Work From Home Habits To Keep You Effective And Energized
Working from home can be a dream come true; you don’t have a boss breathing down your neck, judging your process and how long it takes you to do things. Working from home also means skipping the treacherous morning commute listening to people honk aggressively as they run late to work. And working from home means you can do things like walking the dog and folding laundry in the middle of the day. It can, however, be difficult to stay motivated, energized, and even happy when you work from home because you don’t get much social interaction, and you lack the type of structure you’d find at an office. You can have it all, though! You just need to know a few tricks. Here are work from home habits to keep you energized and effective.
Wake up at the same time each day
Don’t fall into the pattern of sleeping until whenever you feel like. This will only drive you working later into the day, meaning you have to miss out on evening social activities like dinner with your family or happy hour with your friends.
Music with lyrics can distract you and make it difficult for you to hear your own thoughts, but instrumental music can give you just the right amount of background sound and creative inspiration.
Work near a window
Working near a window can boost productivity while working facing a wall can make you feel trapped and depressed. Plus, sitting at a window motivates you to work faster since the sooner you’re done, the sooner you can enjoy the world out there!
Put on real clothes
Don’t tell yourself you’ll get dressed “After one more email”—that’s a rabbit hole. Seeing yourself in your robe until 3 pm can cause you to feel depressed, so shower and get dressed in the morning, just like you would for an office job.
Keep personal items far from your desk
You can have some nice photos around you, but put memos from your landlord, utility bills, letters from your child’s school and shopping catalogs somewhere else—these will only distract you.
Tell yourself that as soon as you finish this chunk of work, you get to go for a brisk walk around the neighborhood or have a snack. This makes your day feel more structured.
Make your meals in advance
The kitchen can be a time trap when you work from home. The second you get in there, you dilly dally, and make something fancier than you intended to. Prep your food for the week on the weekends, so you can grab your pre-made lunch from the fridge, just like you would if you worked at an office.
Invest in a great chair
If your chair is uncomfortable, this can lead to muscle fatigue, which can have you shifting around and not focusing on your work. Invest in an ergonomic chair, so you don’t even have to think about your posture or comfort.
Keep your place tidy
If you look around and see a pair of pants there, stacks of mail here and dirty dishes next to that, you’ll constantly get up from your work to tidy up. Do a cleaning sweep each evening so that your place is perfectly clean the next day when you begin working.
Do some work standing
Doing some work standing up at a standing desk. It can help your circulation and prevent you from getting sleepy.
Close all social media
You don’t need to see photos of people on vacation and taking salsa dancing classes while you’re working; these will just make you start looking up airline tickets and dance class schedules.
Schedule your tasks
Schedule certain types of work for certain hours each day. For example, the early mornings can be for doing all of your creative-type of writing; the late mornings can be for answering emails, the afternoons can be for more practical tasks and so on.
Demand respect of your working hours
Tell everyone in your life that, no, you cannot go out to lunch with them, schedule a mid-day mani-pedi, or hang out on a Tuesday afternoon, just because you work from home. You are unavailable from the hours of 9 am to 5 pm.
Do the toughest tasks in the morning
Our creative juices dwindle drastically by noon, so do the tasks that will require the most creative thinking in the morning. Save the more mindless tasks for later in the day.
Let the oven, laundry, or baby’s nap be a timer
Race your chores to get your work done. If you just put your baby down for her nap and you know she naps for 45 minutes at this time of day, then tell yourself you’ll have project X done within 45 minutes. You can do the same when you put something in the oven to bake for an hour.
Talk to somebody
When you take breaks, call a friend or family member—social interaction (even if it’s just over the phone) is energizing for your mind.
Determine a finish time
Don’t tell yourself “Work will take as long as it takes” because then you will let it take too long. Tell yourself that you’ll stop working at 5 pm or 6 pm, and you’ll be amazed at how much faster you work.
Schedule evening socializing
You need to socialize to be happy—it’s part of human brain chemistry. Schedule evening socializing with your friends, so your days and nights aren’t all spent at home (i.e. at your office).
Treat yourself to some travel
If you work from home then technically you can work from anywhere, right? So, do that! Treat yourself to a couple “work” trips a year, where you just go rent an Airbnb in a town you’ve always wanted to visit and live your life from there.
Light a citrus candle
The scent of citrus fruit is uplifting and energizing, and the scent of your trash can, baby diapers, and stale air is not.