People usually DREAM about working from home. But I can say from experience, working from home is no cake walk. It can be a challenge when it comes to focusing and getting things done. For me, it was a needy dog, a noisy roommate, and never ending household chores. My home never really felt like an office, and it never really felt like somewhere I could relax.
How the heck are you supposed to concentrate and be productive with work when distractions are everywhere? How do you find a way to effectively separate work life from home life when they coexist in the same space? Here are 5 helpful tips that will help make your time working at home more productive than ever!
If you are lucky enough to have a home office area, make sure you treat it that way. This room should be set up for work only. Get rid of the television and any other non work related distractions. You should be able to close the door in this room and feel like you are at work. I know we don’t all have an extra room that we can convert into an office. It doesn’t even need to be a room. It can be a section of your house that is deemed the “work zone”. This is a place where everyone will know, including you, that it’s work time. Try to choose somewhere with lots of natural light. A study by psychology today shows that natural light can dramatically improve productivity.
Yes, it’s tempting to just sit around all day in your pajamas. Been there. Why bother getting dressed when your just going to be working at home? MOTIVATION, that’s why. Get up in the morning everyday with purpose. Create a ritual or routine that will get you into a productive mindset. If you stay in your PJ's, that’s where your mindset will stay. I am not saying get up and put on a suit or anything like that. Just get out of the “I’m at home relaxing” mode and into “I’m ready to work” mode! For me, I wake up, put on a pot of coffee, change into my running clothes, and hit the trail outside of my house for a short run. By the time I get home I am awake, energized, and ready to take on the day. You don’t have to run in the mornings, but find something that works for you. What gets you energized and motivated?
Organize your space and your mind. At the start of everyday, have a clear idea of what you want to get done. Create a checklist if that helps. Eliminate clutter and organize your space. You can improve productivity and efficiency if you have easy access to all the things you need in order to get the job done. Even if your space just consists of your laptop, organize that desktop! Name and organize files so that you can easily locate them. Dollars to donuts you have upwards of 20 random files covering up that beautiful landscape photo that you can barely see anymore. Declutter your space and unclutter your mind!
If you allow your work time and personal time to overlap too much, they become blurred! You might feel like you rarely have any personal time. If you are working from 8am until 10pm because you are mixing personal and work tasks all day long it’s easy to feel like the day slipped away. Create working hours for yourself and stick to them. Decide how long you want to work in a day, and focus. The sooner you get your work done, the sooner you can put work away and focus on your personal life.
Just because you don’t have an office space doesn’t mean you are confined to working from home. You have lots of options. If you live in or near a larger city, odds are there is a co-working space near by. If you don’t live near a bigger city, explore the coffee shops around where you live. Find somewhere comfortable where you can really focus on what needs to be done. There is a cozy coffee shop near my house with tons of natural lighting. It’s my go to when I am not feeling the home office vibe. Being there allowed me to focus without any distractions.
There you have it! I hope these 5 tips help you if you are struggling with getting things done at home. I have worked from home at many different points in my life and these tips have really helped me out. Though, It's more about figuring out what works for you. Find your groove and stick with it. If you work hard and are passionate about what you do, you will go far!