Many people across the globe are being told or asked to work from home right now. I personally have been working from home for the past three years.
Here are some tips for avoiding the common pitfalls and mistakes work-from-home noobs often make:
Separate your literal work space from your most valued leisure space
In other words, don’t work on your computer in your bed. Your bed is for sleeping. This will not only benefit your work life but even more so your home (off-work) life. You will also sleep better.
Train yourself to work in one area of your home. Have a physical space for your work. Do the best with what you have. Make it a habit. Habits = good.
Go on walks.
Your boss and coworkers can’t give you eyes or shame you for taking a break when you’re working from home. We are humans. Humans were not meant to be stationary for eight hours at a time. Get up. Go outside. Walk.
Avoid your phone like the plague.
Your phone is the single greatest source of distraction in your life. You are most likely programmed to want to whip it out and scroll your IG newsfeed when you are at your home. Don’t do it. Put it in a different room than the one you are working in. If you need your phone for work, then be very intentional about it’s use. Stay strong my friend.
Set boundaries with roommates.
Let your roommate know that your work time is not chat about the weather time. You initiate the conversation. Hey Roomie, “Now that we are both working from home I think it important we set some work boundaries. I need to be able to focus and get sh** done from 9am — noon. Would you refrain from playing drums or watching really loud TV, etc…”
Limit your screens (No TV).
Do not put Gilmore Girls on in the background while you work. No TV. This will not help you work. There is no such thing as being good at multi-tasking.
Use a calendar app, and/or checklists.
If something needs to be done, then put it in your calendar. Map out every hour of your work day in your calendar. 9am — 10am write for blog. 10am-11am respond to email and send proposals, etc…
Use checklists to keep track of everything that needs doing. I like to keep it analog with an actual pen and paper. This helps me avoid my phone.
Test everything and keep the good.
A positively biblical idea. Try different approaches to your work day. Put your ideas to the test. If something works, then keep it. If it doesn’t work, then don’t do it. You may find you are most productive with creative work in the morning. If that’s the case, then get the creative juices flowing fast and don’t do non-creative tasks such as checking email until the afternoon.
Founder of @lostharbormusic