What springs to mind when you think about working from home? A leisurely lie in, or the thrill of lazing around in your pyjamas all day? While both options are tempting, it takes a certain level of discipline to maximise your work from home days.
It sounds like we’re really stating the obvious here, but bear in mind that it’s still a professional working day. That means getting ready to start work at your usual time, organising your To Do list, and powering through those emails. So how can you make the most of your home working days without falling victim to procrastination?
Plan Your Schedule
Before you start, make sure you’re keeping tabs on what needs to be done. Make a list of your priorities, and how long it may take to complete any outstanding tasks. You can then plan your breaks and lunch accordingly.
If you need to coordinate your work around childcare commitments, factor these in from the outset, and let your colleagues know if you’re unavailable during certain times of the day.
Set Your Workspace
Rule number one- don’t work in bed. Instead, find a designated work space where you’re able to feel relaxed and calm, preferably without a television in the vicinity. Keep all relevant work documentation with you to minimise distractions or temptations. It’s also worth working at a proper desk rather than sitting on the sofa, as it’ll help emulate a true work environment.
Be sure to make yourself as easy to contact as possible via email, phone, Skype and instant messenger- it’s not only for your colleagues and client’s benefit, but yours too. Remote working can sometimes leave you feeling out of the loop, so building stronger lines of communication by checking in with your team is a great way to feel involved and on top of things.
Avoid Home Distractions
Easier said than done we know. Especially when a fridge full of food and a comfy bed are involved. But try and persevere if you can, as you’ll end up crashing in magnificent style otherwise (we speak from experience here).
Try and combat any temptations by planning your meals and snacks, as well as any errands or childcare duties. Ultimately though, it’s down to you and your will power to focus, so if you have a separate office space at home, make sure you utilise this as much as you can.
As talented as you are, it’s impossible to chain yourself to your laptop all day. It’s worth organising your time effectively so you can work in short spurts, or taking a brief break once you’ve finished a particular task. This will help you maintain your productivity levels, as well as improve your mental faculties.
If time permits, take your lunch at your usual time- this will establish some consistency. It’s also wise to try and get outside and stretch your legs once in a while, as you’ll definitely feel the benefit.
While there’s no perfect formula to home working, it’s a great idea to try and develop some better habits. Not only will you feel more productive, but you’ll feel the mental and physical benefits too. So no excuses- get out of bed, put down those snacks and get cracking.