When I tell people I work from home, their first response is usually “Oh! How lucky! I wish I could work from home, too!” and it's a totally understandable response. Working from home has major advantages. You can take lunches whenever you want, you can stay home with a sick child, you can go on field trips with your kids without missing work, you can work from coffee shops, from all over the world. All of those things are true, and they are some of the best reasons to work from home. But, how do you stop yourself from overworking when your office is just upstairs? How do you stop yourself from hermitting in your home, eating nothing but a sleeve of Ritz crackers and seven cups of coffee before looking up and realizing 7 hours have gone by? How do you avoid the eventual slump that comes from working from home?
It is so easy to start making bad habits that effectively make working from home a mute point. Having a proper dividing line between work and home life is VERY important, and keeping a healthy workflow is key. Here are some ways I have found to stay productive and keep from feeling trapped in my own home.
First, get dressed AS SOON AS YOU WAKE UP.
I know, you imagine yourself in sweats on the couch typing away on your laptop. I get it, I totally get it. I have done just that many tons of times. But, in your sweats, you are less likely to leave the house. Even if it's yoga pants, and a work out top - get dressed. Not only is it proven to increase your productivity, but you are more willing to leave your house if you’re already dressed. Even popping on some shoes plays a bit of a mind trick on you, and inwardly you say “It’s time to get to work!” Don't get me wrong, have days spent in your pj's, but don't make it an everyday thing.
Secondly, open your blinds.
It’s so simple that people often write it off - but it works. Bring some sunshine into your life, and get inspired to get going in the morning. Keeping it dark, and dull inside will often lead to you feeling sluggish, and tired. It sucks the motivation right out of you. Keeping the room bright and airy plays a bit of a mind trick on you, and you become more productive.
Lastly, and in my opinion, one of the most important things - co-working.
Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be working WITH someone. This could also mean moving to a more public place to work, like a café or bar. The buzz and the energy of other people lead to inspiration and productivity. Personally, I am lucky enough to work with a friend of mine who happens to live in the same city. We get together, have a cup of coffee, and immediately follow that cup of joe with power hours. We list our accomplishments at the end of the power hour, and it really gives us a deeper sense of accomplishment and keeps us pushing to get more down. But over lunch, we get a nice break to chat and bounce ideas off each other.
The recommendations listed above aren’t an end-all be-all solution, but they are a start. If you aren’t currently implementing them, give them a try! Try one, and see if it makes a positive impact on your work.
Please don't forget to share your tips and tricks with us!