Working from home can be a dream come true, if you go about it the right way. While more and more jobs are becoming possible to do remotely, more people are vying for those spots that let them get paid to wear pajamas all day. I can’t think of too many jobs that can’t be done remotely nowadays. With everything from Telemedicine to eTherapy and online schooling, we can basically stay in all day and accomplish just as much, if not more, than the guy-next-door who spends half of his life commuting. While it takes some careful planning and it isn’t always easy for those who aren’t self-starters or who lack the motivation to get things done, almost everyone can find their niche in the work from home world. Follow this advice to get started!
That’s right, get out, get some fresh air, go for a walk, smell the flowers and dance in the rain. Not really, but you do need to get out of the house on a regular basis and when working from home this can be pushed to the side without a second thought. It really will take a toll on your mental if you don’t get that necessary vitamin D or say hi to a stranger every so often. I like to plan for 30 minutes a day outside of the house every single day, whether it’s grocery shopping or going to dinner because it’s just as important as any other self-care need.
If you can watch tv, eat lunch, and complete payroll all at the same time, good for you, I can’t. I need to do one thing at a time and have transitions in between to really focus on each thing. Say you’re eating lunch and now it’s time to get back to work. Do you push aside your bowl and open the laptop, or do you get up from the kitchen table, walk to the office, turn on the light and shut the door, then get to work? After just a few repetitions our minds learn that each step in that simple process mean we’re about to focus on work and help prepare us to do so. When you add it all up, the 60 extra seconds that costs is more than worth the ability for to focus for the next 2-4 hours, instead of staying in the kitchen and noticing some crumbs on the floor, checking my phone and grabbing a snack and then having to refocus after each distraction.
Guess what one thing is stolen from employers more than anything else. That’s right, time. Add up all the times in a week, while on the clock, that you make a quick phone call, go to the restroom, stay there a little longer than necessary, get a fresh drink, or do anything other than work. Those are things that employers are generally ok with and expect. Now think of all the times any employee has intentionally ignored anything from an extra coffee break to a whole day off when submitting their time sheets. You don’t want to do that to yourself, so be conscious of the hours you’ve set aside for work and commit to getting the job done inside of those hours. It’ll help you to become more productive in the long run, and you’ll have a valuable sense of efficiency as well.
You may not have an extra room set aside to function as an office, and that’s ok. So long as you use an area that is free from clutter and distractions, with minimal noise, and adequate lighting you should be fine. Curled up in bed typing on your laptop sounds inviting as far as work goes, but that’ll keep you from falling asleep at night, since your body won’t know what to do when you’re laying down in bed anymore. All in all, the benefits of working from home are amazing and it doesn’t take a whole lot of effort to make it work well in my experience. The overall key to working from home is to be able to compartmentalize it, to say to yourself “now I’m at work,” and “now I’m at home.” Best of luck to each one of you, I hope it is all that you dreamed of!