When taken at face value, most people would say the option of working from home or remote working is a no brainer.
There’s no commute necessary, saving both valuable time and money. And if you have your own business, there’s the added benefit of working whenever and in some cases wherever you want, around your current lifestyle.
This would be vital to parents or anyone in a similar situation with limited free time, or a frenetic environment such as those living in shared accommodation.
For me, I personally enjoy the work/life balance and flexibility working from home allows me. I now appreciate and enjoy things I never had the chance to before, like my kids’ school runs and spending more quality time with my family. Even the smallest things can make such a huge difference in how you feel and general wellbeing. But it’s definitely been a learning curve and there have been challenges every step of the way.
By no means is building an online business as easy as a lot of work-from-home “gurus” make out and without proper structure and discipline, it’s all too easy to fall into a trap, become complacent or worst case scenario, give up before you’ve even started. Trust me, I’ve felt like giving up on many occasions.
But, whether remote working a day or two a week or running a full-time business from home, I’m certain the vast majority of online entrepreneurs will admit the pros outweigh the cons. That being said, there are a few important points to follow to ensure your time is as productive and stress-free as possible.
Working From Home Tips For Success
Create A Workspace
Your workspace could be anywhere and doesn’t have to be the conventional office set-up that might spring to mind. Experiment to find out the best place for you to work from. Play around with different areas or rooms to see where you feel most comfortable and gets you in the right frame of mind. I work wherever has the most amount of natural light and the least amount of noise as this helps me focus. In the summer months, you could even work from your garden or another outdoor area, great for those prone to cabin fever.
It’s also essential you have what’s necessary around you when working from home. Having to fetch a notepad or your favourite pen is distracting and a time waster. This is essential for me, as I’m very easily distracted.
Take this a step further and work from your favourite coffee shop or other public space. Experiment and see what environment helps your productivity when working from home.
Humans are not effective at multitasking, the human brain just isn’t very good at it. So having so many distractions around us, can easily derail us from achieving our goals. This is true whether we’re working from home or not.
Think about workplace distractions for a moment. Our colleagues or bosses attempting to engage you in conversation or asking for help when you’re midway through an important task. Open plan offices offering little or no sanctuary when attempting to get stuff done.
There’s no shortage of distractions at home either. With all the technology at our fingertips, it’s easy to crave a dopamine hit from our mobile phones or from checking our social media accounts. Put your phone away, use a social free browser and use some discipline in this situation so you’re not making life harder for yourself before you’ve even started.
One neat tool I started using to give myself a reality check of just how much time I was spending on any particular website, is Webtime Tracker. It’s a free Google Chrome extension that tracks the time you spend on each website and you know what they say, stats don’t lie!
How To Structure Your Day Working From Home?
Plan Your Day In Advance
We’ve all heard this before…” failing to plan, is planning to fail “. Set out what you aim to achieve the day before, so you’re not wasting valuable time and know exactly what to do. Ensure the task are manageable goals and work through them.
When planning my day, I much prefer placing the tasks that will take me the longest at the beginning of the day when I feel the most productive.
Something as simple as crossing off a list can provide you with a sense of achievement, which is a brilliant motivator.
Planning your day also has the added effect of simulating pressure similar to that of a workplace environment. However, don’t sell yourself short. Ensure when estimating how long each task takes that you double the time you allow yourself. This will prevent the perception you haven’t done enough.
Some may like the sound of working in pajamas and dress code may seem silly when working from home, but something as simple as getting dressed before you start working can shift your mentality and set the tone for the rest of the day. Speaking from my own experience, I know that whilst I’m lounging around in pyjamas or underwear, the last thing on my mind is working or being productive.
Plus, video communication in pajamas is not the look you want to go for, trust me.
Prepare Your Meals
Opening the cupboards and eating what’s insight can be very tempting. Add this to working in front of a computer or laptop for several hours and you have an unhealthy recipe. Luckily I was formerly a professional chef so I know a thing or two about putting a quick healthy (or not so healthy!) meal together. Preparing your meals is a time saver and allows you to relax away from the computer and enjoy the fact your not paying for an overpriced lunch on the go.
Get up out the computer chair, do some exercise, take a walk. A change of scenery offers a fresh perspective and welcome inspiration. I like walking my dog Bailey or hitting the gym as I find doing these things keeps my mind alert and boosts productivity. And whether you’re on the go or taking a break, remember when you have the luxury of working from home, you don’t have to sneak away from your desk when the boss is not there!
Keep your sanity. Remote working can be isolating, make sure to communicate and not just with the kids or family pet. If you’re working remotely, there are numerous apps that can keep you connected with clients and colleagues. If working from home, ensure face to face communication. Make the effort, it’s for your benefit too.
Know When To Switch Off
We’re all human. Although our business will remain online 24/7, it’s impossible for us to do so. Don’t let the boundaries between work and personal life begin to blur. I’ve fallen guilty of this one and when you’re in the zone, it’s tempting to keep working. Set boundaries with your family, but also allow yourself some flexibility from time to time.
Let’s Round It Off…
When working from home, don’t rush the process. Figure out what works best for you. Find a balance between having a structure and enjoying the flexibility and freedom that working from home brings and this will help you to stay motivated & may even influence you to create your own tips to working from home.
This may be apparent from the beginning or take a little time and some inspiration from elsewhere. However, the key is to be prepared, create a plan and execute. Once you gain momentum, things become that bit easier and enjoyable and enable you to shift your focus onto the reasons you started this all in the first place.
Can you think of any other tips to working from home? Share your thoughts and let us know in the comments box below.