It’s been over 3 years that I have been working out of my home office. It is a privilege and I really do not take it lightly. I enjoy every moment of it and count my blessings for the opportunity. As in anything, it comes with some pros and cons and if we do not pay attention, it can really take down your productivity. If you watch the trend, more and more people now have the flexibility to work from home if not a full week at least few days of the week. Then there is a large number of people like us entrepreneurs, start- ups, mompreneur who are working from home.
Here are some common best practices for working from home. Whether you have recently transitioned from employee to business owner or work often from your home office, you’ll love these work from home productivity tips.
Dress for office
The way you dress affects the way you feel. It will also get reflected in your work. The best thing you can to feeling professional is pulling off the pajamas and slipping into something business casual or more professional.
For example, my biggest productivity killer is staying in my pyjamas all day. However, dressing in comfortable, business casual clothing helps me get my day started. Plus it can make you feel the part and in return you will act the part.
Set office hours
You need to be disciplined about your working hours when you work from home. This will make or break your productivity and effectiveness. Often times, entrepreneurs who work from home think that they can do chores, and spend time with friends all throughout the day. If you want to improve your focus and attention span this is not the way to go. However, setting and sticking to office hours will maximize productivity and make it easier to tell your friends no to impromptu hangout sessions.
Creating a to-do list
I personally make my to-do list every day. It helps me staying on track and stick to my schedule. The other thing I do is to set time on my phone – allocating time slots for certain projects, which makes me stay on time and not let any distraction come in my way.
Sitting in the same space for hours, staring at the same four walls all day without interaction can easily make you feel drained and isolated. Getting some fresh air, taking breaks, and leaving your home office for lunch or just a walk will help you refreshed.
If you’re not convinced, stepping outside can boost your energy levels (it’s a scientific fact). “Inhaling fresh air helps clear your lungs and enables you to take deeper, longer breaths of air — which increases the amount of oxygen that’s transported to your body’s cells. Increased oxygen in your body translates to greater energy and clarity of mind (Livestrong).”
Without anyone monitoring with you self-discipline is key. Put your mobile devices in Airplane mode if you need to work on something that requires full attention. Social media can be a biggest killer of time, monitor how much time you’re spending on social media. I prefer keeping phone’s ringer off and pre-empt common distractions to avoid wasting my day. Limit time waster activities to breaks and after work hours to get the most from your work day.
Switch it up
I feel trapped sitting at the same place and looking at the same walls for days. I love switching my work places to a nice cafe be it Starbucks or some other cozy cafe with minimal traffic. There are a lot of perks to working from home so take advantage of it! If you’re sick work from your living room sofa, if your restless take your laptop to Starbucks for the day, and if you want to take a trip the world is your office. A change in scenery or a comfortable location can make you more effective.