– Working from home? That must be a dream come true! I wish I had an opportunity like this!
I hear this every time somebody new asks me how I make a living. And let me tell you, having an office at your house can be awesome, but only if you follow certain rules, by this I mean some golden rules for success.
To begin with, before I quit my office 9 – 17 job that I truly hated, I thought that working from home and being self-employed had to be so easy. Like a piece of cake – really delicious one, like this one you buy on your cheat day. Imagine my surprise, when shortly after, I had to face up to reality, put away my little fantasies and come down to Earth. God, that was really depressing. At first, I didn’t understand what I was doing wrong. I struggled with concentration and low motivation. I couldn’t think clearly or even focus on a simple task. It was like having a constant brain fog. It was so confusing and discouraging.
Honestly, I’ve always considered myself a self-motivated, well-organized and creative person. Well, surely I am creative. I still remember my piece of art from my kindergarten years… But… when it comes to specifying my goals and by this, I mean reasonable and measurable goals, I can be a little detached from reality. Not because I am a person with undaunted optimism, but because I believe with hard work and dedication anything can be accomplished. You know this saying that nothing worth having comes easy – I truly believe it. So, did my research, asked my friends and every single person I know who works from home and I used my experience from my college years and as a result, I came up with my 10 commandments of how to work from home efficiently. If you are interested try them out and let me know if they work!
Serious tips, tricks, and healthy hacks to stay productive while working from home
1. Create your working place
- Setting up a functional workspace, a dedicated office space is a key to success because the best way to focus is to create favorable conditions. You really don’t want to turn your entire house into your office. While many people are able to work on the kitchen table you may not be one of them. Thus, pretending that you’re going to the office building is quite a good and proper solution. So, get some office supplies and, portable coffee mug and a healthy snack in order to stay away from the kitchen for as long as possible.
- Having an office at home makes harder to focus on your actual work because the likelihood of distractions is quite high. However, dealing efficiently with procrastination is not as hard as you think. It requires practice, skills and some common sense. Because productivity and creativity do not always go hand-in-hand, you have to find your own rhythm. Personally, I would describe it as “managing chaos” kind of thing. In order to do this efficiently, you have to identify potential risks that could endanger your focus and affect your productivity in a negative way.
2. Establish a working schedule and stick to it
- Setting working hours is extremely important if you want to work from home efficiently. So, the first thing to do is to create a daily plan and prioritize your tasks which will provide a structure and discipline into your working days. Because schedule means getting things done do not underestimate its importance, especially if you consider the monetary value of your time. “Remember that time is money” just like Benjamin Franklin said. And if you are, self-employed, your own boss, you are responsible for paying your own salary, no one else. That’s a powerful motivator.
- Always plan to progress by setting macro and micro goals
- Establish work-private life balance because you will need some free days just to clear up your mind and recharge your batteries
- Do not mix work with your free time it will lead to procrastination.
3. Use cloud storage
There are many advantages of using cloud storage for your business, especially if you work from home, coffee shop or you commute by subway or train.
For me personally, the most important is:
- Global access: Online data storage gives you an incredible possibility to work from anywhere. All you need is an internet connection.
- Safety: Never underestimate a backup. If you have ever lost all your data you know how important is to keep your files, projects, photos all stored in one safe place which cloud storage surely is.
- Price: Saving money is always a good idea especially if reducing costs is done in a reasonable manner. Having said that, cloud data storage provides affordable prices for its users.
- Communication: Working outside an office building makes you understand how communication and collaboration with colleagues or your business partners differ. Online data storage allows you to share your data easily by sending a web link to the recipients via mail. And you know what? You can do it from any WiFi enabled establishment.
With this being said, I personally love cloud data storage because it makes my work so much easier and more flexible.
