20 Working From Home Tips To Help You Survive Your Day
There are so many benefits to working from home.
You have much more flexibility, can structure the day around your needs and roll straight out of bed into work mode, and some of us just make bed the new office. However, working from home isn’t always easy. Productivity can take a hit, and when there is a deadline looming, you need all the support you can get.
When you are working from home, sadly, you are your own worst enemy. You have no one watching you and no peer pressure that you do in an office. So how do you survive? Here are twenty top working from home tips to help you survive the day.
20 top working from home tips
- Structure your day
If you know that one TV programme will lead you to binge-watching a series, then you need to have a structure in place. For this, you need to work out when you are most productive and what time of day suits you for certain activities. Try and schedule your day so that you tackle issues at the right time. If it takes you a while to gear up, then spend the first hour responding to queries and managing communication (such as tending to your marketing). When you are at your peak, make sure you schedule your most demanding tasks. Some prefer getting them out of the way as soon as they wake up, others are night-owls. Create a schedule that suits your needs, but then stick to it.
- Choose your music wisely
Create playlists for different activities. Find the music that inspires your creativity, increases your work rate and helps you to focus and play these different mixes accordingly.
- Have a workspace
As tempting as it might be to work from the comfort of your bet, it is not productive and not great for your posture either. Set aside a place that is solely dedicated to your work. Clear the distractions and make sure it is entirely comfortable. This helps to give you consistency and makes sure that you are always in ‘work mode’ when you are there.
- Use technology
Slack, Trello and Asana can help you to collaborate even when you are working from home. Using WebEx and conference software can help you to feel like it is teamwork even when you’re working at home.
Staying at home all day may not be productive, and it is not healthy to work without a break. Fresh air can help to reenergise you, and a change of scenery can help with your creativity. Whether you go for a walk or work from a coffee shop or coworking space, a change is as good as a rest. Working away from home can help you to focus, particularly as you can’t see the dishes in the sink or the washing that needs to be put away.
- Set deadlines by chores
Dishwasher on for 45 minutes? You have a 45-minute of uninterrupted work before you can break to unload.
- Use distraction-blocking apps
Sometimes it is too easy to become distracted by websites and social media. However, there are some distraction-blocking applications available to help you focus and to reduce your time spent procrastinating. SelfControl blocks website but is only available for Macs while Freedom can block the internet for up to eight hours. Anti-Social can block access to your social media accounts, and the best part is it counts active minutes to keep you focused.
- Tell someone your goals
Vocalising what you aim to achieve helps to keep you on track. When someone asks; ‘did you get all your work done?’ You do not want the answer to be ‘No I spent the day watching Game of Thrones reruns’.
Planning what you need to get done the day before can help to keep you on track. Set target, goals and rewards if you need to. A scheduler, daily planner or whiteboard is a great way to keep you on track of what you need to achieve that day. Plus, a planner can give you a great sense of achievement when you tick it off the list.
- Have a break
Walk the dog, read your social media feed, sit in the garden, meditate. Take regular breaks for a healthy work life.
- Talk to someone
Working on your own all day can be really isolating. When it comes to socialising, it can often feel like you have forgotten how to talk. Make sure there is a time in the day to speak to someone, even if it is just the barista at a coffee shop. Every interaction helps. It is also an ideal way to earn brownie points by picking up the phone to speak to relatives and friends.
- Prep your meals the night before
You wouldn’t spend office hours peeling, chopping and roasting so don’t spend work time at home doing so. Make your meals the night before, and it’ll help you stick to a set lunch period.
- Have a background noise
Silence can be soul destroying. You will start to hear every tiny noise, from your neighbours talking to traffic. Try to have a background noise that will serve as white noise. The TV is not usually a good idea unless you put it on a channel you are not remotely interested in.
- Have a finish time
Don’t ruin your social life or health by working all hours of the day.
- Stay sane
Working from home can be difficult. You may find yourself have in-depth conversations with the cat or the washing machine. If you are struggling, go and work from somewhere else.
- Make the most of it
If you don’t have set hours imposed, then make the most of the fact you can work from home. If you want to have a late night, then do it and start work later. Catch a movie in the middle of the day when it’s quiet or make the most of the gym when there is no one around. You have a great benefit; you should be allowed to enjoy it. Otherwise, you might as well be in a humdrum office.
- Think of yourself as a worker
As your own boss, you can be a hard taskmaster. Take a step back and consider yourself as a worker. Would you work for someone that makes you do 16-hour days without a break? Unlikely, so don’t make yourself do it either.
- Stay healthy
You do not want to be struck down and unable to deliver work.
Eat healthily, sleep well and ensure you balance your life to keep you fighting fit and reduce lost work days. Remember, if you are ill, you are allowed a day off. You won’t deliver your best work if you are ill so give yourself a break to get better if you need to.
- Start before the rush
With no commute, you can start work early. Use the time before the emails start flooding in to get all of the important work done. Try and capitalise on the advantage you have.
- Utilise a distraction
This may sound counterproductive, but sometimes other commitments in your life can help you to focus.
For example, if you have a child, you know you have from 9 am to 3 pm of uninterrupted work before you need to collect your child and enjoy spending time with them. This can help you to focus as you have multiple commitments and want to make the most of all of them. The same can work with a dog regarding scheduling dog walks and feeding routines.