7 Steps to Get More Work Done From Home
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Working from home can be difficult at the best of times. (And these aren’t.) You roll out of bed, stagger to your closet and put on a shirt, tie, and coat for that 10:30 video meeting you have to be on in 5 minutes. After the meeting which, let’s face it, could have been an email, you go downstairs to get a bite to eat and start your 6 hour marathon of staring into the fridge in between bouts of guilt and attempting to do something that resembles work. At least your commute to work is short!
“For those of us who work from home every day, the struggle to get work done is real.”
It’s a Challenge To Be Productive
For those of us who work from home every day, the struggle to get work done is real. But we have developed systems and structure to help us get work done. It all starts with these 7 basic changes.
- Dress for work
You don’t have to wear fancy clothes, but don’t wear pajamas. Pajamas are comfortable and send a signal to your brain that you are in relaxation mode. Wear something that puts you in the mode to work, whether that’s jeans and a t-shirt or a suit.
- Set up an office space and don’t play there
Working and playing in the same space sends mixed signals to your brain. This is why it’s so easy to binge watch tv while you are sitting on your couch trying to work. Setting up a space with a work computer that is separate from your relaxation zone is essential.
- Set your meal times and fix small snacks ahead of time
Keeping small snacks nearby keeps you from wandering the house in search of food. And having a set meal time keeps you focused on getting work done.
- Set work hours – Don’t just work whenever you feel the urge
Working from home tends to be a free-for-all. Work gets done at all hours. Which can cause you to be unfocused. Set times for work and times for relaxation. Just because you have control of your schedule, doesn’t mean you can do anything at any time. Create a calendar with scheduled work hours, and lunch times. Limit your work day to 5 or 6 pm and your work week to exclude Saturday and Sunday. Your brain will function better with structure.
- Make a to do list – work on a predetermined set of tasks
Looking at a blank screen is the easiest way to find yourself on the strange part of youtube. Keep a list of things that you need to accomplish each day on your screen or on a list next to your computer. Besides, you will feel accomplished when you have managed to check off your entire list as completed.
- Check in with your coworkers
Brief phone calls or video chats (about work) can refocus your mind and keep you motivated. Just because you’re working remotely doesn’t mean you’re working alone.
- Reward your work
Take small and measure breaks to reward your effort. Watch a brief youtube video. Read an article you are interested in. But limit your time to about 15 minutes. Don’t let your reward consume the rest of your work time.
When you are working from home, you can never truly leave work. At least, it can feel that way. But with these 7 simple changes you can keep working even when your commute only takes you to the other side of the house.
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