Updated: May 20, 2019
To effectively work from home, certain habits have to be adopted because they avoid distraction and encourage productivity.
It takes a lot of dedication, focus and commitment to make the space you call home, the space you also work in, because let’s face it, there are many distractions in the comforts of home. More and more people are opting to work from home because of the power and freedom it gives them to design their own lives. To effectively work from home, certain habits have to be adopted because they avoid distraction and encourage productivity. Let's look at what they are:
TV is equal parts entertainment and distraction so make sure you limit your viewing of it while you’re working. If you work near the TV, mute it or switch it off and let it be something you enjoy when you take your breaks.
Wake up Bright and Early There’s a great temptation to sleep in until 11 but all this does is take away from you having a full day for you to have all your tasks done by the 6pm. Waking up early allows you to get the most out of your day and still have some hours for yourself at the end of it. Waking up early and sleeping early are the key to having productive and energetic days.
Set a Routine
When I say a routine I don’t mean something strict and rigid but rather a general pathway to guide you to a productive day. This could be waking up, eating, exercising and then four 2 hour periods of work with 30 minutes of rest between them. Your routine will become your habit and this is especially important when you work on your own in your own home, with no supervisor or schedule.
You’re not a robot so don’t treat yourself like one. Take regular breaks while you work so that you don’t get exhausted or feel burnt out by 12pm. Aim to take a break every 90 minutes or so. You need smaller breaks where you go and make yourself a cup of tea and then you need longer breaks where you go for a walk outside or make lunch. Working alone also means that you need a break from the seclusion, so make sure you slot in some face to face interaction with friends; it gives you a good balance.
If you spend the whole day sitting on a sofa or a chair, you won’t get as much activity as your body needs for you to be healthy, so set aside a time for you to do some form of exercise. Whether you want to go for a run or do some yoga at home, exercise not only does wonders for your health but it’s also a good way to break from work and blow off some steam.
Dress for Work
While most people think one of the most awesome things about working from home is spending the whole day in your pyjamas, I’ve found that getting dressed as if you’re going to an office job actually makes you more productive. When you stay in those comfortable clothes, there is no change that takes place in your mind, so you’re less likely to get things done. To have a productive day wake up, get dressed in clothes you would wear out of the house.
Create a Workspace
It’s possible to work in bed or work on the couch but you must also create a dedicated workspace that allows you to mentally separate from the rest of your home. Make it a space that allows you to be productive and creative. When the end of the day comes and you leave that workspace; it will feel like leaving an actual office behind, signalling that the day is over.
Set Tasks for the Day
Avoid spontaneously approaching your work; rather set a list of tasks which you need to complete before the day is over. A good idea is writing each task on a Post-It and sticking it to a wall in your workspace. When one task is done, remove the Post-It until the wall is clear. This helps you push yourself towards achieving real milestones.
I like to set rewards for myself because I feel motivated to get the work done without getting lazy or procrastinating. You can for example, tell yourself that you will browse your favourite blogs only when you are done with everything and not before. This gives you something to look forward to and work hard for.