5 Tips to be More Productive Working from Home
For the small business owner whose office is based at home, Contributor Janine Ripper gives us her advice to make it work.
If you’re lucky to have the flexibility of working from home, or if you own your own business and home is your actual office, you’ll know that it has its definite perks.
But to be honest with you, working for home can also be quite a challenge! Getting out of bed, for instance. That can be quite challenging, especially in the winter months! And then there’s the social isolation. At times you can go weeks without seeing anyone, and even for an introvert like me it can get a little lonely!
So here are 5 tips to help you be more productive when working from home:
Choose a workspace
Designate a room, or if a spare room isn’t available a space in your house, to work and work only.
Make sure the workspace you choose is comfortable as you don’t want to be freezing cold in winter or sweating buckets in summer, but try not to make it cozy…I’ve made that mistake before and that leads to one thing and one thing only…naps!
Also, do your best to keep your workspace clean and clutter free – it will make work so much more pleasurable, keep your mind clutter free, and help to minimise distractions.
Set up your workspace
Respect your body and the work you do by investing in some good office furniture. Invest in an ergonomic office chair or even a stand up desk (the ones that allow you to move between sitting and standing are all the rage the moment), and set your workspace up ergonomically just like you would in an actual office. Seriously, you don’t want to be suffering from backache, neck pain and migraines because you have a poorly set up workstation at home!
You also want to feel inspired to do what you do, so surround yourself with things that inspire you to work – vision boards are a great way to do that!
Take regular breaks
It’s incredibly easy to forget to take your breaks when you don’t have far to go to work. If the furthest you have to travel is from bed to the desk to the kitchen and to then onto the couch, it can become really easy to skip your breaks. And with the mobility of laptops and other devices you can certainly fall into the habit of carrying your work with you to the couch after you were meant to have shut down for the evening.
Just like you would in an actual office, get into the habit of taking regular breaks, as well as starting and finishing at reasonable times. Just because you work from home, it doesn’t mean you can let your health suffer by skipping meals, not exercising, or burning out!
If you find it hard to remember to take breaks or log off for the day, or are just plain lazy, schedule breaks into your calendar with reminders built in – because you know you need to be reminded! And if you are in the habit of eating at your desk whilst working, cut it out and hit the pavement – leave the house and go for a little walk around the block on your lunch break. You will so much better for it!
It’s REALLY easy to be distracted by dirty dishes, piles of clothes, TV, the dog…
Minimise distractions by ensuring that your allocated workspace is away from the general household chaos. If you can’t do this, then you either need to do your best to ignore it, or make sure it doesn’t exist. That might mean cleaning the kitchen before going to bed in the evening!
Other tips to minimise distractions are to keep the TV turned off, to make the bed on waking, and to play some music to help get you in – and keep you in – the work mood. Alternatively, if music is a distraction for you make sure there is silence or find some good Podcasts to play in the background that are associated to what you do or inspire you!
It’s REALLY easy to be distracted by dirty dishes, piles of clothes, TV, the dog… #workfromhome
Get out and about
So many cafes and other places have free wifi these days, so do yourself a favour and allocate part of your budget to a weekly or fortnightly outing to work from a cafe, library, or other place with good wifi. Even if it’s only for a few hours, this will help to break the social isolation before it sets in, get you dressed (out of those track suit pants) and out of the house, and help clear the brain fog. You may even meet some new, likeminded people!
About the Author: Janine Ripper
Janine Ripper is a freelance writer, digital nomad and coach who helps women bloggers, small businesses and organisations who in truly believing that they could do it all themselves, now admit they need a little help (which is okay!).
Check out Janine's blog here: http://reflectionsfromaredhead.com/