12 Top Tips On How to Work From Home This Year
by Kieran Perry - UK Business Expert and Mentor.
1. Wake Up Early.
When working in an office, your morning commute can help you wake up, and feel ready to work by the time you get to your desk. At home, however, the transition from your bed to your computer is a lot shorter and quicker, so get up earlier than your official starting time to ensure you are ready to be productive. Believe it or not, one way to work from home productively is to dive into your to-do list as soon as you wake up.
2. Pretend your home is like an office.
The mental association you make between work or office space can make you more productive, so when working from home, do all the things you'd do to prepare for an office job: Set your alarm, get up and shower, make a coffee, get dresses in comfortable nice clothes – all before you sit at your desk or home work area.
3. Choose a dedicated work area.
When working from home, you're your own personal manager. Without things like an in-person meeting schedule to break up your day, you can be quick to lose focus or burn out. Just because you're not working at an office doesn't mean you can't, well, have an office. Rather than cooping yourself up in your room or on the couch -- spaces that are associated with leisure time -- dedicate a specific room or surface in your home to work. Make the area nice, clean and professional and ensure you have all the equipment your need to hand.
5. Work when you're at your most productive.
Nobody sprints through their work from morning to evening -- your motivation will naturally ebb and flow throughout the day. When you're working from home, however, it's all the more important to know when those ebbs and flows will take place and plan your schedule around it. Take regular breaks.
6. Plan out what you'll be working on ahead of time.
Spending time figuring out what you'll do today, schedule calls and plan your day in smaller or hourly parts. Planned your task list but be flexible.
7. Use technology to stay connected.
Working from home might help you focus on your work in the short term, but it can also make you feel cut off from the larger operation happening in your head office. Instant messaging and video conferencing can make it easy to check in with your team or management. It’s a good idea to keep a running list of work to do and work achieved daily to advise managers and bosses if they ask what you have been up to today – as it is easy to forget your work contributions.
8. Match your music to the task at hand.
During the day, listening to music if it suits you may help you increase the energy of the project you're working. Keep the TV on in the background quietly if you work alone, it can help you keep in touch with current news updates, and if it does not disturb you it can be a comfort and keep you feeling part of a bigger picture.
9. Communicate expectations with anyone who will be home with you.
Of course, you might be working from home but still have "company." Make sure any roommates, siblings, parents, spouses, and pets respect your space during work hours especially if you’re on the phone or skyping, keep it professional . Just because you're working from home doesn't mean you're home.
10. Take clear breaks.
It can be so easy to get distracted, don’t let the guilt of working in the building you sleep in prevent you from taking five to relax. Rather than just opening YouTube and watching some comfort clips, however, use your breaks to get away from your desk. Go for a walk outside or spend time with others who might also be in the house.
11. Prepare your meals the night before.
When you're in your own home, it can be tempting to spend time preparing a really nice breakfast or lunch for yourself, - but prepare or cook it the night before and set a lunchtime break for yourself. Preparing food ahead of time ensures you can actually use your meal times to eat, and that you aren't performing non-work tasks that spend energy better used at your desk.
12. Pick a definitive finishing time each day.
You might be under the impression that working from home establishes more work-life balance, but be careful with that assumption, you may find it hard to switch off and relax, getting caught up in your work activities.
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