5 Must Haves for Working from Home
Last year I started working at from home a day a week to not only save me time in commuting but to also increase my productivity and output.
When I'm in the office it is easy to get distracted by others around you or quickly caught up into something that is happening. Although I love the random team walks to the coffee maker, it sometimes disrupts my flow. With two less hours of commute time, I can get in a lot more uninterrupted work time where I can plug in and really focus. And usually because I'm not in the office, I'm not bothered with random requests or questions which can throw me off.
However working from home isn't as easy as you think. Sure I can work in my PJs and get a little more sleep but it takes a lot of discipline. Over the last few months I learned a lot about how to stay focused and how to get the job done when working from home.
1. Ground Rules
It's important to set ground rules for yourself and for the people you live with. Make is a plan for yourself and stick to it. Don't let any of your home responsibilities distract you either. You're working! This is why it is a good idea to also set some ground rules for your housemates (family or roommates) so they know when you're working and what to expect from you. You'll never get anything done if your significant other is chatting you up all day.
2. A Dedicated Workspace
Another good way to get away from all of the distractions from home (your housemates, the tv, chores, etc.) is to declare a dedicated workspace. This might be easy if you already have a home office but if you're limited on space, you may need to get creative. Maybe between 8am and 5pm your kitchen table is work central. Or maybe you take over the guest bedroom Monday through Friday. Just dedicate a space you feel comfortable working in all day.
3. A Task List
Either the day before or the morning of, create a task list for the day. What do you want to accomplish? What do you need to complete today? As you complete items on the list, cross them off so at the end of the day you can feel accomplished about your day.
4. A Schedule
What time are you going to wake up? When are you going to eat lunch? What are you core working hours? You may event want to go as far as to scheduling time for each of the projects or tasks that you're working on. This will help you stay focused and stay on track throughout the day.
5. Healthy Snacks
If you're like me then when working alone from home, you sometimes need snacks to keep you focused and fueled up. Try not an over caffeinated yourself with coffee or eat too many sugary snacks which can lead you to a devastating crash int he afternoon. Instead opt for healthier options like grapes, carrots, or some pretzels. And keep hydrated with water throughout the day. I like to add some lemon to my water for some extra flair! I know it's hard not to fall tempation to all of the unhealthy snacks in your kitchen but this is all part of the discipline that comes with working from home!
Do you have any other tips for staying productive while working from home? Share them in the comments!