It seems that a popular trend in 2014-2016 was working from home. While it may seem cool looking at it from the outside in, it certainly can be challenging if you are new to it. The biggest problem when it comes to working from home lies in the idea that no one is there to supervise you or hold you accountable. To most people, that creates a lack of motivation and often confusion on how to balance getting work done with attending to all the distractions.
Here are a few tips you can use on effectively working from home.
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1. Make an agenda, and meet it
One of the hardest parts of working from home is getting everything on your agenda done, and many times your success or failure boils down to the mood you’re in. Pushing items back due to your lack of interest in accomplishing them can be very dangerous to someone who works from home. Think about how many tasks you accomplish at work that you truly don’t care to, and yet you probably hold a very different attitude towards those you do at home. Part of a successful routine working from home is ensuring you look at your home no different than you would your office, and don’t actually consider things you need to accomplish as optional.
A great strategy is to write all pre-planned items in one color on your calendar and then all those new upcoming items in another. This color coordination allows you to see which tasks you started with for the day, and which under no circumstance can be left undone. Using an old school paper calendar can also be helpful, so that your eyes can look away from the computer you use all day and focus on what to work on next.
2. Be on time
If you are setting the agenda, then it can be very difficult to honor the times you have set aside for yourself. In other words, you may say that each day you will start your day by going to the gym from 8-10 but end up sleeping in till 9. It is imperative that you respect your own time, and consider all your activities on your calendar of equal importance. Since your home life and business life are not merged, both sides needs mutual respect from you. Make sure to be honest with yourself and stick to your timetables.
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3. Silence your phone. Cut off your email
Depending on if you have kids or not, this one may be a bit tricky, but once you try it a few times, you‘ll quickly realize why it is so important. While it may seem cool to work with music or check emails often throughout the day, or even chat with friends while working; it is also very counter-productive on many levels. Work in a quiet place without interruptions or distractions, and you’ll see how much more you get done — even compared to when you were working in an office.
4. Take breaks outside of your home
Too many people make the mistake of taking their breaks by just grabbing a bite in the fridge or simply changing rooms in the house for a few minutes. Instead, try to take a few minutes and get some fresh air. Run to the local cafe and grab a coffee. Leaving your house will give you a feeling of being refreshed, and enable you to get back to work faster and harder than before.
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Working from home is a good thing as long as you remain disciplined. At the end of the day realize that you are no longer trading company time for money, but instead are trading your very own time, which should be 10 times more valuable. So make it count…