With countless people thrust into the world of remote work. And with increased encouragement to maintain social distance, many are forced to work from home. We have compiled 7 Tips for Productively Working from Home and will be sharing them with you over the next few days …
Tip No.1 - Make yourself an office, or at least a work “station” area. This will be the spot that you do your work. If you don’t have a room that you can turn into a home office, you can set up shop at the kitchen table, although this is not ideal. Taking your laptop and plopping down on the couch in front of the television will present many temptations. You’ll want to make sure that your home office has everything that you need, and that may even mean getting an extra phone-line, be it a landline or a Skype account where you can be contacted at. Invest in a good desk, chair, and computer so you’ll be comfortable working, but not so comfortable that you’ll be tempted to slack-off.
Tip No. 2 - Try to set aside long periods of time for work. Working from home can give you much more flexible hours, but if you’re constantly interrupted it’s going to be a lot harder to get things done. Try to make sure you get a few large blocks of time. For example, if you need to get in 8 hours of work, make 3 blocks of 3 hours, 2 hours, and another 3 hours. If you need to run errands or take care of other things, do them outside of the blocks of time during your “breaks.”
Tip No. 3 -Try to leave the house each day. Nothing will drive you crazier faster than being at home 24/7. It’s a great opportunity to go for a walk outside, clear your head, and get your bearings.
Tip No. 4 - Create a to-do list for the tasks you need to accomplish each day. Because it is so easy to get off task while working from home, having a checklist of the things you need to get done will help you visualize your progress.
Tip No. 5 - Minimize distractions and set limits online. If the bulk of your work is done on a computer, you probably know all to well the distractions of the internet. It’s easy to fall into the trap of Facebook or other sites if you keep it open on one of your browser tabs all day. Allow yourself to check in before you start your work and on breaks only. When it’s work time, close any non-work related tabs and websites. If you keep Facebook open, you will undoubtedly keep flipping back to it to see if there’s anything new posted.
Tip No. 6 - Don’t procrastinate. Look at your to-do list and actually do everything on it. Don’t do 90 percent of it and tell yourself that you’ll just make it up and do it tomorrow.
Tip No. 7. Take care of yourself. Make sure you eat a good breakfast so you don’t have to stop working when the hunger pangs kick in, and schedule yourself a reasonable lunch break. Some also find it helpful to dress as if they were going to work. It’s not necessary to put on a suit, but something more than sweatpants and a t shirt might help you feel more on-task.
Working from home takes discipline. If you’re just starting out, it may take you a little time to find your groove, but if you follow the tips above you’ll find it a lot easier. The key is to keep a good work-life balance, establish boundaries, and take care of yourself.
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