Search for more Everyday Power
Working from home takes more discipline than many of us are willing to admit. It means having the strength of character to avoid all of the distractions and pleasures of home, and do some work–that we all hate. Let’s face it, even if you like doing what you are doing, it is still going to be less fun than the plethora of things you could be doing at home right now. People sit at work, dreaming about what they may be doing at home right now. You on the other hand are working from home and are therefore dreaming about nothing more than stopping what you are doing and doing fun house stuff. The short and tall of this is that your homework life may turn unproductive. Here are some tips to help that stop happening.
Set up a personal working space
Every article you read is going to tell you to do this, because it is common sense. If you do not set up a designated work area then you are always going to be caught between home and work. There is a big psychological motivator involved with setting up a working space, but there are also a few pragmatic reasons. It keeps your family away from your work so that they cannot interfere, make a mess, or otherwise get in the way.
It also means that work items do not become mixed in with household items. It means you can organize your work materials and your workday, in an area where you can always find what you need. There is nothing worse than having to look for one thing in your bedroom and another in the kitchen.
Set out working hours where you have to concentrate
This is a matter of productivity. You can spend all day and all night working and get less done than if you have six structured hours at work. You need to set realistic work hours and then stick to them. You need to make sure that during those hours you do nothing but work. That is also why you need to set break times and lunch times, so that your work does not seem perpetual, otherwise you will burn out before hour number five.
You need to stick to these working hours, which also means rushing (if you must) to get your work done before the end of your working day. If you have to work over your hours then you will be doing it for the rest of your life and your working from home will dominate your life.
Remove all distractions from your room
So many people will refuse to do this because of an arrogant belief that they can work through distractions, but nobody can. We as humans are always less productive when there are even the most minor distractions. British scientists tried to force the hypothesis that classical music actually helped people to work and concentrate, but they simply could not force the results to come out their way. Any distraction at all is going to make your working hours less productive.
You need to remove TVs, and any sound equipment. You need to put your phone on silent, or at least have the force of will to not answer any text or call that is not work related. You need to log out of your social media sites and any non-work related email addresses.
Do not play music unless your work is physical
Music is a distraction of the highest order and you need to remove it from your work area. The only time it is acceptable is if your work is physical. If your work is physical then music can help, and if the work is very physical (manual labor) then there are very few instances where music makes you less productive (that is unless your work requires you to hear something).
Never fall asleep during your working hours
It may seem like it does not matter, but you are secretly conditioning your brain to become tired whilst you are at work. You will find that you become more and more tired as time goes on, and you will start to want to sleep at work. At the very least, you will see that you feel more tired and less productive during your work hours. You can check to see if you have accidentally conditioned yourself to be like this by if you feel awake when your work is done. When you finish your work, do you suddenly feel all awake and sprightly? If so, you have conditioned your body to be tired during working hours.
Have set lunch and break times
If you are truly endeavoring to be productive during your working hours then you are going to become tired very quickly. It is hard to maintain your focus and concentration for long periods, so you need to set up breaks for your brain and your concentration to recover. If you do not then you will quickly burn out. You are not being a trooper or a hard worker if you work through your breaks. All you are doing is conditioning yourself to hate your work, and making yourself have to work even harder later in order to maintain your focus.
Clean your workspace at the end of every working day
This is very important. It is a massive motivation killer if you have to walk into a messy work place. Just spend a few minutes cleaning and tidying at the end of the day so that in the morning you do not have to waste productive time cleaning your workspace.
Make sure your family knows to leave you alone
This is especially true of needy spouses and children. Usually, parents are involved too deeply in their own lives to be bothering you, but your spouse will assume that you are in there being lazy. Your kids will simply take advantage of the fact you are in arms reach.
Set reminders that you are supposed to be working
This can be something as silly as a bell that goes off every ten minutes. You will be surprised how many times this bell brings you back from the world of imagination. You can literally lose hours per week from being in the land of imagination.