Are you one of the brave few who work from home? If so, take a brief moment to give yourself a pat on the back.
Maybe you are starting your own business, working through the phone or online, or involved in sales and decided that working from home would have some neat advantages – you can stay in those comfy pajamas, raid the fridge for food whenever, and the gas bill is hard to beat. But, in fact, working from home can be pretty tough in its own way – distractions, distraction, and more distractions.
Here are five tips for reducing the distractions and enjoying the pros of working from home:
1. Establish a routine
Get in a routine and stick to it. For starters, begin your workday at the same time every day. Just because you don’t have to go to work doesn’t mean you shouldn’t prepare for it. This is as simple as showering, eating breakfast, and having proper hygiene, even though you may not be leaving the house. Forgetting to treat working from home like any other job is a mistake that can ultimately lead to inconsistent and unprofessional work.
Besides, some self-discipline is always good.
2. Make a schedule
Write out a list of tasks you need to accomplish for the day and create a schedule to get the job done. A schedule will allow you to plan things out and set your work pace accordingly. Don’t forget to set aside time for a few breaks and a lunch hour like you would at any other job. The rest and nourishment will do your mind good and help you continue being productive for longer.
3. Define your work space
If you don’t have a designated work space, get one. Reserve a space in your home – room, corner, closet, etc. – for work, and work only. This will prevent you from being distracted and promote efficiency. Let the other people in the house know that the space is a work zone, not a living room. And by all means, don’t make your work space on the living room sofa. The comfort can be tempting, but ultimately not beneficial. Find a quiet, clean, TV-free space and claim it as your work zone.
4. Get organized
There’s no such thing as being too organized while working from home. Use all the To-Do lists, folders, labels, holders, files, and cabinets you need to maintain a clean and neat work space. A little organization will create a sense of professionalism and give you a sense of accomplishment as you cross off scheduled tasks. Take care of it like you would treat an office at a corporate job, not your shoe closet.
5. Balance work and life
Although it’s impossible to completely separate work from life when working from home, it is essential to create proper balance. This tip is as important for you as it is for your spouse and kids. People often get caught working too much or too little, which affects their home life. Knowing the perfect middle ground, and learning to achieve it, is imperative for successfully working from home. Following the previous four tips will make you well on your way to creating balance between work and life.
Each person is going to have their own way of doing things, and their own ways of staying motivated in a distracting environment, but these tips can get you headed in the right direction.
Check out what Forbes has to say about how to successfully work from home.