Aside from not ever having to work a day in your life, working from home is the best it can get in the real world. You don’t ever have to change out of your pajamas, you can chill on the sofa with your laptop, and your entire kitchen is right there if you have a hankering for a snack. The only downside is that it can sometimes be difficult to concentrate because you’re surrounded by way more distractions than there would be in a typical office.
We’ve got you covered, though. Here’s how you can ensure that both your efficiency and the quality of your work don’t plummet while you’re enjoying the comfort of your own home.
Dedicate a workspace.
One of the biggest luxuries of working from home is that you have almost limitless options when it comes to choosing a workspace. You can sit on the couch, at your desk, in a hammock outside, or head on over to your favorite coffee shop! The choice is yours, but choose wisely. Pick a space that is relatively distraction-free so you can be as productive as possible (so sitting on your bed with the TV on may not be the best work environment).
Create a schedule & to-do list.
You’ve heard it many times, but I’ll say it again because it’s that important: organization is the key to success. Especially while you’re at home without your boss keeping tabs on you, you can easily get distracted and not accomplish anything. So, it’s up to you to keep yourself in line, and one of the best ways to do that is to create a schedule and a do-to list. Even if you think you’ll remember everything you need to do without writing it down, it’s still a good idea. It’s better to be safe than sorry, and you’ll never have to worry about waking up in the middle of the night and remembering something you forgot to do that day.
Set office hours.
Your hours can be a bit more flexible at home than in a traditional 9-5 office, so find a time that works for you and your schedule. If you’re a morning person, start working at 7 or 8 when you’re at your best. If you’re a night owl, don’t feel guilty about sleeping in a little and still doing work at 11 pm. Or, if you have errands to run in the afternoons, you can work in the morning, take a break for a few hours, and get back at it at like 4 or 5 p.m. As long as you get the work done, it doesn’t matter what time you do it.
Give yourself breaks.
When I work from home, I sometimes get so caught up in what I’m doing that I won’t even notice that four hours have gone by and my hands are starting to cramp up from the constant typing. When you’re not physically at an office desk, you may forget to still spend some time away from your desk/couch/hammock/whatever. Taking short breaks to make a cup of coffee, grab a snack, or catch a quick episode of The Big Bang Theory will give your brain and body some rest, which will improve your productivity when you do get back to work.
Get out of the house.
“Working from home” doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to be stuck at home if you don’t want to be there. Go somewhere! A slight change of scenery, like going to the park and working on a park bench for an hour will instantly refresh you and boost your productivity. It’s inevitable that you will get tired of being at home day in and day out, but thankfully telecommuting gives you the freedom to work wherever you please.