Working from home – it must be a lovely dream, right?
Yes and no.
I absolutely love every minute of working from home, it’s no secret to anyone who knows me. I feel blessed every single day (even the crappy days!). But I would never say it’s easy, not at all.
Setting boundaries and routines are key when working from home. This goes from limiting family interruptions (regardless of your work hours) to ensuring clients know your availability (and sticking to it!).
Here’s how I stay productive:
Treat working from home like a job:
While it’s great to save time on the commute by working from home, it’s still a job. Having respect for that job is important, and let’s face it, the work can’t get done if you aren’t serious about it.
Wake up early every day at the same time:
The first step to treating your work-from-home job like a real job is setting an alarm and getting up early. This helps with the next point:
Establish a routine:
Getting up early to accomplish what you need the to-do list is important when working at any job, but more so when working from home. Figure out what you want to do before you start your workday, and plan to be up early enough to complete those tasks. This includes the next tip:
Exercise, but do it early in the day:
Working out as early as you can gets it off your to-do list, it also helps with your energy levels. If you do your workout before bed, you’ll be too full of energy to go to sleep. Power through your day by exercising earlier, rather than later.
Set boundaries and work hours:
It can be a struggle to make family members understand that just because you’re home, it doesn’t mean you’re always available. This can take time, but gently explain that between certain hours, you are off-limits, like you would be if you worked outside the home. Setting boundaries and work hours is also important for your clients, so they know the best times to contact you.
Set up a comfortable home office:
Having a nice work environment will make working from home much more pleasant. Make sure to include some plants for air quality. If you have a window in your home office, even better!
Plan your day:
I prefer to do this at the end of each day, so I’m not tossing and turning in my sleep. Having a written to-do list to look over each morning will help you to stay on track and prioritize your tasks. Check each one off as you complete it, and begin your list for the next day.
Take breaks, too:
Let’s be honest. Part of the joy of working from home is getting to take a break when YOU want to. In pjs, if you choose. At any rate, not needing permission from anyone to take a break is definitely a perk, and you should take advantage of it. Don’t forget to schedule a coffee date once in awhile with a friend. That’s what makes freelancing so awesome.
Questions or comments? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Let’s talk!