To many, working from home sounds like a dream come true.
Nobody will know if you don't change out of your pajamas all day, you don't have to endure any stressful traffic, and almost best of all, the snack pantry isn't very far away. I've been working from home for quite a while now, and know many of the positives and negative aspects that come with this lifestyle. One of the hardest things I think anyone who works from home can agree on is how hard it can be to stay motivated. I've put a list together on things that help me stay in the zone and get things done.
1. Keep an updated planner
This is probably one of the most important things. Fill your planner with deadlines, and a detailed plan to get ensure these deadlines are met. I use different pens and colors for different tasks, it helps make planning my planner a little more enjoyable. This is just half the work, the second half is making sure you actually look at your planner and cross off things once you've completed them.
2. Set alarms for online meetings
This is used for more of a precaution. Working from home, I have several scheduled business calls throughout the week. It can be hard to keep track of this, especially if who you are chatting to is in a different time zone. Also, in case you do slack, set an alarm an hour before a meeting so that you can be sure you are well prepared. Setting an alarm can also keep you on your toes for the next task.
3. Create a work log
Looking at the actual numbers you are putting into each workday is a good reflection on whether or not you are actually getting work done. Set a goal for each day on how many hours you should be working.
4. Find a place in the house other than your bed to work at
It can be easy to just want to stay in bed and work. However, I have found myself to be more productive when I am sitting at a clear table with my work materials properly laid in front of me. Your work environment can really play a big role in how productive you are. If your workspace is messy, you might feel less alert and are more likely to slack off.
5. Put your phone away
Unless you are using your phone for your job, you should put it away. When I first started working from home I found that having my phone right next to my laptop became a huge distraction. After getting one small task done, I would take a break and go on my phone. Out of sight, out of mind, that's how the saying goes right?
6. Wake up early
Train yourself to wake up early as if you do have to be at an office at a certain time. Waking up late increases the chance of you oversleeping, making you groggy and ultimately more tired. Waking up at a more reasonable time will give you a jumpstart on your day.
7. Go for a walk
Just like at an office, taking a walk away from your desk is well needed. It's easy to feel overwhelmed by working at home because well, it can start to feel like you never really leave work. Separate your mind from working by taking a walk around the block during the workday. I try to take my dog for a walk every day during my "lunch break".
8. Get in the right mindset
It can be hard to concentrate with the tv on and the dog barking. Eliminate the things that you feel are distracting you. Then, when you are working, make sure you are actually in the midset of what you are working on.
9. Set boundaries
This will be a test of your discipline. When a friend or family member asks you to do something, it can feel like you're almost always free since you are just at home. However, there is work that still needs to get done, so you can't just get up and go whenever you please.
Working from home can be really beneficial, as long as you know how to do it right. It can take time to adapt to if you're used to an office environment, but you will find the ways that work best for you. I hope you've found this list helpful!