In my employment over the last 5 years or so I have always had the flexibility to work from home when needed and I have always found myself to be more productive, I would be sat working away and before I knew it, it was 5pm and the end of the day with a to-do list that looked far less like war and peace, and a renewed motivation.
And, here I am now working full time at home, in my little corner of the house, Radio 2 playing and churning out the work, for me this kind of working suits me, yet, I am asked quite often how I manage to focus, and questions such as ‘don’t you get distracted and just end up doing housework?’
Now, I can completely understand how and why people get distracted and wave goodbye to half of their working day, so I thought as part of this blog series about my journey I would share some of my hints and tips for being productive when working from your own home.
It’s all in the prep – People who know me, understand how much I like a routine and a certain predictability to my day but I believe a routine to the start of your day is important to make sure your focus is on the job at hand and not at the ever-building pile of washing. First thing, I get up, get IC ready for his day, make the coffee and wave the boys off. I then get myself ready – I am unable to be motivated in my PJ’s – the lure of the sofa and Netflix becomes all consuming! I then do 15 minutes of jobs, load the dishwasher, put a wash on or (weather permitting) put the washing on the line. I make a coffee (I know 2 cups already) and sit down to start my day.
So, before you embark on a day or a life of home working set yourself a routine that gets you ready for the day ahead. With no commute, there is no opportunity to psych yourself up. My mum, also works from home regularly and she swears by an early morning walk and yoga before she starts her day. Find what works for you and it will give you the focus and energy you need for the day ahead.
Be disciplined – keep to your normal working day, if you work 9-5 with an hour lunch do it at home. If you only have 2 tea breaks in the office do it home. These little activities will help your mind to focus and remember that you are at work even though the environment may be different.
Avoid Distractions – There are times when distractions are almost impossible to avoid. Friday is the day for me when working at home is, in all honesty almost impossible – the Hubby and IC are at home and my gorgeous little boy does not understand that climbing up and randomly pressing my laptop keys isn’t helpful. I am lucky that I have another workspace out of sight of IC that I can use however, my favourite choice is to head off to the local coffee shop, grab a large Latte (I know, I know, too much caffeine) use the WiFi and crack on with what I need to do.
Create a Defined Workspace – Many people work from the kitchen or dining table or even on the sofa when at home. Try and avoid this if you can. If your employer offers the flexibility speak to them about having a screen at home so your set up is the same and you don’t end up stooped over your laptop. Have a workspace that has everything you need for your day on it or even mirrors your workspace at your office so that there are signs there to signal that it is work time.
Be Honest – Home or remote working isn’t for everyone and I know that sadly, in some industries it still has a stigma attached to it. But if it doesn’t work for you currently but you need that flexibility in your role, try setting a routine so that you feel set for the day when you start, or making sure your day has a task with a deadline to help you gain that focus.
I would love to hear your thoughts on these hints and tips or even some of your own – share them on my Facebook page or tag me in your pictures on Instagram!