Sometimes it can be challenging to shift from working in an office to working from home. Here are some essential tips on how to do it more efficiently and effectively:
Set limits within your workday. It’s important that your schedule be divided into different parts, with minimal overlapping. Establish set times that you will dedicate to work — that way you’ll know when to stop, and can then dedicate yourself to other tasks, both personal and household issues. Respecting your schedule will also help you not to mix activities and try to do several things at the same time. (We like to think we can effectively multi-task, but most people cannot.) For example, never mix lunchtime with phone calls. Carefully dedicate your attention to the task at hand; only then will you be able to give your full focus to the next task. Staying inside your home all day can be exhausting; don’t forget to schedule time to keep your mind and body in balance.
Just because you are working from home doesn’t mean that you must work all of the time you are at home. You must take a moment and disconnect from everything that has to do with work activities. Give your brain a break, an opportunity to relax and not get overloaded with information. Staying at home all day can be exhausting, so taking a walk for a while helps to circulate blood to the brain, and keep your oxygen levels in order. It’s always a good idea to go away from your workspace and get a change of scenery by going out or to a different room. Moving is always helpful. It is really important to stretch your legs and walk, to perform regular back and neck stretches, and to give your eyes a rest from staring at a screen.
Similarly to dedicating your time, you must also dedicate your space. Your working area should be devoted solely to this activity. Working where you also eat or rest can make you feel that you can’t focus on any one of these. Instead, divide your space to get a better chance at successfully achieving all of your tasks. If room allows, try to create a threshold that separates the work area from the rest of your living space. If you cannot commit one room as a home office, you might use decorative objects such as a screen or bookcase to separate the space. Likewise, you might take advantage of elements of your home itself: a space between two columns, area behind or beside the sofa, one specific corner of a room, etc.
When I say “challenges,” I’m not talking about difficulties. I mean: Challenge yourself to accomplish your work within certain time limits. For example, if you share your living space with someone else, force yourself to complete your work before they get home. Or start a load of laundry, then challenge yourself to finish your tasks before it ends. Even simpler, set a kitchen time for a specific amount of time and promise yourself to fulfill a goal within this time. Creating these small deadlines for yourself will keep you productive, and encourage you to finish one task after the other.
Discipline is essential when running a business from home. Your work life can easily take over your home life, if you allow it. Careful planning can help you enjoy all parts of your full life. A critical element of working at home is to plan everything you will do during the day. Set your alarm clock, always begin work at the same time and finish at the same time. Within these hours, set times and plan what you want to accomplish on daily, weekly, and monthly timelines. Divide these tasks appropriately across the time you have dedicated for work, and you will soon notice that you have become more efficient and effective in your home-office work!