Working from home gives many people the flexibility to keep their own hours in the comfort of their own home. However, sometimes it can get too comfortable, and may actually hinder your productivity levels. Here are some tips that will help optimise your home for work and play.
Have a defined work space
This is very important for getting into the mindset that you are starting work. Having a space dedicated to it – no matter how big or small – will encourage productivity. Plonking yourself on the couch in front of the TV or staying in bed may deteriorate motivation levels, and create a subconscious association of those areas with work – which you probably don’t want after work hours. Wherever you choose to make yourself a work space, make sure you have a good desk and chair to keep you comfortable.
Create a tailored schedule
Where possible, keep hours that work for you. So if you’re a night owl and you work best when it’s quiet – and if your line of work allows – why not tailor your work hours to when you feel most productive? You can even divide your hours up so you get breaks to stretch and get some fresh air. Consider doing 3 blocks of 2.5 hours or something similar. However, whatever hours you choose, it’s important to stick to them. Try to avoid working after your hours have finished and don’t make habits of wrapping up whenever you feel like it. Be consistent. Don’t let work time spill into relaxation time.
Dress for work
Again, this has a lot to do with putting you in the right headspace. Staying in your pyjamas may blur the lines between work and play. This doesn’t necessarily mean putting on a suit or dress every morning, just something smart (and even casual) to remind yourself that you’re actually working.
If you’re working in a room, shut the door. An open door may signal to your housemates or family members you’re open to conversations or even interruption. This also means you should avoid letting friends and family stop by whenever they want.
Enjoy your flexibility
If you need a pick-me-up as the day wears on, it’s completely fine to take advantage of your flexibility and enjoy a change of scenery. You can move to your local coffee shop for the last couple of hours – but don’t do this if you find it difficult to concentrate with lots of hustle and bustle around you (unless you have some noise-cancelling earphones handy). You may also want to squeeze in a quick exercise session in your breaks. While doing push-ups in a conventional office may be frowned upon, working from home will give you the freedom to just move into the next room or even into your backyard to do some quick sets to get your heart pumping. Try to leave the house at least once a day to let your brain relax and reset.
Always start with a good breakfast – you’re at home, so there is no excuse. This will provide good fuel for your work day ahead.
Many remote workers find themselves grazing throughout the day, so it’s also important to stock your pantry with healthy snacks. Once again, try to stick to a work schedule with a proper lunch and coffee break and avoid popping into the kitchen whenever you become bored.
Needless to say, every person will have different working habits, and these tips aren’t one-size-fits-all. The best thing to do is use them as a rough guide and play to your strengths.
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