Whether you're taking some time away from the office or full-time freelancing, sometimes you'll end up staying home to work.
While for some it’s an extremely appealing opportunity, others can really struggle. Working from home can certainly be tricky – the temptations of home comforts, lack of social interaction and difficulty to switch off at the end of the day are all factors to contend with.
Here are some tips to get the most out of working from home.
When working from home it’s undeniably tempting to stay in pyjamas. But this can be a big mistake. If you don't physically get ready for the day, you're unlikely to feel mentally ready – which can lead to difficulty focusing and low-quality work.
You don’t have to put on a suit, but taking a shower and putting on some “real” clothes will help wake you up and prepare you for productivity.
With no boss around to keep you in line, it’s down to you to make sure you’re actually working. Be firm with yourself, and don’t allow the freedom you have to be your ruin.
Look at the days tasks and the hours you have to spend on them. Split things up accordingly. If you’re easily bored, try to mix things up so you don’t end up stuck on one thing for too long.
If you have something you’re dreading, don’t leave it until 5pm. You know you better than anyone, so personalise accordingly.
Nonetheless, there are likely things which need to be done with more urgency than others. Put these first – no matter how much you’d rather do something else.
Also, in spite of it seeming ridiculous, there’s a large amount of satisfaction to be gleaned by crossing something off a to-do list.
Try as you might, it’s impossible to work solidly from 9-5. Breaks are a really valuable working tool, but only if they’re used properly. Again, being in charge of yourself comes into its own here.
If you know you like shorter but more frequent breaks, do that. If you prefer to get a long done then take a leisurely lunch hour, go ahead. Do whatever suits you to enhance your productivity.
Set Reasonable Targets
When working from home, it’s easy to get concerned about producing enough quantity and quality of work. But, as Rome wasn't built in a day, you can’t finish all your jobs in one sitting.
Rather than broad and faraway targets to be met, set achievable and specific goals to hit today. This will keep you productive, but more importantly, keep you motivated, too.
Try to Check In
If you can, try to touch base with a colleague or employer over the course of the day. When working from home, you can start to feel isolated.
Sometimes if you’re struggling with one piece of work, it can just take a small input from someone else to help move things along. Talking to other people working on similar things to you also boosts motivation.
Set yourself a time when you’re going to stop working, and try as best you can to stick to it. Because you don’t physically leave work, it can be difficult to mentally leave work behind.
But it’s really important that you do – so prioritise some relaxation in the evening in order for you to sleep well, and wake up raring to go again.