Working from a home office sounds like a dream to many of us, but those of us who have had a chance to do it know that it’s much harder than it sounds. The freedom you get from being able to stay at home in the morning will give you so many opportunities to slack off that it makes concentrating much harder. Instead of getting up and getting to work, you might just quickly want to watch the latest episode of Game of Thrones, check out Facebook and Reddit and before you know it, it’s 2 pm and you should start thinking about lunch. Here are some tips that have helped me get into the working zone while working from my home office.
Set up a workspace
While working from your sofa might be comfortable for a while, you should strongly consider settings up a separate workspace for yourself. If you have the chance, reserve a separate office room for working. This also helps a lot if you happen to have a busy family life buzzing around you. If you can’t allocate a whole room for yourself, at least set up a corner with a desk so that whenever you sit down on that chair, you will be in work mode.
When you normally go to work, the transition from home-you to work-you happens during the physical transition of you going to work. When you work from a home office, this doesn’t happen. One of the most effective things I’ve noticed is to replace the commute with another activity that sets the mood for working. This is something you can test out, but generally, a short walk, having a shower or brewing that morning coffee will give you a chance to start thinking about work and get into the zone.
Routines are always good and especially important when working from home. While you don’t have to set yourself working hours, you might want to consider creating a routine for yourself that helps you be productive every day.
Plan your day
Planning your day before you even open your computer is a very effective strategy for working from home. Set a target for the day and plan what you need to accomplish beforehand, preferably even the night before. This way you can just hit the ground running and get to work right away.
Exercising is important whether you work from a home office or not, but staying at home all day limits your movement even more than going to work. Use those extra hours you save from commuting and go for walks, hit the gym or find yourself a new hobby. Exercising helps you focus on your work.
Remember to socialise
Working from home can make you a hermit and you will be missing out on many positive things in office environments like lunches, after-work beers and birthday cakes. Consider meeting up with your friends for lunch, attend meet-ups in the evenings or visit a co-working space every once in a while.