Since I don’t have an own office, there are many days where I work from home. I really enjoy the benefits of my home office, like the flexibility of working hours, unscheduled days off and exchanging my suit for comfortable orange pants. However, everyone, who works from a home office knows that there are several challenges. Many times I caught myself cleaning the house, watching TV or reading the newspaper during working hours. I’m less creative, easily distracted and less motivated to start long and complex tasks. Since I have a lot of work to do after IMEX America, I was looking for some tips to work more efficiently at home. I want to share my best with you.
Keep a regular schedule
It is great to have some flexible working hours, but if you get too flexible in your schedule, you will loose the distinction between work and home life. Try to stick to a regular work schedule like office workers do. Get up each morning at the same time, get dressed and have breakfast before you start your daily tasks. Write down your To Do’s for each day in advance, including non work-related tasks and breaks. I finish each working day by scheduling my tasks for the next day.
Create your own workspace
It is a big advantage if you have a separate room you can use as your office. If there is no spare room left, designate any area in the living room or bedroom that can serve the purpose. Ensure that you give your space the appearance of an office and keep everything you need nearby. Make your work area as attractive as possible with sufficient bright daylight, a comfortable temperature, plants and family photos.
Shut off distractions
Keep everything that could disturb you while working as far away as possible. Switch on the answering machine of your phone during working hours. You can use an office phone for important and work-related calls. Teach your friends and family what your working hours are and that they cannot disturb you in these times. If you don’t need to be online, disconnect from the internet to avoid useless surfing and social media activities. You can schedule regular times to check your mail or Facebook channel.
Take your breaks
Working from home can also make you feel lonely and depressed because you don’t have colleagues to talk to. Furthermore, your creativity will suffer if you spent all your day in the same room staring on the same screen. For home workers it is crucial to take breaks, go outside and meet other people. Take a walk, have coffee with a friend during lunch break or hit the gym. There are endless alternatives to spent one hour of free time. Do whatever helps you to get motivated and relax.
How do you work at home?
For me, the most important lesson was to separate working time from free time. How do you experience working from your home office? How do you plan your working day to be efficient? I would love to hear your tips and ideas.