For many workers, having the flexibility of virtually is a dream. When it comes to working from home there are indeed the benefits but also the challenges to overcome. If you’re new to working from home it can be a tough learning curve to climb. Here are 7 tips to make it easier.
1. Pretend like you are going into work otherwise you will just be going back to bed!
When working from home, do all the things you would do getting to work for example: set your alarm clock, wash your face, brush your teeth, take a shower to feel refreshed, make (or go get) coffee and eat breakfast to get your energy and metabolism going. Remember the mental association you make between work and an office can make you more productive.
2. Structure your day at home like you would in the Office.
To help you stay focused and productive use the same schedule at work for home. Structuring your day like you would in the office can lead you to get tasks done efficiently and can possibly lead you to get tasks done faster. When working from home, you are your own personal boss. Without office interruptions, in-person meeting schedules can assist without you losing focus or burned out. To stay on schedule, create a list of tasks and the times you would like to have them completed by. Create reminders that tell you when to shift gears.
3. Have a dedicated work space.
Whether you go to a local coffee shop or create a space at home, dedicate a space that is associated with leisure time. Set yourself up for success in a place where you can focus on the tasks at hand. Make sure you feel motivated by your environment and ready to tackle the projects that come your way.
4. Work when you’re at your most productive. Small acts of success can help build your momentum.
To capitalize on your most productive periods, save your harder tasks for when you know you will be in the right headspace for them. Pick a time of the day you know you will find to be more productive. Also play music to help build motivation. Focus on small acts items to get done. Small acts of success can help build your momentum for the heavy projects later on.
5. Set office Hours-know when to log on and off
When working in an office., packing up and leaving the office reminds you it's time to go. Working from home can also feel like gambling at the casino-you get so caught up in to work you don’t know when to stop for the day. Setting your home office hours will help you indicate your work start and end time and help you start the process of ending your work for the evening as if you were in your work office. Don’t let your work life fuel into your personal life. Maintaining a boundary is important for both halves of the equation.
6. Create educational activities for children
When it comes to school closures etc. parents are faced with challenges when they work remotely. If you care working from home with children you will need to make a place for education and entertainment. You can get creative with your kids and create a day of fun learning activities so they understand that while being home it's important to continue to learn. Stock up on books, puzzles, games and art supplies. Use educational stream services and create virtual playdates. Be flexible about how much work you have to really get done while balancing childcare. Understand NOT all of your work is going to get accomplished. So plan ahead of time for your bigger projects and figure out what time of the day you can get those accomplished whether it's during nap or movie time etc.
7. Communicate expectations with anyone who will be home with you
It's easy to get distracted by the many things that have to be done around the house during the day as well as distractions with family and pets. Communication is the key for expectations. Working from home you want to make sure any room mates, siblings, parents, spouse and even your pets respect your space during work hours.
8. Take breaks to be more productive
Don’t assume you need to work 100% of the time during your work hours at home. Take breaks and use your breaks to get away from your desk. Rather than staying at your desk to go on social media or eat at your desk and work on items, use your breaks to get away you’re your work area. Go for a walk outside, spend time with others in the house, whatever keeps you sane. It is important to recharge and get a break from work mode. Breaks, like eating from home or going out to eat can recharge you to be more productive. Take time while working from home to recharge and be more productive.
9. Make it harder for yourself to mess around social media
Social media is created to make it easy for you to open and browse quickly. Being at work this convenience can be the detriment of your productivity. It’s a guarantee that you won’t be tempted into taking too many social breaks during the day. Remove social networks from your toolbar bookmarks and set off your social media notification alerts during work time. It's so easy to get sucked in without knowing it or intending to. Eliminating the networks to those networks will keep you on track.
If you're working from home for the first time and it's near-panic, you’re not alone. Have the confidence to know that you will get through this tough first stage and fine success sooner than you think.
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