Working from home is easier said than done for many. When you’re home, distractions abound, especially if family members are working from home with you.
Follow these tips to create a productive workday, even if you never walk out of your front door.
Separate your home space from your office
If you don’t have a home office, it’s time to set one up, even if it’s only short term. Setting up a workspace helps your brain transition from home life to work life and back again.
Tempting as it may be, never work from your couch or the bed.
These spaces should be used to relax. If you’re able to swing it, having a room with a door can be helpful. That way, you’re able to physically shut yourself off from your normal space.
Dress the part
You wouldn’t show up to the office in pajamas - don’t show up to your home office that way either.
Get dressed when you get out of bed in the morning, do your hair, etc. Shower on your normal schedule.
You’ll be ready for video calls at a moment’s notice, and you’ll get your brain into your normal work routine.
Just like at work, it’s vital that you take breaks from time to time throughout the day.
Taking ten minutes to walk around the block, stepping outside to call a friend, or taking a few minutes for a fresh cup of coffee can all help you get the mental clarity you need to refocus on the tasks at hand.
Don’t worry that your boss will think you’re not working if you don’t respond to an email in a moment’s notice - as long as you get back to them within an hour, you’re in the clear.
Stop multitasking (chores)
When you’re working from home, it’s tempting to be doing laundry, cleaning, working on home improvement projects, etc.
It’s ok if you don’t spend every second busying yourself with a task. Just like when you’re at work, there are natural lulls in the flow of your day.
These are necessary for you to stay focused without getting burned out. You wouldn't be doing laundry at work, so save the chores until later.
Let family members know when you are working
Just like when you’re at work, if they have an emergency, of course they can reach out to you.
For normal, everyday matters?
They need to wait.
Set a schedule for yourself and stick to it.
It may be helpful to post your schedule somewhere in your house, like on the door to your office space, so that family members know when you can and can’t be disturbed.
If your significant other is also working from home, and you’re working to take care of kids, you may want to set up alternating work times so that you can manage the household well.
Think about a stand-up desk
Sitting all day can wreak havoc on your back, especially if you’re in a chair that wasn’t meant to be used for an 8-hour workday.
Investing in a stand-up desk can be a great way to get you up and moving.
Many people find they get more done when they’re at a stand-up desk.
Standing up begets movement, and movement begets energy.
Prepare as normal
If you normally pack a lunch the night before and eat while catching up on emails, do that at home too.
If you normally take a half-hour to relax and refocus after lunch, keep that routine.
Typically set out your work clothes the night before?
Keep it up.
No matter what your daily routine, you’ll want to stick to it as much as possible while you’re working from home.
Working from home can be a great way to stay on task when you can’t go into the office, but it’s important to keep distractions to a minimum.
By following these tips, you’ll be able to impress your boss and coworkers with how much you’re able to get done, even when you can’t put in your normal face time.