I’ve been working from home for the past 6 years, firstly in recruitment & now as a freelance writer/blogger. For many the idea of working in pyjamas on the sofa whilst catching up on Hollyoaks is a dream but it can also be incredibly hard to stay focused & actually get work done when you’re in your own home environment.
I like to think that I’ve got it pretty much sorted nowadays with my beautiful home office, although these points definitely remind me of the way I should keep on track.
1. Keep to your working hours – if you are employed then you’ll know exactly what time you’re supposed to start/finish work so make sure to stick to that. If you’re self employed then work out how many hours you realistically need to work a week & then set certain hours. This means turn off your computer at 5pm & then LEAVE IT ALONE.
It’s all too easy to check emails throughout an evening or quickly add something you’ve thought about. I’m guilty of this but when work & home life overlap or combine, it can be hard to segregate them & find a balance.
2. Get yourself a desk – working from the sofa on some days when you aren’t feeling 100% is totally allowed but finding a little nook in your home (whether thats a whole room for an office or a little space under the stairs to build a desk) will help you feel more psychologically ‘in it’. Having a proper desk & chair will also help your back & posture rather than slumping on a sofa or at an uncomfortable dining room chair.
3. Get dressed – personally, I don’t do this one as I’m a huge pyjama lover & we as a family get changed into our ‘jambies’ as soon as we get home anyway. BUT I can 100% see the positive in it & if I was doing an office type job with full time set hours (especially if Skype meetings were involved…nobody would take me seriously with bedhead & pug PJ’s) then I would consider it. Getting dressed & putting on makeup not only makes your look more presentable but also feel better in yourself, you’re bound to be more productive if you’ve at least had a shower.
4. Step away from housework – it’s all too easy to give yourself 5 minutes here & there to pop a load of washing on or empty the dishwasher but could you do that if you were in an office? Respect the fact that you’re working set hours & need to get stuff done. In the long run you’ll just put too much pressure on yourself to get everything done which isn’t realistic.
5. Take a lunch break – if you’re working full time then make sure to take an hour long lunch break where you step away from your desk & ideally go outside, whether thats in to your garden or for a walk around the block to clear your mind & get some fresh air. It can be all too easy to stay cooped up inside but if you were at an office then you’d be walking to/from remember.
6. Hide the biscuits – this has been a huge problem for me. Being at home means so much more temptation to eat. Unless you have crazy will power then hide the biscuit tin (& anything else naught that you can easily nibble on at your desk..) or simply don’t buy them at all.