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So, you’ve decided you want to work from home! Maybe you’re fed up with commuting, or maybe you want to work with less interruptions and distractions. Whatever the reason, you’re ready to take the plunge. But before you jump in, there are a few things to think about. Working from home isn’t always the stress-free, productive environment you want it to be. Here are seven tips for working from home.

1. Start Early

With no set start time, it can be tempting to sleep in a little (or a lot) later than usual. Resist the urge! Start work as soon as possible after you wake up to stay productive. The more projects and tasks you finish early, the more accomplished you will feel by lunchtime, and you’ll be motivated to keep the feeling going. Starting early will also kick start your brain, so that the creative juices are flowing by the time you’re ready to tackle a bigger creative project.

working from home

2. Prepare for the Day

It won’t be a productive work day if it doesn’t feel like a usual work day. Keep the same routine you used when heading to the office. Shower, dress up, make a cup of coffee, whatever you need to get into a working mindset. Try to structure your days similarly to your office days as well. If you are used to starting with creative projects and then completing smaller housekeeping tasks, do the same when working from home.

3. Create a Schedule

Plan projects and tasks ahead of time. This will help you manage your time and set realistic goals for what you can accomplish in one day. Give yourself a certain amount of time to work on a project before switching to a new task to avoid fatigue. It’s also a good idea to schedule breaks, email checks, and other smaller tasks. This will keep you on track with your timing for larger projects that you need to focus on.

calendar schedule

Along with a schedule, create a list of tasks or goals to complete. List everything – even the small stuff. Checking things off will keep you feeling accomplished and motivated throughout the day.

4. Set up a Home “Office”

This doesn’t need to be fancy, but it should be a dedicated working spot. Try not to work where you eat, sleep, or relax. This will help switch your brain to creative mode when you’re in your working spot. You can also use this space to motivate yourself with inspirational music, images, and other things that inspire your creativity.

5. Keep in Touch

Try to communicate frequently with your co-workers, whether through email, instant messaging, or video calls. This is important for ensuring that you are on the same page with your team, but it will also prevent you from isolating yourself. When working from home it’s easy to go a whole day without speaking to anyone other than yourself, which can take a toll on your wellbeing. Reach out to your co-workers and schedule in-person meetings whenever possible.

Another important part of communication when you’re working from home is clarity. Sometimes having a face-to-face conversation is just easier, especially when it comes to explaining a complex problem or the solution. If you can’t schedule a video call, be concise and clear in emails so there isn’t any confusion.

6. Take Breaks

Without the distractions that are part of an office setting, it can be easy to forget to take breaks and burn yourself out. Scheduling break times into your day is a good way to avoid this, and it prevents you from taking too many breaks (which is also a danger).

coffee cup on a table

Use your breaks to get away from your workspace and do something else for a few minutes. This is especially useful if you find yourself stuck creatively. Picking a short activity where your mind can wander will stimulate your creativity so you can come back to your work refreshed.

7. Set an Ending Time

A set ending time will keep you motivated to complete your goals or list of tasks for the day by that time. It will also prevent you from over-working, which ends up being less productive because your brain tires out. After a certain point, you aren’t getting any good work done anymore. Stick to your end time and come back the next day ready to tackle your goals again.

 

Working from home can be a great way to get work done, but there are some things that can get in the way of productivity. This post should get you on your way to working from home successfully. If you’re looking for a work from home job and have an interview coming up, read our tips for answering the ‘greatest weakness’ interview question!

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