Many see working from home as the ideal scenario and if efficiently managed, it can be ideal for anyone. As a virtual assistant or entrepreneur, this may be your only option. As someone working from home at the beginning of 2018, you probably set some New Year’s resolutions for yourself, your health and your business. Are you still sticking to them? Already feeling jaded? To successfully work from home you need a certain mindset, need to be methodical, focused and dedicated, or it could lead to a feeling of loneliness and even make your work seem a little unfulfilling.
Here are some tips to master the ‘Working from Home’ phenomenon.
- Designate a special area for work.It doesn’t matter how small this area is. Keep clutter at bay and make it your own. Don’t be tempted by the television, bed or refrigerator!
- Set alarms for breaks. Whether it’s for lunch, a healthy snack or exercise, a break is recommended after one hour of screen time. Ensure a proper lunch is taken, store herb or caffeine-free teas, and keep your water intake up. Any coffee-lovers should be aware of their caffeine intake (I find this one to be particularly difficult).
- Exercise. During your break(s), walk around, stretch, get fresh air – it’s even better if it’s outside. You don’t have to be a fitness enthusiast, jogging on the spot, touching toes, doing jumping jacks, or even skipping. Take time to smell the flowers, listen to birds; nature and exercise can boost health and decrease stress.
- Choose an accountability partner. This is someone whom you trust and who might currently be or might have been in the same position as you. Discuss anything you wish, just be sure to keep each other on top of your tasks and objectives.
- Communicate. Verbally touch base with a friend. Have a conversation with someone about something other than work, or work in a café for the day. Have contact with people – beating isolation is the aim.
- Create a ‘To-Do’ list. People don’t usually like it, but it may help to keep yourself in check. Try doing it before you switch off for the night. In no set order, just list everything and deal with how you’ll tackle them the next day. At least this way they are written down! This reduces stress and work inertia (spending 10 – 15 mins when you get to your desk, wondering what to start with for the day).
- Learn a skill. Yes, even with your already demanding life, professional and personal development is important. It can be for work or leisure. You have to keep up with the ever-changing ways business is conducted, so you will be doing it indirectly. It helps to enhance self-esteem, encourage social interaction and a more active life.
- Give back. Whether it’s your time or money to a charity, school, church, hospital, etc. Those who show a genuine interest in others are more likely to be happy.
- Schedule in your ‘weekends’ or work-free time. Life can be a never-ending work period if you don’t give yourself a break. Whether your weekend is Monday and Tuesday, or any other period of the week, try to have work-free time if you can.
- Enjoy your freedom. Your situation allows control of your working life. Take in a cheaper matinee show, have a longer lunch break, and/or stop when it gets too much. You know best how to schedule the work to ensure you meet your deadlines.
- Housework! Don’t be tempted to do this during working hours. It is a form of procrastination in its simplest form.
You don’t have to be fanatical about following tips or guidelines to survive and remain productive while working from home. A little planning will ensure success.
Doing all this with children is a post for another time! Stay happy, healthy and productive.