For the last few years, I have been working from home. People often ask me if it is possible to work from home effectively. Whilst, admittedly, there are distractions in the household, they are easy to manage with a bit of careful planning. Over the years I have fine-tuned my routine and adopted habits which I believe enable to me to get the most out of working from home. Here are my top tips – I hope you find them useful.
Whilst the morning coffee is brewing, make use of those spare minutes and get dressed. It doesn’t need to be anything too smart. An outfit like jeans and a shirt or a jumper dress is enough to look ‘put together’ and give others the impression that you mean business. When I first started working from home, I just stayed in my pyjamas all day. However, I soon stopped doing this as it started to get embarrassing if I needed to answer the door. Also, it wasn’t a great look for when my partner returned home from work. Furthermore, when I do change into my pyjamas in the evening it signifies that my work day is officially over. This helps me to define a work/life boundary too.
When you are at home all day, it’s all too easy to snack on anything and everything in sight. If, like me, you find this prospect irresistible, it pays to stock the kitchen with healthy snacks. These could include grapes, sunflower seeds or even some chopped up raw carrot. It is also worthwhile to eat decent breakfasts and lunches to minimise those hunger pangs. There are many healthy and easy to make recipes in this book, written by the makers of Innocent Smoothies.
Designate a work area.
Our dining table only gets used as a dining table when we have friends over. The rest of the time it is my desk and is where the printer, stationary and work documents live. Whether it is the end of your dining table or a proper desk, you definitely need a designated work space. This will increase your productivity as it sends a clear message that you are working and you are less likely to be disturbed.
Leave the house.
A little walk everyday certainly helps to clear the mind as well as getting those muscles moving. Just getting out for half an hour a day works wonders for my productivity. It is also possible to earn some extra money whilst you venture out for a short while. You could take part in a postal survey, or even complete some online surveys on Prolific Academic. Another option is to pick up an item or two from the pound shop to resell on Ebay.
Get involved in charity work.
If you miss having regular contact with others and can spare some time, why not seek out a volunteering position. In my role I have some quiet times, when I don’t have any projects for days at a time. So, I work in the local charity shop and this fills that time perfectly. It is also a great way to get to know and immerse yourself in the local community. Check out my post on this here.
Keep on top of the housework.
Whilst we don’t have a set in stone housework rota, I like to dedicate half an hour a day to housework. As long as the place is kept tidy, this is enough and prevents me from getting distracted by chores. We tend to put items away as we use them and avoid hoarding things. Also, when we have finished in a room, we leave it as we found it. A recent read of Marie Kondo’s The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up – really helped me reinforce my beliefs and has also given me some new ideas.