Freelancers are very much acquainted with working from home. However, for many, this work-from-home setup might be a new experience. Some dread the idea of working from home as the TV remote is just arms reach, the kitchen is just a few steps away, and for those who don’t live alone, family, friends, roommates, or housemates are always ready to chat.
With all the changes that are happening around us, one must be able to adapt. Come to think of it, distractions are everywhere, not just at home. Working from home can be challenging, but setting good work habits can make this new-normal work-from-home setup doable, and eventually reach success.
1. Setup your “office”
At home is where we feel the most relaxed. Our mind and body recognize this place as a safe place for rest and relaxation. This is why setting up a designated workplace at home is crucial. It can be your room, a table by the window, a corner in the dining room, or on the floor of the living room— choose a spot that works for you.
Having your own space to work will train your mind into thinking that you are there to work; you may be at home, but you are not there to lounge around. You can even decorate your chosen area to make it more comfortable and work conducive.
If you have your own room, make sure that you work out of your bed. Working on your bed might only result in longer break time and little to no accomplishments. Put up a table a few steps away from your bed to avoid the temptation of sleep.
Also, put away the TV remote, your gaming consoles, or any other gadget that will keep you from performing your tasks. Don’t forget to make sure that your home office is set up well and safe.
2. Prepare the night before
Adapting to this new work setup can take a lot of work, hence, you should prepare. Preparing your needed gadgets and materials for work like your computer, planner, pens, and even your clothes for the following day will help calm your nerves.
Being able to locate where your needed things are will make your work-from-home set up run smoothly. This also includes making your to-do list. Knowing your tasks will help clear your mind, and work in an orderly way. Distractions are in abundance at home, so having set a clear goal the night before will make it easier to work the next day.
Many think that working from home equates to being in pajamas in bed all-day. This idea works on others, but not for all. If it works for you, good. But if not, make it a habit to dress up as if you are still going out of your house to work.
You are off to a good start when you decide to dress up as it boosts one’s mood. Doing this will also trick your mind into focusing more despite being at home.
4. Start early
When you go to your office, you wake up early to prepare and get ready for the commute. It is both a disadvantage and an advantage that your commute time has been cut down to zero. It is an advantage as you can have additional minutes or even hours of sleep; it is a disadvantage as well since it can result in a lot of sleeping-in days.
A common misconception about working from home is that you do little work. Many think that because you don’t report to the office, you can sleep in, and be lazy. It is the complete opposite. Working from home means double the work as you have to keep yourself motivated despite the many distractions while doing your regular work tasks. Fight the urge of sleeping in by starting your day early. Being able to start early will enable you to tick all the boxes in your day’s to-do list.
5. Set a schedule
Working from home does not mean unlimited overworking hours. In fact, you can take this opportunity to be kinder to yourself. Setting a schedule for the day will help allocate your time between work and other aspects of life better. For starters, you can follow your regular working hours. Once you’ve adapted, you can make the necessary adjustments that would be beneficial to you.
If you live with your family or housemates, put a note outside on your door or your makeshift office. It can be your schedule for the day or your allotted break times. This will help your housemates know when is the best or most appropriate time to get in touch with you.
Using a timer for work will also help you become more productive. According to studies, the human brain cannot focus for more than 90 minutes, so breaking down tasks will make you reach your goal faster as you give your full attention to each task. Try this timer for much better work performance.
6. Give yourself a break
Working for unending hours will not only tire you physically but mentally and emotionally as well. Despite being in the comforts of your home, you should still give yourself appropriate break times. Having made a work schedule, you must plot your time for breaks too.
Whether you are working at the office or home, exercising is much needed. Long hours of sitting in front of the computer are very damaging to the mind and body. Working from home is not an excuse to skip exercise.
Make time for exercise during your break time, or before or after your work shift. Exercising does not only keep your body healthy and strong, but it also improves one’s mood. The healthier you are and the better mood you have will make you even more productive.
If you are unsure about what exercises to do, you can start with Workingden’s simple exercises that don’t need any equipment.
8. Reward yourself
After a long day at work, reward yourself. The reward can be as simple as a delicious meal, your favorite dessert, or another episode of your favorite TV series. Working at home can still give you stress, so unwinding is a must.
9. Follow your work routine
You may not be able to go out and have coffee runs with your new work-from-home setup and the new normal, but that doesn’t mean you can no longer enjoy a good cup of joe to start your day.
This time, you’ll be making it on your own, at home; see this change as a new learning experience and another thing to look forward to on your next workday. Your work area may have changed, but your work routine doesn’t have to. Adjusting takes time, so sticking to your old work routine is okay.
There is nothing better than resting on your soft bed or comfortable sofa just a few minutes or even seconds after work. No more long commute hours trying your best to stay awake so you won’t miss your stop.
This perhaps is the biggest advantage of working from home. You have more time to enjoy life’s blessings; go and have a meal with your family, watch an episode or two of your favorite TV series, finish a whole movie or book, but more importantly, rest. Your mind and body will thank you for that.
Working from home can be exciting and rewarding as it sounds, however, it takes some work to achieve too. A sudden change in the work environment can take a toll on anyone, so don’t rush. It will take a bit of time adjusting and adapting, but soon enough you’ll get to enjoy this shift.