Working from home is a growing, legitimate job option that many are choosing over leaving home every morning to drive to work. In some cases, home-based jobs are the only way to really do what you love to do, such as freelance writing, programming, or designing.
It may even seem like a dream come true when you think about it: The refrigerator always nearby for a snack, the TV at hand if you become bored, a couch to nap on when your eyes get heavy.
While all of that is true, it is a dangerous pitfall on which to base the decision to work from home. The frustrating reality is that we need game plans and schedules, because without them we will work at home either far too little or far too much. When you are in the comfort of your own home, things are a little different however that difference can mean lack of productivity or even a social life.
Below are some tips to help you organise your time and space to more effectively work from home.
Create a schedule
As if you were working for someone else, create a schedule and adhere to it. Remember to add breaks, such as 15 minutes for every two hours of work and a half hour for meals every 5 hours. Of course, one the perks when choosing to work from home is creating your own schedule, so adjust time as necessary.
Take as much time off as you need to as long as you are still able to accomplish your day’s goals. Work, home responsibilities and well-being all need to be balanced.
Have a clear list of what needs to be done that day
Prioritise tasks by clearly marking what is absolutely due that day, what needs to be started, and what would be nice to have done or started, however does not have to be accomplished that day.
Cross off each task as you accomplish them, however work towards getting those priority issues finished above all else. Deadlines are deadlines, even when you work at home.
Set aside work/home space
As you work, home interferences can become huge distractions. That sweet little girl coming into your home office might just want to say hi, however before you know it precious time has slipped by. On one hand, this is a perk of choosing to working from home.
You can pause and give hugs occasionally. On the other hand, you are not there to work from home, however get no work done. It is still your livelihood and you must pay the bills. Close the door or partition off an area with screens that keeps the two separate.
Follow your morning routine
Get up, shower and shave if you wish, however take care of yourself. Also, get dressed. Yes, much of the romance about opting to work at home is that you can wear whatever you want, and that is true, however getting up and not changing out of your pyjamas will only lead to laziness and an eventual lack of proper attitude.
However, as you are at home and can wear what you wish, throw on your favourite jeans and t-shirt instead of a suit and tie.
Avoid the Internet
If you are a writer, this may be nigh impossible as research is a must, however when you work from home the urge to surf the Web as a tiny break can soon turn into an hour or more. The Web is addictive and social media is usually far more interesting than anything you are currently working on. It can cause a huge loss of work time very quickly.
While it is probably impractical to disconnect completely, do be aware that is sucks a lot more of out of your schedule than you think and between work, home and social life, the Internet is the easiest thing to dump hours into.
Invest in some comfort for your environment
If you are sitting all day, it is a good idea to get a chair that is ergonomic and allows for comfort when working long hours. It is not healthy for the body to remain in one position without any movement or proper support, so spend a little extra if you have to and get an appropriate desk and chair, maybe even a little under-desk bicycle system so you can remain active.
Work, home life and exercise can still all co-exist with a little planning and effort.
Get in a change of scenery
When you are working from home, it is very easy to get stuck there and rarely see the light of day. While the world passes, you trap yourself at work, home life be darned, and outside the home simply stops existing.
It is extremely difficult to work free time in with deadlines looming overhead, however try to get out and smell the flowers or walk the dog. It need not be long, however take advantage of your choice to work from home and take a stroll around the neighbourhood, just in a timely fashion.
Popularity of working from home
Working from home becomes increasingly popular each year, with small business owners, freelancers and executives included in the growing group of home workers that are learning how to make a living and have a better life through choosing to work at home.
To set yourself up for success and establish an environment that promotes productivity, follow these tips to set up your workspace, establish a schedule and start making more money at home.