Having the opportunity to work from home can be fantastic and rewarding. However, it can also be disastrous.
When I started working from home two days a week, I found I was developing bad habits of working non-stop or being so distracted by the TV, I achieved nothing.
It’s all about being organized and sticking to a routine. As boring as this sounds, it has made a remarkable difference.
Here are six helpful ideas for mastering working from home.
A dedicated area for work
Make sure you create a dedicated area for work. It needs to be clean, clutter and dust free. This makes an inviting place to sit and start work.
I have purchased a small dining room table from eBay, which I only use for work. It is set up in front of a window so that I have natural light. I always have a bunch of fresh flowers and a small plant positioned in one corner. The only items on my table include,
- A notepad and fountain pen
- Computer charger
- Conference call numbers
- Wifi passwords and remote access passwords
Don’t sleep in
Hitting the snooze button is tempting. Very tempting!! It is essential to make sure you get up at the regular weekday time. My alarm is set each morning at 6 am. On the days I work from home I relish in the fact that I will have more time in the local café or I spend the additional time working out at the gym.
Shower and dress
Having a shower and getting dressed will mentally signal that it’s time to get moving and into work. You need to be showered and dressed when you head to the local café for coffee. It puts you in the right frame of mind for the day.
Set up your calendar
When your workday begins, the hours can fly past, and you end up not accomplishing anything, or you work non stop all day and into the night.
To get focus, plan your day. Setting deadlines in your calendar and then being able to prioritize these will help you stay on track and achieve.
Use your Microsoft calendar as a tool and plan blocks of time. Set up meetings so that you receive the notifications.
- 7 am to 7.30 am send emails to co-workers letting them know you are home and apology emails for meetings you will not be attending
- 30 am to 8 am check emails and respond to urgent ones
- 8 am to 9 am breakfast at the local café
- 9 am to 10.30 am return phone calls, update reports and complete tasks
- 30 am to 10.45 am walk to your local restaurant and get a takeaway coffee or walk around the block. Just get outside
- 45 am to 12 pm focus on completing your tasks
- 12 pm to 1 pm lunch at the local café
- 1 pm to 2.30 pm complete a task
- 30 pm to 3 pm go for a walk outside
- 3 pm to 4 pm preparation for tomorrow, set goals, reminders in your calendar and prepare for any meetings
Leaving your apartment is essential for your overall wellbeing. Interacting with people in the coffee shop, not sitting for hours and getting fresh air is incredibly healthy.
When the notification appears that its 10.30am coffee time, grab your wallet and walk out the door. Don’t get distracted, it’s a meeting you must attend.
Turn off all social media and the TV
Removing all distractions is essential. If you allow yourself just a quick look on Pinterest, before you know it, an hour has passed.
I am now in the habit of turning off all social media notifications. I find them too distracting, and it tends to take far too long to get back on track.
Remember your health
- It is very tempting to eat all day and drink a lot of coffee. You must resist this bad habit
- Make sure you move every 30mins for the health of your spine
Keeping healthy and getting into a routine will ensure you have a productive and rewarding experience of working from home.