Working from home can be wonderful. You can choose your own hours, be as comfortable as you like and never have your boss looking over your shoulder. However, it requires a lot of self-discipline, and some initial outlay in terms of purchases. Keeping yourself motivated can be tricky, especially when there is a lovely comfy sofa right next door and nobody to tell you not to go curl up on it. It can be especially hard on those days when you are just not feeling inspired. Focusing on a few key points can help you keep yourself going.
It is important to set boundaries when you work from home, both physically and mentally. Set yourself up in a clearly defined work space and try to keep that area exclusively for work, so when you move away from it you can relax. It is also vital to let friends and family know that your work time should be treated the same as if you were in an office. This is especially true if you have children at home. Let them know that when the door is shut, for example, it means you are working and cannot be interrupted until you have finished. Invest in a separate business phone line and don’t answer the home phone in work hours.
Set Yourself Targets
Setting regular hours for yourself is the best way to be productive, but this doesn’t always work at home, especially if you are caring for children at the same time. Set yourself a target each day and stick to it. This can be a number of hours to spend working, a word count or simply a list of tasks to be completed. Be realistic about these, and try to stick to the hours you set yourself as much as possible.
Take Regular Breaks
When working alone you lose the social aspect of going out to work, and it can also be easy to forget to eat or take screen breaks with no designated lunch break. Ensure you take regular breaks and get outside often, even if it’s just for a stroll around the garden. Eat well, starting with a good breakfast to set yourself up for the day. Most importantly, schedule time out to spend with friends and don’t let your social life suffer because you put too much pressure on yourself to work all hours.
Set Up a Good Work Station
You need to be comfortable and organised whilst working. Set up a practical work area with everything you need in easy reach. Chairs should be supportive and comfortable, files organised well and your desk should be kept clean and tidy at all times.
Dress for the Office
It may seem a bonus to be able to work in your pyjamas all day, but are you really feeling that productive? Dressing in a professional manner makes you feel more professional, and you will find you get a lot more done if you put on smart clothes than if you lounge around in ripped jogging bottoms.
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