Image by: Sean MacEntee
By Jessie Marc
It sounds like a dream, doesn’t it? Working from home, setting your own schedule, working in your pajamas… If you’ve actually tried it, you probably know that it’s actually more like “trying to get the dog to be quiet during a business call, getting distracted by your significant other, wondering if you’re going to have to pull another all-nighter…”
There are a million apps and programs out there for becoming more productive, but today I’m going to talk about basic things you can do to make your home more work-friendly. Learning to discipline yourself can be difficult, but if you set yourself up for success, you’ll have a much better shot at rocking the home office.
#1) Have a clean, quiet area to work in
If you’re trying to work from the couch in a busy house, it’s going to take you twice as long to get anything done. Even if it’s just a desk in the guest room, find a spot that’s out of the way where you can work with minimal distraction.
#2) Don’t work where you sleep
It’s best to keep anything work-related out of your bedroom. You’ll subconsciously start associating work with bed, which has been clinically proven to reduce productivity and make it more difficult to sleep when you’re ready to.
#3) Set your own schedule
Figure out what time you’re most productive and schedule your work around that. Having a consistent schedule every day actually helps you sleep better, and by making a habit of blocking out that time slot, you’ll be less likely to fall behind on work.
#4) Have a few work-friendly playlists
I have a really hard time focusing on the task on hand if I’m listening to anything with lyrics or a lot of gusto. It’s going to be a little different for each person, but figure out what your ultimate work-mode playlist is. There’s a cool site called Songza that will recommend playlists based on the time of day and what you’re doing – I’ve bookmarked a few good ones on there just for when I’m working.
#5) Give realistic timeframes
It’s easy to underestimate how much time you’ll need to do something when you’re working from home – it feels like you’ll get things done a lot faster! Make sure to be realistic in your time estimates so that you aren’t constantly scrambling to meet unreasonable deadlines that you’ve signed yourself up for.
#6) Do what you love
Don’t get caught up trying to do something you absolutely can’t stand just so that you can work from home. It’s agonizing trying to work on something that you don’t enjoy without a manager present to keep you motivated. When you find work that you love, it’ll be a lot easier to stay on track and you’ll look forward to starting your day.