Home office writers of the world, unite! We have nothing to lose but our relationships, families, and sanity…oh, and our freelance gigs. Here are some suggestions about how to work from home and not mess things up. Well, not mess them up too badly anyway.
by Jill Chafin
Although working from home sounds lovely and relaxing, it has its own set of challenges. You need to be diligent about scheduling or risk getting distracted. Here are some easy steps for boosting your productivity.
Structure Your Day
You’re forced into a structure when you work in a traditional office environment. You have to get dressed (properly), commute, and attend meetings. You have the pressure of working around colleagues and you have defined times for starting and ending work.
It’s harder to implement structure when you’re on your own. However, creating a solid routine is key to being productive.
- Wake up at a designated time: Just because you work from home doesn’t mean you should keep hitting snooze. One thing successful entrepreneurs have in common is that they get up early. Don’t let those productive hours slip by!
- Get dressed: This will help switch your mindset to “work mode,” making you feel more productive. Resist the urge to work in your PJs: take a shower and fix yourself up, even if no colleagues will see you.
- Do some work before breakfast: The usual recommendation is to start with a healthy breakfast, to fuel you for your busy day ahead. However, when you’re home all day, breakfast can be a drawn-out luxury, with reading, checking social media, and other distractions preventing you from getting started. Try diving into a quick work task, checking it off the list, and then sitting down to breakfast.
- Prep meals in advance: Try prepping your breakfast and lunch the night before. Avoid the kitchen during your work day—you’ll be tempted to cook elaborate meals or waste time mopping the floor.
- Eat in a separate space: Take your meal breaks away from your office—outside if possible. Pause all work activities, switch your phone to silent mode, enjoy the fresh air, and let your mind reset.
- Exercise: One great thing about working from home is flexibility. Hit the gym early, do a YouTube yoga class from the comfort of your living room, or go for a quick run if you’re feeling stuck or need a mid-afternoon boost….