Working from Home


Working from Home: How to Keep Focused

Nowadays many of us make our living by working from home. This has many benefits: most prominently you don’t have to wear a bra or pants, and can keep your own work hours. When you work from home, you’re never late for work. All you have to do is turn your laptop on in the morning and you’re good to go. However, there are serious downsides.

For instance, where exactly does your home life end and work life begin when they all take place in the same area? How are you supposed to focus on work things when you are literally surrounded by all the things you chose to make your home more comfortable to you? How do you stop yourself from falling into a black hole of YouTube videos and Netflix when no one else is home to make you feel guilty enough to do actual work?

I have recently transitioned to working from an office to working from home. It’s tough. The internet is full of temptation, and Netflix binging possibilities. Not to mention blog posts, news sites, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram….and on and on and on…

So how do we combat these desires? How do we navigate the tempting and treacherous nature of the internet? Here are some tips:

1. Get Dressed

Yes, one of the many perks of working from home is the ability to work in your pyjamas. No more stuffy shirts and suit pants, just comfy sleepwear. However, wearing the same clothes you slept in can just trick your mind into thinking that it’s sleepy-time. Plus, I don’t know about you, but I still feel gross all day if I stay in my pjs. Probably because that’s how I dress when I am sick or hungover. Making the effort to get out of bed and into the shower and into something resembling decent clothing readies you for the day. It’s no longer a relaxing lie-in but a day for work. You don’t have to wear a suit, but something that you wouldn’t mind going to the shop in.

2. Have A Schedule/Calendar

Even though you are now working on your own time, and it is very tempting to have a lie in everyday, it’s a good idea to establish your own personal working hours. They might not be nine to five, but it’s good to have some routine. If you work best in the morning, make sure to work that out in your schedule. If you’re more of a night-owl, make that your working time. Mark down daily tasks so you have an organised working week.

3. Keep To-Do-Lists

Keeping a daily to do list can ensure that you remain productive. Write it up the night before or first thing in the morning so you know what you have to get done by the end of the day.

4. Set Deadlines

I don’t know about you, but I work to deadlines. If I don’t have a deadline, I often unintentionally let my work fall by the wayside. If you aren’t set deadlines for projects or whatever work you are doing at home, set one for yourself. Add it to your to-do list and calendar and keep on top of it.

5. Designate A Working Space

Your home is where you relax, where you hang out with friends. It can be jarring when you suddenly collide the two. In order to begin to separate your work life and home life, you should designate a work area away from the TV, books, or any other distractions. If you don’t have an office, consider investing in a desk and good chair with proper support so you don’t end up hunching over your coffee table or lying on your bed all day. If you don’t have the space for a desk, consider looking into hiring a hot-desk or creative space where other freelancers use in lieu of an office space. Whatever suits you, stick to it and make it your new workplace.

6. Take Breaks

If you spend hours working on a single project you can burn yourself out. It’s better to work for a set amount of time, like an hour, then take a quick break. Grab a snack, a cup of coffee, a sachet of REIZE, do some stretches, something to re-focus your mind. Ensuring you do your best work, in your best frame of mind.

7. Engage With Humans

Do not keep yourself cooped up by yourself in your home. Get outside for some fresh air, get the post, or go meet someone for coffee. All businesses require their product or service to relate to others, you can’t relate to people if you never hang out with them. If you’re missing the office banter or just feeling a little lonely, head out and treat yourself to a coffee or head to a gym class. Your mind will be better for it.

8. Motivate Yourself

Sometimes the most difficult part of working from home is actually motivating yourself to do something productive. Maybe you need to go for a run to feel energized, have a cup of coffee, chug a glass of REIZE, or listen to a playlist of music. Whatever it is that you need to motivate yourself to do something, do it. When you work at home you are your own worst enemy. Procrastination lurks behind every new tab on Google Chrome. Get motivated and stay motivated. You can do it. Now I just need to learn to follow my own advice….

Written by Orlaith Costello