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A Guide On How To Effectively Work From Home

A Guide On How To Effectively Work From Home

April 03, 2020 / Patrick Zavorskas

Working at home can feel like heaven on earth at times, being a perfect way to relax in the one comforts of your home while not worrying about the troubles of early morning commutes or rush hour traffic. You can make your own breakfast, not worrying about the long lines at your favorite coffee stop; or even take some time to sleep in and hit the snooze button a few times. While these luxuries are definitely quite incredible, sometimes working at home can come with a few issues - mainly, you can get easily distracted or unorganized, find yourself relaxing instead of working, or even having to spend time with your kids, your family, your roommates, or who ever else may live with you. If you find that in working from home you might not be doing the work you need to or effectively keeping your on top of your goals, you may need to change how you approach it. Lucky for you, we have the answers for you! This is our "guide on how to effectively work from home:" 

Set Clear Boundaries

When you work from home, it is important to first be aware of any personal distractions that may come in the way or any issues that will make home feel like work- being able to then set boundaries, as it is rather easy to let your work life blur into your home life. Unless you are careful to maintain boundaries, you may start to feel you’re always at work and lose a place to come home to. That’s why it’s important to keep the two distinct. In managing this separation, one way to do that is to set aside a separate space in your home for work. It is also important to make sure your friends and loved ones understand that even though you are at home, you are off limits during your scheduled work hours.

For example, if the doorbell rings, unless you are expecting something or if it is urgent, ignore it. In doing so, not only does it help you stay focused, but makes it easier to get out of work mode at the end of the day. If you need to have time with your family or friends, schedule that time accordingly to your day. Make those you want to spend time with on your daily calendar as seriously as you would if you were scheduling your tasks at work. It is also crucial to know to not worry about stopping for the day if you’re on a roll with a project. Pausing in the middle of something will make it easier to jump into the task the next day — a tip that is valid for everyone, but especially those working from home.

Structure Your Day For Success

In trying to maximize the overall effectiveness of your time at home, it is important to structure it differently than you would a typical workday. For example, if you work from home only one day a week or on occasion, make it a day where you do not accept any meetings, so you can focus on only on you and the work you need to do. If you find that you cannot entirely avoid meetings, make sure you schedule at least half a day for focused work on your projects and goals. Choose a time that works best for you, based on any required meetings, your energy levels, and your time management skills.

Another tip to help you stay on top of your goals while working at home is by defining one or two key goals that you want to accomplish during this time. These should be jobs or other tasks at hand that require at least an hour or more of uninterrupted attention. These should be work that simply require more creative, strategic thinking than you may be able to achieve in the office environment. For a pro-tip, it is extremely recommended that you also shut down any or all of your emails during this period — or at least try to stay away from it for an hour at a time. Alert any colleagues of times that you’ll be disconnected, so they won’t be surprised by a delayed response.

Easy Principles To Remember

To make sure you are making the most out of your work from home day, there are many easy things to remember. If you want to make sure everything goes over smoothly, check out these "do's" and "don't's" we out together:

  • DO's : 
    • Make a schedule and be on top of your tasks - check back as needed to make sure you are spending your time wisely
    • Focus on what you accomplished throughout the day to help you stay motivated and excited for your work
    • Create a dedicated space for you and your work that acts as a safe-space and boundary from those around you to help you stay focused and alert
    • Become aware of your peak work hours - when are you the most productive
  • DON'T's : 
    • Work in your pajamas or in front of the TV - these can be distractions and can easily make you less productive
    • Try to work all day without taking any breaks as you can cause your motivation to suffer and you'll find yourself becoming less energized throughout the day
    • Neglect to check up on your co-workers, colleagues, or bosses - it will show that you are on top of your work and tasks and aren't wasting your time or theirs
    • Beware of social media and the distractions that it can cause

With these tips, you can be working from home like a pro!

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-Patrick