Little commute, comfy pyjamas, having your furry friend next to you at all times, no make-up and hair in a messy bun. These are some of the many perks that you benefit from when you work from home, whether it’s your own business or you work for a remote company – it’s all the same!
Isn’t It amazing to be up and running in 10 minutes, grab your coffee and your laptop, and just dive straight into work? Although, there are some minor drawbacks not many people mention.
You can easily mute colleague distractions, video calls and can schedule most meetings. But there are new challenges to overcome, from a more personal corner: your Social Media, family members, furry ones included!
Let me share with you the biggest challenge: not knowing when to stop working!
I’m more the type of person who loves the tranquility and the commodity of my home. I prefer the silence over the bustling noise of a busy office, and I love having a flexible schedule, working at my own pace – that’s where I’m most productive. If you are anything like me, well do I have some news for you!
Working from home for the past 5 years has taught me a lot. I got the job done in the most productive and creative ways, I’ve separated work and family life, and ate a lot of pizza, because pizza is life and fuel for your mind! Here’s my small but extremely productive list:
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1. Manage your time
You now how they say that time is money right? Well that’s double true when working from home. My advice? Find the best time for when you’re most productive. For most people, it’s between 8am and 2pm.
I start the day by creating a checklist with things that I need to do at work and at home. There are many apps that can help you get yourself organised during the day and best of all, they’re free!
These are my two favourite + bonus:
- Google Calendar is probably my favourite, I can add tasks to specific times and I usually share this with my husband so he knows when to not disturb me or what are the plans for the day. It goes the other way around as well since we both work from home.
- Trello is also another alternative to creating boards and lists that you can mark as done once they have been completed. This app also has the option to add more people to your boards.
- Printable schedules for those who are more old school and guess what, I will provide you with a free daily planner that includes all the necessary items to help you stay organised. All you need to do is subscribe to my blog!
2. Find a proper workplace
Yeah, sure, working remotely allows you to work whenever, and wherever you want to. What you need, is that one special place that fine tunes your brain to think “OK, now I’m working”. Though there’s nothing wrong to change your location from the desk, to the couch, to the bedroom or kitchen. As long as you have that special place already mapped out that you can fall in for serious work when you need to.
Find or create a clean and quiet space; put a “DND” sign outside the door if you have to.
Maybe you need to make a compromise and make do with small corner in a room. That’s great as well, as long as you own it! Customize your area, decorate it, add or remove anything that doesn’t help that state of mind you’re looking for. In my case, I keep my oldest cat with me, and kick out the younger ones as they’re very hyperactive. I find the presence of my eldest cat to be very comforting while I brainstorm ideas.
3. Create a habit
Best advice I’ve ever gotten. Create the habit that will create your reality. Feed that habit, nurture it, and everything will fall into place without too much effort.
Make sure that you identify the time or times when you are more productive and work your day around it. Remember that creating a habit won’t happen overnight, on the average it can take up to 2 months or more before your body and mind adjust to it, accept it, and work with it.
4. Don’t forget to take breaks!
It’s so easy to get drawn into work! It’s not healthy and definitely not sustainable in the long run. So there’s a definite need for self-regulation. Take frequent breaks to let your brain vent, and let it focus on solutions in its downtime.
Don’t forget to eat, stretch, and show some love to your furry family members!
One of the best ways for you to know when to take breaks is by using the Pomodoro Technique. There are many apps that you can set on your phone and on your laptop/PC or you can just as easily use your phone alarms if you want to be in more control over your time.
5. Stop working when the day is done
Just…STOP! For real! It can be difficult to disconnect. Worst case scenario, take a walk around the block three times so your brain understands that you’re home now. Working from home can blur those work-life balance barriers pretty good.
I’ve worked for a remote company where we were constantly plugged into the company’s email and Hangouts group chats. It’s so easy to get lost in reading even during your off hours, especially since you’re having great relationships with coworkers.
Key takeaway? When your work day is done, it’s done. No peeking at emails or chat, no responding out of office hours, none of that. Trust me, your brain will thank me later. Set up the proper expectations and follow through.
6. Lastly, reward yourself!
That’s right. Don’t forget to show yourself some love. There’s no one at home to pat you on your back for your work accomplishments – no coworkers, bosses or clients. So order some sushi!
Play some video games, watch some Netflix, read that book you cannot wait to finish, spend time with your family, play with your pets, go out. Whatever it is that you decide to do, remember to reward yourself.
Remember that with some organising and prioritising, you can accomplish more in a more efficient way without feeling overwhelmed or underachieved. Needless to say, welcome to the pyjama working club!
You will love it around here.