Right now, more people are working from home than ever before. For many, this is a dream come true. For others, it can cause a bit of added stress to your daily lives. As much as working from home seems to be romanticized, it’s just not what everybody wants to do.
Not only that, but it’s not something that everybody can handle. That’s just the truth. Even the people who think this is what they want actually can’t hack it. Believe me, I’ve worked with plenty of people who haven’t been able to make it work.
A lot of you probably don’t have a choice right now. Whether it’s something you excel at or not, you might be struggling with how to be productive. I’ve mentioned before that I’ve been working from home in some capacity since 2012. I want to give you a few tips on things you should avoid doing so you can be productive in your work.
Don’t Be Immobile All Day
When you’re at home, it’s just you and your computer. You don’t have to get up to go to a meeting or to chat with a coworker. You basically just get up to go to the bathroom or take a break. It’s so important to get up and move around frequently. One thing that helps me is to take a walk during the day, maybe at your lunchtime. It’s also a good way to get outside to get some fresh air.
Something else that helps me is my Apple Watch. I’m reminded every hour to meet my standing goal. And it’s not just simply standing. No, you have to move around a bit to meet the goal. So I tend to do a little march in place. It’s great to get the blood flowing and while it’s small, I’ve noticed a huge difference in having this benefit. It’s a good reminder to move around a bit and really helps me avoid feeling stiff and sore.
Ensuring you move around will prevent you from feeling drained and tired. You’ve got to get that blood flow going to keep your brain alert!
Avoid Deviating From A Regular Schedule
When you’re at the office, you’re there strictly to work. You have to maintain that mentality while you’re at home. Is it easy to throw a load of laundry in, do the dishwasher, or clean up a bit? Sure. But if you do too much of that during the day, you’re cutting into your time working and you might not get everything completed that needs to get done.
The real beauty is that you can finagle your schedule a little bit based on the norm. If you normally go into work at 7 am, you don’t necessarily have to start working at home at that time. Sleep in a bit and don’t start until 8 am. As long as you are able to have that flexibility, take it.
All in all, keeping a schedule helps you stay focused and determined to get the job done. When you go off-track, it’s easy to slip into bad habits. This work from home thing might not last forever, so you don’t want to pick up a bad habit you can’t break.
Don’t Turn On The TV
Don’t do it. Seriously. Do. Not. Do. It. It’s tempting. You might think a little background noise will help you concentrate. But it’s a slippery slope. It’s only too easy to become distracted. It can also feel pretty over-stimulating. You’re more likely to lose concentration than you are to gain it.
Sometimes with my work, I’ll put on a podcast or some music. Even that can be too distracting for me. Depending on what I’m working on, I need to focus and gather my thoughts which becomes difficult to do if I don’t have the silence.
This might seem kind of silly and obvious. But when you’re working from home, it’s easy to get tempted by what’s in your kitchen. Also, you’re alone or you’re just with family. So there’s no rude coworker making comments about you eating or anyone in a cubicle next to you to be annoyed by your chewing.
Unless you’re starving, avoid snacks when you can. Trying to work and eat while using just a computer doesn’t exactly work well. (No one wants Cheetos dust on their keyboard, am I right?)
You Got This
If this whole work from home thing isn’t for you, have faith that it won’t last forever. If it’s something you’re loving, revel in it and enjoy it while you can.
If you’re really struggling with it and you’d like some specific tips that will work for you, shoot me an email. I would be more than happy to help you come up with a personalized plan to make working from home, work for you.