People often don’t realize just how difficult it can be to start working from home. They’ll severely underestimate it in some cases, resulting in poor productivity and far too many distractions to be calling their home a workplace. In this article, we’ve put together a list of 10 tips to help you settle into your work-at-home job. Regardless if you’re working from home for your business or starting your own company, these tips will change the way you see working at home.
- Learn to avoid distractions that could disrupt your work
The first and arguably most important skill to learn is how to avoid distractions like the phone, your television, your radio or even your own computer. Distractions can also come in the form of children, neighbours or even your pets. While you shouldn’t completely ignore them, it’s a good idea to make it clear that you do have to work and that you can’t be distracted for too long.
- Set up your own place to work from such as a room or section of a room
You don’t have to work out of a study at home but it can be an effective way to reduce distractions and train yourself to switch your brain into work mode. A corner of a room is a good idea if you don’t have much space, but you can also set up a dedicated office if you do have an extra room.
- If you’re setting up your own business, don’t forget to mask your home address
People often forget that an address is needed for things like setting up stores or for accepting mail. If you want more privacy, you should consider paying for a cheap business address for home business purposes. It’s relatively inexpensive, it doesn’t take long and you can get a professional-looking address to help attract more clients.
- Don’t lose sight of your schedule and stick to a routine
You need to stick to a schedule if you want to stay productive. People often forget that sticking to a schedule allows them to remain productive throughout the day especially if you have so much freedom to carry out your work. Stick to a schedule and pick when your office hours are so that you can clearly differentiate between work and life. Some people find it much easier to work when the two are separate since it helps to avoid unnecessary distractions.
- If your friends and family members want to visit, tell them you’re busy
Since you’re working from home you might occasionally hear from a friend or family member that wants to visit you. However, you need to learn to say no and tell them that you’re busy working from home. They will only distract you and they might get used to coming over at inopportune times because they know you’ll be at home.
- Set your working hours and let people know if they challenge them
You might get people trying to make appointments with you or ask you out to a meeting during the day because they know you work from home. However, you should always reject these offers and tell them that even if you are at home, work hours are still work hours and it’s important that you stick with them so you can stay productive throughout the day. You should also try and stop yourself from wanting to go outside or fit your work around your other commitments because you work from home. Instead, your work should always come first and you should fit your plans around them.
- Remember to give yourself time to take a break
Unlike working in an office, your house will become both your home and the place you work at. This means that you might feel like you’re trapped in your workplace 24/7, so it’s a good idea to always take a break. Go outside for a walk, spend half an hour making some lunch or even consider splitting up your workday into 2-3 hour segments throughout the day. This will ensure that you get a much-needed break to relax.
- Set up better eating habits such as preparing your meals
It can be tempting to just order your favourite takeout foods or snack constantly because you’re near the fridge, but developing healthier eating habits is an essential component of anyone that works from home. If you’re short on time, then it’s worth doing meal preparations on your off-days or in the evening so that you can ensure that you get a proper meal to fuel your work day.
- Invest in a good pair of headphones if you can’t avoid distractions
If you’re finding it difficult to avoid distractions at home then a quality pair of headphones is the perfect way to cut out unwanted noise. You’ll want to look for isolating headphones that cut out all the background noise so that you don’t hear anything but whatever music is coming from your device. If you don’t want to buy isolating headphones then playing some music through your headphones also works.
- Working at home can also mean working at another location
Working from home simply just means that you have access to a computer or device that allows you to work remotely. However, it doesn’t always mean that you have to be stuck at home and never leave. If you can work on a portable device like a laptop, then don’t be afraid to go outside and use a public work place as an office if you like the extra background noise. You could even go to a park and work outside if there’s plenty of sunshine–just remember not to leave your belongings unattended!
As you can see, preparing yourself for a life of working from home isn’t difficult, but it does require a bit of practice in order to grow accustomed to it. The extra freedom is fantastic at first, but you’ll see find that you still have to stick to a schedule if you want to be productive and have plenty of time to yourself at home.
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