On the face of it, working from home is bliss. You have freedom, flexible hours, relaxed dress codes, and unlimited access to the fridge! What’s not to love?
To make working from home work well, structure is important.
Structure for yourself and your environment.
If you can achieve structure in the early days, you’ll be able to avoid the inevitable distractions that make a well-intentioned business day an unproductive one.
Let’s Talk About Distractions
Your home might feel like a sanctuary compared to a busy office, but don’t let it fool you! You may not have a co-worker asking for paper clips, the boss giving you instructions or the distracting to & fro of people passing by. However even the comfort of your home can’t save you from some distractions. Such distractions like:
- Housework and clutter.
Yes, you know what I mean.
At home, you have a fridge full of food! I’ll just take a 5 minute break …
Family who are home all day long or extended family members who call to chat because they know you’re home.
Neighbours stopping by to chit-chat. Or you doing some of your housework in the middle of the work day.
They are innocent distractions. But they are distracting you from your PAID work and need to be addressed!
How To Keep Distractions Under Control
1. Have A Dedicated Office Space
A den/study/spare room/ work nook dedicated to your work alone can be extremely beneficial.
Avoid setting up a worktable in the bedroom or in the living room – this can lead to disaster. Having a dedicated work space will put you in the right mindset… that you’re there to work.
Design this work space to have the feel of an office. You could include a plant in the area to add a zen feel, position your desk in a well lit area preferably near the window and minimise furniture.
2. Set A DAILY and Weekly Schedule
Write down a daily and weekly schedule of tasks you need to accomplish for work.
To avoid housework getting your attention, make sure you wake up early every morning and address any housework needed before office time.
Include housework in your schedule too. You can use up your daily afterwork hours, the ones you usually spend for commute back to your home, to do extra housework like doing the laundry.
Simply, treat your hours like normal office hours.
3. Set Ground Rules
Take some time out to consider your own limitations. Think about scenarios that may affect your working day and find solutions to those distractions. For example:
- Set up your own break time to avoid checking the fridge every hour
- Inform family members of your schedule i.e. once the no disturb sign in the door is up it means you’re on work time
- Be frank but polite with neighbours who stop by
- Schedule extra appointments on a specific day and don’t let anything be squeezed in
- Schedule in social media and internet usage so that you’re not depriving yourself (hence managing your time online more efficiently).
While there are no set rules when working from home, setting yourself these kinds of boundaries and schedules are more likely to lead you to a successful work day than one where no structure is in place.
What works best for you when working from home?
FREE Weekly To-Do List Printable
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