Top three tips to do your best work from home!
We’ve identified three big problems people experience when they work from home, and the ways to avoid falling victim to them.
Working from home is definitely not for everyone, it takes self-discipline to stay productive. Every work-home environment is different, and comes with it’s own complications and distractions.
Problem # 1
You don’t feel like you’re really at work, so you’re not motivated and have trouble sticking to tasks.
If you’ve spent a lot of time working from an office, your work mindset has associated itself with a certain environment and might have trouble adapting and getting motivated at home.
1. Create a daily to-do list.
Very simply, make a to-do list of everything you need to get done that day. You keep working to the list, and tick each task off as you go to keep you motivated.
2. Get dressed for work.
As much as it’s tempting to sit in your comfortable pyjamas all day, what we wear holds a significant amount of sway on how productive we feel. Always get dressed in the morning before you begin work.
3. Take breaks.
Taking breaks is important for staying focused and motivated. The trick is to prevent a 10-minute break from lasting all day, or even not taking a break at all and burning out. A good rule to adopt is to take a 20 minute break every 60 minutes. You might find you need breaks less often, and you can adjust accordingly.
4. Use a dedicated browser.
If your Chrome browser has Facebook, Netflix and four online shopping sites saved across your favourites bar, then that is going to be distracting when you’re trying to get work done. Download a browser that you use specifically for work. Then once you’re done for the day, you can close it and open your fun browser!
You get distracted by everything else there is to do at home.
This could be housework that’s staring you in the face, stopping to get snacks and drinks all the time, or people you live with distracting you.
1. Dedicated Office Space
We understand not everyone has the space for a fully decked out home office. But make sure there is a specific area dedicated as a work space, which is fully equipped for you to work at; and no, the couch or your bed don’t count!
2. Decide ahead of time how long you’re going to work
In order to separate home and work, decide on a start and end time, like a normal office work day. Within the parameters of those ‘working hours’, you must be in your ‘at work’ mindset. All housework, chores, personal phone calls and hobbies occur outside of your pre-determined working hours.
3. Eat only in the kitchen or dining room
People often find that when they work from home they spend a lot of time getting food, or making cups of coffee and tea to enjoy with their work. While you can enjoy the benefits of being in your own house, make sure it doesn’t become a crutch to leave to get food to avoid completing tasks.
4. Set boundaries with the people you live with (including your neighbours)
If you have roommates, or family home during the day, be very clear about the boundaries of interrupting you when you are in your dedicated work space and time. This extends to neighbours, as sometimes you might find yourself picking up their parcels if they know you’ll be home, or being roped into an hour-long ‘friendly chat’.
You’re starting to feel isolated and overwhelmed.
The rest of your household might be out during the day, which is great for some peace and quiet, but also means you spend all day by yourself. And if you’re struggling with a certain task or client, or if you’re just not feeling 100%, being alone can make you feel overwhelmed.
1. Set dedicated ‘people time’ throughout the day.
Schedule human interaction into your week: Walk to your local shop and grab a coffee. Arrange a quick Face Time with someone in your lunch break. Organise to share a workspace with a colleague once a week.
2. Ask for help
Just because you work from home doesn’t mean you have to do everything yourself. You can hire a personal assistant to help you with work tasks. You could hire a babysitter to look after your children at home a couple of days a week instead of putting them in childcare. If being at home staring at a pile of housework is making you feel like work never ends, you could hire a housekeeper now and again.
Click here to read what you can claim on tax when you work from home!