Whether you’re a contractor, a business owner or a virtual employee, working from home may be one of the best things happening for you. You can work at your own pace, your own hours. You can work in your PJ’s and no one will really care. You can set standards for yourself and be your own boss. But, while working at home can be fun, it may also drain you out or make you feel lazy especially with all the distractions surrounding you. Here are some simple ways of getting you back to your work mode.
Clear the clutter
Whether the clutter is in front of you or inside of you. Clear your mind. Visualize the task on hand. Make mental notes and tackle the day’s work. But before doing that, make sure that you have a clean, wide space to work on. Don’t let yesterday’s trash settle on your table. Throw old papers, finished documents, soda bottles from yesterday’s break and other clutter. Be sure that only work-related things are on your desk to keep you focused.
Prepare as if you are going to work
Sure it’s nice to work in your PJ’s or loungewear but making the extra preparation will make you feel more motivated and more professional. Simple things like taking a bath, fixing your hair and changing clothes will make a world of difference to your work attitude for the day.
Whatever organization method that works for you, do it. Make a list, keep a journal or make an online organizer. It’s fun to tick off tasks as you finish them. You’ll have a sense of pride and accomplishment at the end of the day when you see that you finished everything on your list.
Stop when you’re in a rut
Stand up, walk around, get something to drink when you feel stuck. Can’t solve a problem? Look out the window and watch nature or watch the people on the street going about their day. Then go back to your desk and you will be able to see your task in a different perspective.
Give yourself frequent breaks
Just like in a normal office, have coffee or tea breaks, bathroom breaks, 15-minute breaks or whatever break it is that you fancy. Take a power lunch if you have flexible working hours. You will feel refreshed and ready for action after each break.
Don’t get distracted
Just because you’re working at home means that you can sneak a TV show or two or check Facebook every 5 minutes. You have to be responsible enough to finish your tasks for the day at the given time. Don’t let friends and family distract you while you’re in your “work hours”. Inform everyone to treat you as if you are in the office during these times.
Start and finish your work on time
If you need to start working at 9 am, be at your desk at 9 am. If your work day ends at 5 pm then finish at 5 pm. Do not extend your working hours if you don’t need to. Many employers think that because their employees are working from home that they get cheated on the work hours. This is commonly not the case as people who work from home tend to work longer. This is because (most of the time) they don’t need to go out to eat, they don’t need to commute, they don’t need to catch a bus or a train to go home or they want to hurry home to spend more time with their family. All these things are no longer a problem when working from home so an employee tends to do over time work. Stick to your schedule. Don’t be tempted to go back to your work after you feel rested. This kills your creativity and can lead to burning out.
At the end of the day, give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done. You can do small things for yourself like having an ice cream or watching TV (because you’ve been deprived all day). You can also go out to get some air and do a little socializing. Take your family to dinner or watch a movie with a friend. This is good for you as it gets you out of your work environment.
Working from home is very rewarding. You just need to have enough discipline, focus and motivation to keep you going.
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