- You probably noticed that motivation is not constant, it changes drastically even in a relatively short period of time. Sometimes, it’s a matter of seconds. We all have bad days, in which we feel completely overwhelmed and nothing seems to be possible. In order to overcome this impasse, you need a crisis management plan. Even, some simple tips can be a good thing. Personally, in these kinds of moments, I take a quick break to refresh my mind. Then, I look at my goal structure (printed & hanged above the desk) which remembers me what I am doing and what I want to achieve. And remember, the best way to free yourself from negative thoughts is to not fight with them. If you do that they will leave you on a very short notice.
- As mentioned before, specifying your goals motivates you in turning your ideas of a perfect future into reality. So, don’t hesitate, define your macro & micro goals now – this is the key to success.
It is not a secret, that a lot depends on the approach. Working from home can be easier and less stressful but only if you have a right attitude otherwise the plenty of potential distractions will overpower you. What, I mean about this is that you have to be self-disciplined and conscious. If it is your weak side, don’t worry, practice makes perfect.
5. Plan Against Distractions
You probably think that is quite challenging. But, in my personal opinion, it requires logic and some common sense. Do not overthink just take a look at your working space and discover your potential distractions. What should you do about this? Here are my tips:
- Eliminate interruptions (avoid triggers)
- Fight procrastination by sticking to your schedule and daily routine because it provides structure in your life.
- Remember that you need a good, strong work ethic. If you are goal-oriented and dedicated to achieving the success you are a winner. But if you’re not, you just have to work on it. Be consistent, conscious and focused on your goals. Learn how to organize your time efficiently.
Keep your work mail, social media accounts and telephone number separated from your private accounts.
6.Get out of the house and interact with other people daily
- In order to ensure balance and maintain your psychological well-being, you need to interact with other people. This is because we are social creatures and company of others on a regular basis, the exchange of ideas is basic, human need.
- Other great reason to get out of the house every single day, is that this way you can avoid overworking yourself.
- Schedule your free time. Make sure you have planned your time outside of your “office space” well. Run errands, go shopping, make some private phone calls, take a walk or do some other outside activity.
- Spending even a few minutes outside your office will help you return to work more focused and motivated.
7.Exercise & Meditate
- It is important to know, that working out clears your mind and makes your brain works better.
- You don’t have to do a cardio workout on a daily basis, other great options to relax and detach from work are yoga, pilates, meditation or even a good stretch.
- Try some mindfulness meditation that will help you relieve anxiety, stress and teach you how to live in the present moment.
8.Don’t let your family and friends stop by during your working hours
- Be clear about your working hours with your family and friends otherwise, you will end up wasting your precious time doing things not related to your job at all.
- Make sure your family and friends know your schedule and respect it. I know that some people think that working from home means relaxing and entertaining all day but we know that this assumption is so untrue and just ridiculous.
- Remember that, you can always pretend you’re not home (just in case!)
9.Get dressed unless you don’t mind working in pajamas
- Create your daily routine because it provides a structure and familiarity in your life
- It may not be obvious, but trust me getting up early, taking shower and getting dressed every day even if you stay at home builds better mental health, helps to manage “everyday chaos” and increases your efficiency. Because staying all day in the front of the computer in pajamas can be really depressing.
10.Plan your meals in advance
You know what? I’ll bet that this is the most important tip to work from home efficiently. We all know how difficult is to focus when your stomach is growling. All you can think about is food and if everything you have at home is some junk food and unhealthy snacks is a complete disaster. Why? For a couple of reasons. Firstly, because eating junk food will make you feel sick, bloated and lethargic. Secondly, because you will develop an unhealthy relationship with food. And last but not least, because you will waste a lot of your time wondering what should you eat. To avoid that misery my tips are:
- Schedule your meals, snacks, and drinks
- Be always prepared: keep precooked meals in your fridge and prepare your healthy snacks to prevent being hungry and eating junk foods. It is important because working from home means actually working and you may not have enough time to cook every day. And let me tell you, you really don’t want to end up ordering meals online, because it will cost you a lot of money and you will not be eating healthy.
- Always keep a bottle of water next to your desk. You will not have to stand up and go to the kitchen every time you are thirsty.
Hope you find these tips helpful!
Let me know your opinion!