5 Tips for working from home
I get asked a lot about what it's like to work from home and whilst I love it, there is a downside. Sure, it's great to not have a morning commute but it can be lonely at times.
As I've been working from home for a few years now, I thought it might be fun to share some strategies I find helpful to make sure I actually get work done.
1. Create a designated workspace
Although it can be tempting to work from your bed all day (and something I do on occasion), I have found that having a designated workspace helps me to get more done. I know that when I sit down in my office, it's time to get to work.
You don't need to dedicate a whole room of your house to your workspace (unless of course you want to), a small desk in the corner of your bedroom can work just as well. The key is to create a space that works for you.
2. Limit distractions
One of the things I love most about being my own boss is the freedom. I get to choose what I spend my time doing, but not having to answer to anyone else does mean I need to be super disciplined. It's so easy to get caught up in emails or Pinterest, only to realise that hours have gone by.
Something I have found that really works for me, is to limit myself to only checking my inbox twice a day. I check it on a morning when I first sit at my desk and then again in the afternoon. I also limit my social media usage during the day.
3. Don't work in your PJ's
When I first started working from home I found that I would roll out of bed, power up my laptop and before I knew it, it was lunchtime and I was still in my PJ's. Earlier this year I set myself a goal of getting up and getting ready before I start work. It doesn't always happen but for the most part, I'm showered and dressed before I tackle my to-do list.
It makes me feel in control of my day and better prepared to deal with whatever pops up.
4. Set boundaries
This is probably the most important thing I have learnt about working from home, and is especially relevant if you live with other people. It can be easy for others to forget that when you spend all day at home, you actually have work to do. Having clear boundaries helps to eliminate any issues, and helps you stay on track with what you need to get done each day.
This will look different for everyone but some ideas of boundaries to set include:
- Deciding on your office hours. I generally work from 9.30 - 4.30 and my family know that during that time I am working, so if they are at home they try to limit disturbances. Equally, when I finish up work for the day I focus on family time, and try to limit checking emails etc.
- Having a set workspace that is separate from other areas of the house.
- Not working weekends.
- Allocating housework/tasks to each family member so that responsibilities are shared.
5. Have regular 'Skype dates'
Working from home can get lonely and it's easy to start feeling isolated. Although I actually thrive on working alone, I do sometimes miss having a team to bounce ideas around with. Last year I started setting up regular 'Skype dates' with other business owners and now it's something I love to do.
We hop on Skype and chat about what's going on for us, work through challenges we are facing in our businesses and celebrate wins together. It's also a great way to have some accountability in following through with your goals. I love my fellow bossladies and really look forward to our chats.
If you work from home and feel isolated, try reaching out to another freelancer or business owner you admire and build a connection. Then ask if they want to 'meet' on Skype!
Do you work from home? I'd love to know what your tips are so don't be shy and share in the comments below!