6 Tips for Working From Home Effectively When You Really Don’t Want To
While working from home is a dream for some, others might find it to be quite the chore. Whether you find yourself temporarily quarantined at home or just can’t afford to invest in an office, you need to find a way to keep yourself efficient in your home workspace.
Here are 6 tips for working from home effectively that should help you stay just as productive around the house as anywhere else.
#1 Get Dressed
It can be tempting to laze around in your pajamas all day. But this “perk” of working from home may actually be a curse in disguise.
If there is one thing that the science of habits has taught us, it’s that the human mind reacts to triggers. Certain actions or situations will trigger us to feel or do or think or act in different ways.
Getting into your PJs at night is likely a trigger to your brain to start winding down and preparing for sleep. Likewise, getting dressed into work clothes triggers you to get productive.
If you are only temporarily going to be working from home, we suggest sticking to the same attire that you wore previously in order to maintain any habits you’ve built. If you’re a regular home worker, just be sure to get dressed into something that makes you feel ready to work.
#2 Maintain Your Morning Routine
While we’re talking about habits, one of the key tips for working from home effectively is to create and stick to your morning routine. Ideally, every morning should look pretty much identical.
It doesn’t exactly matter what you do (as long as it doesn’t discourage productivity). Ideally, the morning is a time for preparing yourself mentally and physically for the day ahead. It’s the time for meditation, exercise, and all the other stuff that gets you ready to work.
Check out these ideas for a daily routine for entrepreneurs for more inspiration on how to create an awesome morning.
#3 Create a Schedule
One of the challenges of working where you live is separating your work life from your home life. To counter this temptation to let either aspect distract you from the other, set yourself a clear schedule.
Differentiate your working hours from your family time, leisure, and meals for example.
And find a system that works for you. Some people use their favorite calendar app so that they’ll receive notifications when it’s time to switch gears. Others just use a whiteboard every morning to create their schedule for the day.
#4 Establish Rules With Your Housemates
While you’re thinking about your schedule, you’ve got to consider your housemates as well. Whether you’ve got roommates, a spouse, kids, or pets—they can easily become a source of distraction if you don’t establish ground rules.
For pets, obviously it just comes down to training them well and setting aside time in your schedule to give them some TLC throughout the day. Some people who work from home will even hire a pet walker or invest in pet daycare for a few days a week.
For potential human distractions, you’ve obviously got to take it case by case. But the common factor is to make it clear that working from home means you will be actually working.
There is a tendency for others to think that you’ll have extra time to slack off or socialize just because you aren’t at an office. Your duty is to clear up that misconception.
#5 Create a Home Office
Establishing dedicated physical workspace is one of the best tips for working from home effectively that we can offer.
As far as habits of productivity are concerned, your brain will have a hard time forming effective triggers if you are stationed at your dining table one day, your couch the next, and your garage another.
If you are lucky enough to have the square footage to afford it, the best solution is to have a single room that is strictly your home office space. Even if it’s the family computer room that you’ve got to share with others, as long as you can claim it for your own during your established work hours, that will do.
If you don’t have the luxury of a room for a home office, at least aim to set yourself up in the same place every day. While you might stray every now and then out of necessity, you’ll at least have some semblance of a routine established.
#6 Take Advantage of Being Home
Finally, as challenging as it can be to work from home, you can see the glass as half full by capitalizing on some of the advantages that it brings you. Here are a few positive benefits to consider:
Get out of the house.
One of the best parts of working at home is actually your freedom to get out of the house when you want to. In a typical office job, you’re often restricted in when you can come and go. As your own boss, you can take a break and spend some time in mother nature whenever you want.
Whether it’s just a walk around the block or a hike at a nearby state park, take advantage of your freedom to enjoy the great outdoors.
Spend time with family and friends.
Since you get to set your own hours, you don’t have to try to squeeze all your socializing and family time into the few precious hours of the evening before it’s time to hit the sack.
So, as you set your work-from-home schedule, consider fitting in time during daylight hours to get in quality time with the people who matter most in your life.
Do your chores.
It’s good to take breaks from time to time throughout the workday. In a typical office, you might just spend 15 minutes zoning out or chatting with co-workers to separate yourself mentally from the task at hand.
When you’re working from home, you can use these brain breaks productively by folding laundry, putting away the dishes, or otherwise taking care of household chores. It might seem silly, but you’ll be escaping from your work without mindlessly procrastinating.
Take time off.
If you set your own schedule, you can also take time off when you need to. Whether you are sick, mentally worn out, or just need a vacation—there is no red tape involved in taking a day or two off when you are your own boss.
The hardest part is just admitting to yourself that you are allowed to. Go ahead, you’ve got permission. Just come back well-rested, in a better mindset, and definitely more Legiit.