It’s not all about staying in your pyjamas all day and hanging out at coffee shops (just sometimes maybe!) when working from home.
I’ve been working from home for the last 9 years so I’ve learnt a thing or two about managing my time at home. It’s amazing how that window that hasn’t been cleaned for 5 years, suddenly needs your URGENT attention now!
Here are my top 10 tips for staying on track and slaying your working from home.
1. No Commute = More time
Every morning I thank my lucky stars that the only commute I have to do is down my stairs and into my office. No commute, no traffic lights and not having to make sure you’ve got enough petrol in your car. These extra hours of time are golden. You’ll gain back an extra 5 hours (at least!) from not commuting to work. That’s a lot of extra bonus hours to work with.
2. Have an office space
Making sure you’ve got a designated area to work, sets up daily rituals and gets your brain switched into work mode. Laptops are awesome things but working from the couch or bed may be great (and comfortable), but may not be the best place to be productive (or you may decide to have a sneaky nap!). Kmart has cute little desks that are cost effective but don’t take up too much space either. They are super cute and have that Scandi look which might make you motivated to work at your desk.
3. Get out of your jimmy jams
There’s nothing more relaxing than being in your pj’s. It’s a good idea to ditch them and get your mindset into work mode. So, get out of those jimmy jams and at least put on your Jenny from the Block velvet tracksuit!
4. Make your lunch the night before
Yep. As if you were going to an actual workplace. This does a number ofthings. Firstly, you won't be standing in front of your fridge wondering what you’re going to eat. You could easily lose 20 minutes fluffing around your kitchen deciding on your lunch. Secondly, it forces you to make sure that you have food in the house to make your lunch. Thirdly, you’ll be saving tonnes of money and eating better, because you won’t be going through the drive through to get a quick fix.
5. Give yourself an afternoon off
What’s the point of working from home if you can’t take advantage of it? Set aside an afternoon (or morning) a week to go get your hair done, have a coffee date, or do something just for you. You’ll notice your productivity skyrocket. There’s no better motivation than knowing if you get all your work done, you can reward yourself with some ‘me’ time.
6. Use a Timer
Yep, using a timer when working is a game changer. If you haven’t heard of the “Pomodoro Technique”, have a little google of it. It’s the working from home’s best friend. It’s a time management technique that recommends working in short bursts of time (usually about 25 minutes). Then you give yourself a 5 minute break (which needs to be away from your desk so that you get a real break!). It’s a productivity hack that really works. The Pomodoro Technique is particularly good for those of us who work from home. It gets you motivated to start a task and work, work, work so that you're so laser focused you get the task done. To find out more about the Pomodoro method click here
7. Structure Your Day
Structuring your day is a great way for greater focus and intention in your day. You'll have all of your tasks written down so then you don't get distracted. For example, here's a good way to break up your day to manage your day:-
9:00am Write Blog Post
11:00am Do Creative for Blog Post
12:30pm Proof, edit and publish Blog Post
1:00pm Work Admin
2:50pm Content Creation for Social Media
Planning your day gives you a good guide showing you what matters the most in your day. Writing it down also makes you visualise getting things done.
8. DO NOT do chores
Okay, I’m not shouting (but, yes we are!) DO NOT DO CHORES during work time. Work time is of course for work. It’s very tempting to start ‘procastobaking”. It’s an awesome idea to have some banana bread for your afternoon break. But, you won’t get any work done, and then you’ll be stressed out because you’ve used up an hour of your day baking and not working. No baking = more working!
9. No office banter = more productivity
You may miss discussing in depth the last episode of Game of Thrones around the water cooler. But look on the bright side? You are gaining way more hours in your day cutting out all of the banter. So the more hours you’ve got free in your day, (remember about how we talked about having that afternoon off just for you!) the more flexibility you’ll have.
10. Make friends with a Coffee Place
As much as it’s great working from home, let’s face it, it can be a little lonely being all by yourself. A couple of times a week, schedule into work remotely from your local coffee shop/library/co-working space. It's also a good idea to get out of the house if you're struggling to find the motivation or are having a bad day. Sometimes a change of scenery can get the creative juices flowing.
So there you have it. 10 ways to stay motivated when you’re working from home. It’s definitely not an easy thing to do. But, with the right mindset, and using some of the methods above, you’ll nail the working from home lifestyle.