Working from home can be a luxury, but if you let it, it can also be your downfall. I’ve been working from home for a couple of years now, and have broken every rule in the book. I’ve let everything disrupt my work, from tv to sleep, instagram to the gym, and everything in between. As a result, I’ve created a working structure for myself that helps me work in a less chaotic manner and means that I’m productive even without deadlines looming.
Here are my tips for being more productive whilst working from home:
It’s very important to make sure you have a suitable working space. The kitchen table is fine, as long as it is the correct height and your chair gives you proper support. If you are not comfortable sitting at your working space, then you need to make some adjustments until you are.
When working from home it is very important to be able to differentiate between working time and relaxing time. If you do not have a dedicated office, you should be able to pack away your work at the end of the day to help you switch off. Not being able to switch off, could affect your ability to switch on again in the mornings.
When you work in an office, you have a routine that enables you to get to work at a reasonable time each day. It’s very easy when working from home to let the morning routine drag a little and find yourself arriving at your desk later and later each morning. Give yourself a routine that starts with the usual shower and breakfast, and allows you to be at your desk and working at the same time each morning.
One thing that I miss from my days of working in a city center office, is the morning journey into work. I often add a brisk 30 minute cycle to my morning, or a walk to my local coffee shop to get a flat white before desk time. Fresh air and a bit of exercise will get you going, and help create a nice divider between home time and work time.
It’s easy to resent being at work all day, unable to take care of your chores. Being at home means that you can get up and load the washing machine whilst you’re waiting for the kettle to boil. You can nip to the post office mid morning, rather than having to wait until lunchtime when the queue takes an hour to conquer. However, if you’re not careful, you can find that these chores take over slightly, and eat into your productivity. If you live with someone else, they can sometimes expect you to be at home keeping on top of things. Unless you are working part time and that is the deal, then you need to set some ground rules. Just because you are at home during the day, does not mean you have the time to do all the cleaning and washing. You might find that paying a cleaner to do a couple of hours each week will help you distance yourself from thinking about mopping the floor when you are supposed to be working.
If like me, you are deadline orientated, working from home may not give you enough structure. If you don’t have work colleagues to meet, and complete work for, then you could find that work slips until over the weekend and into the next week. I like to impose short deadlines on myself that help me complete my work in chunks throughout the day and week. As a perk, I often arrange to meet friends for lunch on a Friday afternoon. If I finish my tasks for the week, I make it an extended lunch. This encourages me to make the most out of the rest of the week, and is a little reminder that if I do it right, working from home is a luxury.
Many mothers find it difficult to juggle work and their children. The flexibility that working from home gives you, can help ease the struggle. workingmums.co.uk has lots of advice & support for mothers wanting to know more.