How to Manage Working From Home

Posted on - in Travel & Remote Work

For people who have to head into an office job every day, working from home seems like a breeze. Although there are many perks, those of you with remote jobs know this isn’t quite the case.

Some days you may face distraction after distraction. Other days you may find yourself working way past your intended hours. When all your work is home-based, you may struggle to find a happy medium between overwork and falling behind.

It’s essential to hold yourself accountable and keep yourself on task throughout the day. You don’t have the same peer influence you get in an office where you know your boss is looking over your shoulder to check your work.

Working in pajamas is a fun benefit of remote work, but slipping into too casual of a mood can stop you from accomplishing your duties. The next time you’re about to start another day of remote work, think about some tools you can implement to manage to work from home.

Track Your Progress

Use apps or computer programs to track how much you’re finishing in a day. Some of these programs will take pictures of your screen as you work, which is useful for deterring you from social media or unrelated websites.

Set a timer as you work and note how long it takes you to complete certain tasks. Do you go over or under? You may want to try some time management strategies if you’re consistently going over time. Adjust your pace to keep the workday flowing smoothly.

Note the times of day when you’re at peak production and schedule the most intensive tasks for those times. You don’t want to start a big assignment at 3 p.m. when you know this is the time you start mentally winding down. Save rigorous tasks for when you’re in the right headspace and have the most motivation.

You may want to handle interactive tasks like emailing and video-calling after you’re fully awake and energized. By acknowledging and honoring your limits, you produce better work.

Communicate Often

Sitting in your home instead of in an office with dozens of other people can isolate you. If you’re a company employee instead of a freelancer, email your coworkers often to receive updates or ask questions. If you run into a problem with your work, ask someone who knows the answer. Take accountability for any mishaps or errors you make and collaborate with your supervisor to fix them.

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Use forms of communication other than email. Available avenues depend on which platforms your company implements, but many have project management systems to allow employee communication.

Establish a Separate Workspace

Forming a space separate from your bed or couch reinforces your productivity. This division of space also prevents you from burdening yourself with extra work. It’s common for remote workers to blur the lines between personal and work time.

You may find yourself still checking emails or completing tasks after the workday ends. With a designated space, you can physically get up and leave your desk to end the workday.

Crossing from one space to another replicates the feeling of leaving work for the day and discourages you from overworking. This concept works similarly for the start of your day. When you enter your workspace, you’ll know that it’s time to begin and you’ll develop a focused mental state.

Remove Distractions

Distractions are the bane of any remote worker. They appear in the form of television, loud neighbors, house chores and more. You can’t fix them all immediately, but others are within your control.

During your work hours, don’t turn on any devices except for the ones you need for accomplishing tasks. Anything else will take away your attention and reduce your productivity.

Finish necessary tasks like doing laundry or vacuuming in your free time so you won’t feel the urge to complete them during work.

If you have your social media accounts pinned to your browser or desktop, remove them. The less accessible they are, the less likely you’ll be to click on them and get lost in scrolling.

Make Remote Work Simpler

Keep your focus sharp, but always remember to take breaks when you need them. Exhaustion won’t help you finish your tasks. After you take control of your workspace and understand your capabilities, you’ll find it simple to manage working from home.

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Kayla Matthews writes Productivity Theory and is constantly seeking to provide new tips and hacks to keep you motivated and inspired! You can also find her on Huffington Post and Tiny Buddha, and follow her on Google+ and Twitter to stay up to date on her latest productivity posts!

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