Whilst all of us who work in an office environment crave the odd day sitting on our bed in our PJ’s, working from home can be hard.
Motivating yourself to work from home every day, maintaining productivity and focus can feel like climbing a mountain every day. Here are some top tips to help you make the most of your time working from home. Pull yourself out of a rut, put these steps into action and you’ll soon be feeling enthused about the days ahead.
Create a working zone
Regardless of whether you rent a single small room or have a whole house at your disposal, you should never work where you relax and spend your downtime. Working in bed will link any feelings of stress to the zone where you’re meant to be most chilled out, and could give you trouble sleeping. Work at a desk or in a separate room. This will help you engage and focus on work tasks at hand, and also gives you an area to keep organized and tidy for your work.
Create a routine
If you’re a bit all over the place, and find yourself starting and finishing work at different times every day, dependent on your whims and how productive you feel, you’ll never achieve a consistent sense of work satisfaction. Create a strict routine as to when you start work and how many breaks you will allow yourself. Sticking to this will create a sense of security and familiarity which will motivate you and allow you to plan in other fun things in your life, knowing that you’ll have the work done within the designated hours.
Plan your day in advance
If you’ve a host of tasks to achieve over the next day or week, plan ahead and create a structured list as to when each of these tasks will be completed. As you’ve much more flexibility when working from home it’s important that you set yourself deadlines which you will stick to – make these realistic, daily and weekly, and factor in time as well as day. For example, a list of five things you want to achieve before your morning break, another two before lunch, and a further three after lunch.
Also ensure that you don’t leave the most difficult tasks to the end of the day. Getting through a tricky, tiresome task at the start of the day is the best use of your energy and will leave you feeling productive and motivated for the rest of the day.
Make time for meals
In the office we will often grab a sandwich to eat at our desk, which is not a good move for either our mental well-being or productivity; the same thing applies to working from home. Allocate yourself an allotted time for lunch (and also dinner, if you prefer to work in the evenings), and stick to this time frame, taking yourself away from work to enjoy a nutritious meal.
Plan in down-time
In an extension of the importance of taking time-out for meals, make sure that you plan in down time during your week, and try and make this outside of the house. An exercise class, drink out with friends or even just going for a walk will take you away from your work and ought to refresh you. Working from home can be a solitary life at times, so make sure that this doesn’t get you down, and schedule in time to see your mates.
Turn off and tune out distractions
Whilst an office environment forces you to concentrate on your work under the watchful eye of your boss, working from home is another kettle of fish. Do not allow yourself to turn the TV on in the background (even if you reaaally want to watch the latest episode of east enders) and limit your social media consumption to your breaks. Whilst this may feel like unnecessary sanctions imposed upon yourself, your productivity and the quality of your work will hugely benefit from it in the long run.
Start the day as you mean to go on
It’s important to start the day as you mean to go on; get up and get dressed early in the day, before you start work. Have a substantial breakfast and feel fully awake and ready to go before sitting down at your desk. Spending the day in pajamas, simply because you don’t have to get up quite yet, will have a negative effect on your productivity, and leave you feeling sluggish.
So there you have it – eight top tips to help you make the most of working from home! Remember, if working in the house is really starting to drive you crazy you can always opt for a change of scene by leaving the house and working in a park or internet café.
About the author:
Alexandra Jane is the writer and editor of graduate careers advice for Inspiring Interns, a graduate recruitment agency. Check out their website to see which internships and graduate marketing jobs are currently available, as well as their graduate jobs Manchester page for further opportunities.