I have been working from home two to three days a week for over seven years. I get asked all the time, how do you do it? How do you stay motivated? Are you productive? My answers, I love working from home, it’s easy. Yes, I am motivated and Yes, I am productive! I’ve decided to share seven of my trade secrets on how working from home, works for ME!
Get up and get dressed
One of the biggest misconceptions about working from home is that you stay in your pajamas. I do not do that…. well at least not every day LOL. No, in all honesty, I get up and get dressed every single day. I think it’s important to start your morning the same way you would if you were going to an office. Even if you are just switching into “day time” pajamas and sometimes, I even throw on makeup (my eyebrows are a must).
Have a dedicated workspace
This is huge, it’s important to have a dedicated workspace. I am lucky enough to have a home office. But, I also recognize that not everyone is going to be in the same position. So, try and find a space in your house that is just for work. Maybe it’s a space at the kitchen table or counter (but try your best not to sit in that spot unless you are working). I think that the couch is not an ideal spot, because my couch is my relaxation spot, my chill spot and I don’t want to associate that with work. It would actually make me less productive.
Get the right tools
There are a number of tools/resources that support my day-to-day workflow. So, I have added some of those things to my home office to help make me more productive when working from home. For example, I need to have two monitors. Well let me rephrase, I don’t need two… But, I prefer to have two, so I have two at home. I also prefer to use a full-size keyboard over the laptop keyboard. So, at home, I connect a full-size keyboard to my laptop to make it easier. So, ensure that you get the right tools/resources to help you be the most productive at home too.
The other thing I do is make a point to connect with my co-workers every day. Whether that is a Skype call (video if I look half decent), or an actual phone call. It’s important to have that social connection, and take the time to catch up with co-workers. Just because you work from home doesn’t mean that you can’t have “water cooler chat”, you just have to put in a little more effort to do so.
Take time to do something for yourself
Just because your working from home, it doesn’t mean you need to work 24/7. You are allowed to take breaks, in fact, I insist that you do. I typically take time to do something for myself during the day. That could be anything from doing my laundry, working out, starting dinner, going to the groceries, dying my hair – anything! Just ensure you take the time. Taking time for myself helps me to be, nicer (lol) and more productive throughout the day.
Get fresh air
Ok, so this can also be classified as a break… but I think it’s important to call it out separately. People underestimate the power of fresh air. Studies have shown that fresh air makes you happy, creates focus and gives you energy. I go outside for a walk or even sit on my back deck for some fresh air at least once a day. I find it especially helpful when I can’t focus throughout the day, or need inspiration for something that I am working on. A short 5-10 minutes does wonders for me.
Shut down at “5”
One of the hardest things to do when working from home is “shutting down”. I have a 9-5 job (in theory), some nights I do have to work past 5, but I ensure that it isn’t every night. But, I usually give myself a 6 pm limit on a regular night. That means laptop closed and work cell phone put away because I need my downtime, family time, TV time, bathtime… I need to reset every night. So, I set these boundaries to ensure that I have that time for myself every day.
I know that working from home isn’t for everyone, but hopefully, if you are working from home these tips may help make your day run a little smoother. Let me know if you have any work from home inspiration for me, I am sure there are other things that I could be doing.