So, you’ve decided to work from home. Whether the decision was made to have more time with your family, convenience or to reduce your overheads, it can be a more difficult task than expected. One of the positives of working from home is that you have the opportunity to be more flexible with your time. However, more often than not, working from home requires discipline and a strong work ethic.
Here are a few tips to keep you focused:
Create an office environment
Even if you decided to work from home to care for your children, make sure you create your own space to work from. Having a separate room to call your office will help you stay focused and avoid procrastinating. If this is not an option, allow yourself a section of the dining room where you can set up your laptop, stationary and phone. This will stop you from getting up just to find the lost stapler and more importantly, indicate to your family that you should not be disturbed when you are sitting here.
We all know how tempting it can be to take a quick coffee break at work, let alone when you are at home working to your own schedule. Whether you choose to prep for dinner or run personal errands, short breaks will disrupt your train of thought and cut into your working time. This can be a huge challenge for mothers and fathers working from home who are often short on time. We suggest sticking to the same work hours every day, even its 6am- 1pm, so you can create your own routine. Designated break times will also help you stay focused and motivated.
Try a new location
If you have the opportunity, take your work and laptop to a new location. A change of scenery and fresh air can increase your productivity. A lot of people find they are more focused when they are based in their favourite café or library. Although there may be more noise, you may be less distracted than when you are constantly reminded of the chores that need to be done. Another positive is getting out of your PJs which will reduce the temptation for a quick nap!
Another challenge about working from home is setting boundaries for family, friends and even yourself to follow. Working from home can either go one of two ways; your friends can now pop in for a quick coffee or you find yourself working later and later just because you are at home. You can avoid these situations by conveying strict office hours to friends. It is also important to respect your personal time by understanding that you do not need to be available to work all hours of the day, every day.
Working from home may be tougher than expected, but can become easier once you create a routine to follow daily. Balancing work, family and your house duties can provide to be a new challenge. However, once you master discipline you will see the many positives, such as flexibility and control over your busy schedule.