Working from home has many advantages. No early morning or sit in traffic commute. No small talk with office buddies. No dressing up nicely for work.
Though it has advantages, working from home comes with many challenges. Some include time management and productivity. From personal experience, it is very easy to get distracted and want to do everything else over work. Whether you are freelancing or working from home occasionally, learning a work from home routine is essential – if you want to stay motivated at home.
Working from home is a luxury, but you need to work hard and work smart if you want to make the most of it. Here are seven personal tips to help you stay on track.
1) Create a Workplace
The best way to feel motivated to work at home is to create an ideal workspace. Working from your bed or couch is not a great idea because you’ll be tempted to sleep or relax. Instead, find an area where you can set up a non-distraction working space. Create this work space into a real “office” – this will encourage you to feel as if you were at work and will allow you to be more productive.
Another great way (if you don’t have an area to work) is to get out of the house. Find a local coffee spot, cafe or workspace you can work from. You can feed off of other people’s energy who are also there to work.
2) Always Stay Organized
Another great way to maintain productivity from home is organization. Here are some tips to keeping your home office organized:
- Keep your desk orderly – When your desk is kept tidy, it’s easier to stay focused when at home.
- Have everything you need in place – Avoid frustration and avoid the need to get up from your desk.
- Organize your tasks – The best way to stay organized is to set specific goals and deadlines to reach.
- Set daily reminders – This is a must for me as I tend to forget if it’s not written down. Creating reminders for any small or big thing that comes to mind will definitely keep you organized and stay on track.
3) Decide on the Hours you Want to Work
Figure out what your working hours will be, and stick to them! Set your alarm the same time Monday to Friday, do your morning routine and then start and finish your working day at the same time daily. This will trick your brain into thinking those hours are for work and work only.
4) Get Up and Move
Whether you are working from home or at the office, you are most likely sitting in front of your computer all day – which is not at all good for the body. Be proactive by incorporating some kind of exercise into your daily routine. Running, cycling, push-ups – you name it! Even if it’s just taking a short break to get up and walk a few laps around your apartment, exercise equals a happy and healthier body.
With regular exercise, eating healthy goes hand in hand. One of the upsides of working from home is having all of your kitchen space and tools available to make a healthy lunch for yourself. However, it’s easy to also stay off track and adapt habits of snacking all the time. To avoid doing so, take positive advantage of your new access to food. Think of ways to eat healthy, like prepping meals and not keeping junk food in your house.
5) Manage Your Time Well
This is a crucial and very challenging point when working from home. If you want to hit your deadlines, managing your time properly is a must. Here are some tips to help you:
- Establish a routine – When you decide on daily working hours to stick to, remember to take breaks regularly. Start and stop working the same time as you would if you were in the office. When you establish a set routine, this will give your day a rhythm and will create a sense of normalcy.
- Create a to do list – Do yourself a favor and create an everyday to-do list. Organize and prioritize tasks that must get done by the end of the day. Humans are very visual people. When you create a list of things you can see, it will help you to avoid procrastinating and will give your day structure.
Cross off the each task when it’s finished. It will allow you to stay motivated and feel very accomplished at the end of your day.
When you work from home, it’s easy to become cooped up in your room and shut off all communication from your colleagues and/or friends. After a long day of work, organize some social meetups with friends – grab some happy hour drinks or take a group exercise class.
7) Stay Focused
Staying focused in the comfort of your home can be so challenging, especially when there are just so many distractions – TV, phone, dog. Luckily there are ways to overcome this:
- Find out what truly motivates you – Working from home is a privilege, remember? Remind yourself that your company might take away this privilege if you don’t perform well. You could also reward yourself with a small prize like a snack or being able to tune in to your favorite TV show – after you finish a certain task or for working a good chunk of time.
- Define your goals – When you know your goals, it should help you to stay focused on the things that matter to both you and your freelance business.
- Identify and eliminate distractions – Are you checking your social media often? Is your TV on? Figure out what types of distractions are keeping you from working and find out ways to avoid them.
Working from home is a real treat and is increasingly common nowadays. While it may have its benefits – no commute, no dressing up, and flexible hours – it is so easy to get off track and start procrastinating. To avoid such mishaps, make these above habits strong in your work from home routine, and you’ll enjoy all the benefits of working from home.
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