7 Tips and Tricks for Getting Used to Working From Home
Did you think working from home would be easy? Did you envision lazy mornings spent sipping coffee in your pajamas, followed by afternoons working poolside? Telework offers many benefits — but if you’re not careful, you could meet with one of the pitfalls.
To succeed in working remotely, you need both intrinsic motivation and a sound organizational strategy. You also require quality tools and positive habits. Here are seven workings from home tips and tricks.
1. Invest in a Planner
Whether you manage your calendar via an app or invest in a paper planner doesn’t matter. However, you need a unified system to keep track of your to-do list. Schedule 30 minutes each Sunday evening to plan out the week ahead.
When you make your weekly schedule, ask yourself the following question, “What one daily task will make the biggest difference in reaching my goals?” Perhaps you’re hoping to win a new client — your priority might be designing five slides for an upcoming presentation. Put this item first on your daily to-do list. Once you accomplish it, the rest of your day will prove easier.
2. Set Office Hours and Break Times
“I don’t have to set an alarm clock anymore!” Sure, you might celebrate your liberation from your alarm clock — but human beings are creatures of habit. Setting your hours is key to keeping your productivity in line, especially if your job isn’t task-oriented.
Decide which hours you will work each day and stick to it. Even if you don’t punch a clock, set aside at least 30-45 minutes daily to take a break and recharge. Eating a nutritious lunch will give you the energy you need to power through your afternoon.
3. Create a Distraction-Free Space
Maybe you dreamed of working on your couch in front of the TV. However, distractions sap your energy and productivity — looking up from your focus for “just a quick minute” has a way of morphing into ten.
If you don’t have a private room to use for your home office, dedicate a corner of another space and tell your partner and children that when you’re there, you’re unavailable. If noise distracts you, put on headphones and make a playlist to shut out the din. This hint is also among the top working from home tips and tricks when landscape work or outdoor repairs create a chaotic environment.
4. Choose Your Technology Carefully
When your internet goes down, do you hang up your apron for the day? Or do you tether to your phone or a mobile hotspot? Unless you live in a remote area, you should develop a backup plan for outages. Your strategy may involve driving to a local cafe or library.
Take your time when you buy new computers and office equipment. The quality of your tools determines the amount of work you produce in part. If your budget allows it, select the top-tier option.
5. Communicate With Your Team
Working from home can make you feel lonely. It also makes it tougher for your supervisor to see you tearing it up. Email your co-workers often to ask questions and receive updates about collaborative projects. When you accomplish a goal, let your supervisor know about it. It’s okay to toot your own horn on occasion.
6. Spend 10 Minutes Reviewing Each Day
At the conclusion of each workday, take 10 minutes to reflect on your experience. What went well? What would you like to improve or avoid in the future?
You can also use this time to reorganize your schedule for the following day. If you needed more time to meet a deadline than anticipated, use this data to adjust your hours going forward. It’s normal to work late now and then, but if you’re always scrambling, you might need to ask for assistance.
7. Know When to Say When
When you work from home, it’s easy to let your professional obligations spill over into your family time. After all, your office is right down the hall. However, over time, this dynamic can lead to burnout when you feel like you can never unplug.
After your workday, power down the devices you use on the clock. Close the door to your office — or at least, push in your chair. Then, walk away. Create a small ritual — take a 10-minute walk or enjoy a cup of green tea — to mentally transition from work to play mode.
Get Ahead With These Working From Home Tips and Tricks
Working from home offers many benefits. However, it’s easy to fall into bad habits if you’re not careful. By following the tips and tricks above, you can enjoy success no matter where you locate your home office.
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Also published on Medium.