Sometimes it’s necessary to work from home, but if you aren’t used to it, it can be difficult to balance your productivity. Cutting out a commute and staying in the same place all day can be a strange disruption to your work day, and it can be difficult to get used to a new routine. If you’ve recently found yourself having to work from home and feel a bit lost, here are some tips.
Don’t ditch your regular routine
It’s very important to maintain a regular routine to get in the correct mindset for your day. Wake up at the same time every day, and have a routine that you carry out each day. Start (and try to finish) work at the same time each day, so you know those are “working hours”, and you don’t get distracted trying to do other things.
Get dressed for success
It sounds like an obvious one, but getting dressed is a great way of getting ready to work from home. It helps you move out of feeling causal and tired in your pajamas, to bringing back a sense of normality. If you find wearing comfy clothing helps you concentrate better at home, opt for some loungewear, but still make the effort to change out of the clothes you slept in.
It can sometimes be difficult to know where the boundaries of “work” and “home” end when you’re in the same place all day. Set alarms to alert you for when to take breaks throughout the day – try one for a mid-morning hot drink, lunchtime, and potentially a 3pm stretch. When you’ve finished working, move your work gear (laptop, phone, etc.) out of sight, to ease the temptation of carrying on.
Eat regular, healthy meals
When you’re working from home surrounded by your own food, the urge to snack throughout the day can be high. To avoid this, make sure you have lunch planned out for the day, so that you know you have all the ingredients you need, and won’t resort to snacking/skipping your lunch break. Take a look at this article if you’re looking for some ideas on healthy eating on a budget.
Being sat in the same spot all day can not only be uncomfortable, but can also stop the flow of creativity. If possible, work in a separate part of your house to where you spend the majority of your time otherwise. Also try to stand up and walk around occasionally to stretch your body. Maybe go for a walk during your lunch break to get some fresh air. If you’re looking to get more exercise, why not check out our guide on how to keep fit on a budget.
Out of sight, out of mind
If you don’t need your phone for work, consider placing it out of reach. It’s easy to pick up your phone when you find a lull in your work day. However, you can easily get carried away, scrolling and spend hours on your phone getting no work done without really realizing it. If you can, move your phone to another room, or disconnect it from the internet, to ease the temptation.
Write a list of tasks
This is a good tip to do, regardless of where you’re working. Write a checklist of tasks you expect to complete in the day, as well as what you expect to complete by the end of the week. This helps keep you focused on things you should be prioritizing, and gives you a sense of accomplishment once you’re able to tick things off your list. It’s important to keep your tasks realistic – it can be very overwhelming if you expect to complete too much. If you aren’t sure what should be a priority, make sure to check in with your boss and clients regularly.
Using the advice above, working from home can be start to feel just as natural as going to the office once you’re used to it. With workplaces becoming increasingly digitized, it’s likely that many more of us will be doing it in the future.