By Sharon Chihaka Chanyau
Working from home may be fun as you do it at your own time and schedule. It is common knowledge that the joys of working from home are equally threatened by the joys of procastination and the temptations of lying on the couch and watching telly. I can think of a lot of good things and advantages of working from home but one disadvantage is that it tends to distort the boundaries between work and personal life.
So how do we stay productive, and at the same time stay sane?
Set your working hours.
Commit yourself to office-like hours routine just like you do when in full time work, that way you are more likely to get work done during those hours. Working from home is really cool and one good thing is you can set your own working hours. For instance I mostly work in the night to correspond with the USA and Canada time zones. I live in Cyprus btw, and most of my clients are in the USA and Canada. Clients? You ask. Yes, I am a Virtual Assistant and Blogger. (Enough of me) Routines differ, some people work effectively in the morning, others in the afternoon, still others at the witching hour. If you work better at night, and the kind of work that you do permits it, start work at 7:00pm. But whatever your hours are, make yourself a routine, and be committed to it. Read more about my Journey (Virtual Assistance).
Take short breaks
These are important! Short breaks like making and eating lunch, can recharge you to do better work. It is wrong to assume you need to be working 100% of the time while you’re home to be more productive.
Light exercise like standing up to stretch, going out for walks, popping into the garden and, once or twice a day. On the other hand a more vigorous workout will keep your mind more alert and your body less desk-shaped. Taking some time to exercise will also ensure your relationship with the home office doesn’t feel constricting and claustrophobic.
Working from home means there is no line manager who will come for appraisals so you need to invent your own checking systems. Plan out what you’ll be working on ahead of time. Schedule, if possible, around your natural schedule. Make sure you follow the laid out plan. Believe me at the end of the day you want to feel like you are going somewhere and ensure that years don’t pass by without any noticeable achievements in money or, especially, job satisfaction.
Take some time to do something you love which is not remunerative, something for you. In your schedule allow time for self-improvement and self-care, whether that’s painting, reading, creative writing. Work can feel like fun at times, but it’s rarely the real thing. You can take on something useless – as in not remunerative or take some time to reward yourself – for example visit a Spa or a Nail Bar to get your nails done. Me time is essential for mental health.
Choose a dedicated work space.
Have a place dedicated space to working (it doesn’t have to be big). It could be a certain table, chair, local coffee shop. That way, when you enter it or sit down, you know straight away what you are there to do. Having a dedicated working space helps you get into the right frame of mind. On that note if you choose a room make your environment clean and bright.
Interact with other humans.
This may sound funny but this is very important. As a human being you need to interact with other people. I know there are deadlines and big goals to achieve but just take an hour or two during the day to talk to other people. Answer emails, call and a have a chat with a friend. This may also boost your level of creativity and energy as it may relax you.
Know when to stop.
When I started blogging I would work long hours as the pressure to perform was upon me. This may make you feel like you have worked hard and done a lot in a day but it may take a toll on your body and health. Avoid working late into the night. If need be, set defined times when you are going to work, and then when it passes, STOP. You can allow a leeway of an hour or an hour and a half but make sure that you do not end up letting work run your life.
Cheers and happy working from home.
»»I may have made you think of hiring a Virtual Assistance. Before you do that check out Before you hire a VA.
“Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop.” – Ovid
© 2017 Sharon Chihaka Chanyau ALL RIGHTS RESERVED