Working from home! It’s not all sitting in front of your laptop in your Pajamas eating cheese puffs, you know! Well, that is it shouldn’t be if you want to make a go of it, get things done, and further your career. The good news is there are strategies to make sure working from home is just as disciplined, safe, and productive as working in the office. Keep reading to find out what they are.
Set a daily routine
Yes, I know that routines are boring, but they are a necessary evil if you want to work from home to be successful. There are several issues you need to consider here though. The first is that your routine should be an ideal guideline, not a restrictive cage. There is a difference between being disciplined and self-punishing, and guess which one is more constructive in the long term?
Next, your routine needs to include getting up at a decent time and getting dressed and ready for work. Now I’m not saying that you have to go full business formal wear. However, having a shower and putting on some daytime clothes can help you feel better. It also makes popping out for a walk or meeting much easier later in the day as well.
Lastly, believe it or not, a routine will make getting up in the morning and getting down to work easier. Give yourself a few tasks that don’t take too much from you mentally in the AM, and you will be nice and warmed up when it comes to dealing with the more important things.
Make sure you have an environment conducive to work
You wouldn’t hesitate to say something if an office building was too noisy, messy, or didn’t have the equipment you needed to get the job done, so why ignore it in your own home? Indeed, it’s just as vital to have an environment conducive to work at home.
In particular, this means having a clean today and quiet space in which to work. Preferably one where you can close the door after you are done for the day, something that helps to make that all-important delineation between work and home.
Additionally, it’s vital that you have access to all the equipment and resources you need, both online and IRL. For example, if your job is communicating with customers over email, a work laptop will usually be enough. However, if you are making jewellery, then you will need all sorts of specialist tools from access to a laser cutter, to pliers, buffers, and the like.
Also, even if your work only requires you to have access to a computer, this device and how it is used must be safe for work. Indeed, there are many cyber security risks when working from home, and you will need to do everything in your power to avoid them. If you want to ensure the longevity and safety of your business or your career?
One of the best things about working from home is that your boss can’t come up behind you at any minute and check on what you are doing. Sadly, this is also one of the worse things about working from home, because the truth of the matter is we are all human and we all benefit from a little external motivation when it comes to completing tasks.
Of course, getting a handle on proper prioritization can help here, although this is a skill that can be a lot trickier than it sounds. For example, which task are you likely to complete first? The detailed report that will take you several hours of focused attention or the ‘quick’ email that has just come in that is pinging at you and you can complete in 60 seconds? Well, for most people it’s the latter, but the problem with that is it can be incredibly difficult to get around to the more challenging things.
Instead, it can be much more useful to order the completion of tasks on how vitally the needs to be completed today. That is you use three lists: must do today, should do today, and could do today. Then you start with the musts and move onto the other two in order if you have the time. Yep, it’s a simple strategy, but it can make all the difference to your success when working from home.
Working from home can be a challenge, but it doesn’t have to be. Instead, if you approach it similarly to working in an office, you can be just as successful and happy.