations. It could be no work mid-week, but working a weekend. The joy is that you can do it as you like.
…But don’t forget to seize the moment (daylight)
I touched on this, but I want to emphasize the ideas around flexibility. If, like it is as I am writing this, scorching hot and gorgeously sunny outside, then by Jove get your ass outside! We’ve all done the office job where it’s sunny while we are in and grey by lunch time. Well, suffer no more. Head out and enjoy yourself, but know you need to come back and work until the day’s tasks are done.
Turn off the television, turn on music
OK, maybe this is a personal preference, but I don’t know how anyone manages to work with the TV on, the simple presence of moving images is enough to distract me. I’m all about putting on the tunes. Mostly lo-fi, because if I put my favourite pop on I’ll probably start singing away. Check out my lo-fi playlist here.
One thing I do fine people who work from home guilty of is not responding to emails. It can get infuriating when I know someone is sat at home and can’t manage to respond to an email within a few hours, pushing work into the next day. Set up a unique notification on your phone or laptop so you know when a work email has come through. It may mean you get more done, saving time tomorrow.
Like any good worker bee, having to-do lists are a great way to keep in check, be it daily or weekly, they will help you balance your time and know how much you can slack off or need to push on.
Find a home from home
A final alternative if you aren’t bound to an office or location is a members club or ‘second home’ work space. Find one with multiple locations, in your city and abroad and your laughing. My life dream is to go full-tilt freelance/work from home so I can work from a members club while travelling the world. PERFECT.
Do you work from home? What do you do to make sure all of your work gets done?