If, like me, you’ve made the jump from working in an employee and policy filled office to the solitary, comforting confines of your home office, you’ll know that it is often far from the idyllic working environment many assume.
There are distractions aplenty, regular family member appearances and the very real prospect of having to remain productive while still wearing your pyjamas.
With the right mindset, working from home is a fantastic way to achieve a level of productivity that simply eclipses what you can achieve in a traditional office. Without colleagues to distract you and the ability to design your own day and working environment, you can achieve so much.
It just takes dedication and an awful lot of focus. With that in mind, I’d like to impart 5 ways I’ve managed to avoid the perils of working from home. They’ve all worked for me, and I know they can for you, too.
1. Change scenery, regularly
Throughout the course of a typical working day, I can be found in all manner of locations within my humble abode: in the bedroom office, on the couch and, sometimes, standing up in the kitchen using a countertop as a makeshift desk.
I find that the change of scenery helps me stay focused and injects enough variation into my day to ensure I don’t lose motivation.
2. Maintain a routine, no matter how unusual
One of the best things about working from home is that you can arrange the day to best suit you. You may prefer to get up at dawn and work through to lunch. Alternatively, perhaps your first job is to take the dog out for a long walk at 9am and then hunker down for the rest of the day.
Whatever your working from home routine, maintain it and ensure it includes time allocated for getting out of the house in order to exercise.
3. Reward yourself
At home, the ability to reward oneself is never far away; a quick twenty minutes on your favourite video game or a slice of the cake may be just what you deserve when you hit particular goals.
Set achievable goals throughout the day and, when you meet them, reach for that reward. Just remember to get straight back to work afterwards!
4. Lean on the power of productivity apps
Your smartphone’s app store will be full of apps designed to make you productive and nowhere will you need them more than when working from home.
A to-do list app may be all you need to keep yourself on track, so make sure you install one and use it every single day. There’s no greater feeling that checking off yet another completed task.
5. Stay in touch
A common trap people fall into when working from home is cutting themselves off entirely from the outside world. You may have colleagues, partners or industry peers with whom you need to keep in touch, so remind yourself they exist.
Set aside time each week for a catch up with those who matter to your business.
The transition from working in an office to your home happens seamlessly for many. For others, the adjustment can feel painful and ultimately result in failure. Follow the tips above and you’ll avoid falling into the 5 common traps of working from home.