Many people ask what is the most difficult part of working from home. That's easy. It's the schedule or lack thereof. It's the discipline needed to get up in the morning and "get to work." Without direct supervision, many of us that come from an employee background find ourselves struggling to prioritize our time and eventually the struggle extends to even getting started each day.
While we know what we should be doing, getting to it can be a daunting challenge after a few weeks of working at home. Here are some tips that can help with building the discipline needed to successfully navigate this most difficult part of working from home.
- Set a schedule of when you are going to be working. Yes, I know your time is flexible and that's one of the advantages of working from home. But we don't want to flex it so much that it breaks. Figure out what time of the day is going to work best for you and set that time aside as your working time, even if it's just a few hours in the afternoon, etc.
- Get dressed for success. It's easy to lounge around in your PJs all day, right? I mean, if you're not going out to meet anyone, what's the point of putting on clothes. Even if you have a zoom, you can do business up top and party on the bottom, right? Well, perhaps. But in most cases researchers have found that when we get dressed up, we take our day more seriously. It's hard to even take yourself seriously if you are pajama guy all day. So, get dressed, at least for your work schedule you put together in number one.
- Create a task list to you don't forget what needs to be done in a timely manner. It's easy to start letting tasks fall through the cracks when you're working from home. Keeping a running task list (use Google calendar, etc.) will help you stay organized and get job tasks done on time for your clients or business.
- Take care of yourself. Now you would think this one should go without saying, but it does require saying. After a couple of weeks or months of working from home, a strange thing will happen if you're not careful. You'll stop taking care of yourself. Personal hygiene may decline. Getting out of bed will seem like a chore. Brushing your teeth, combing your hair, shaving - all things that will begin to wane if you're not careful. It's very important that along with your schedule and getting dressed for "work," that you prepare each day and stay on top of your personal hygiene. You think I'm kidding. Ask anyone who has worked from home for any length of time.
- Last but not least, I think it's important to stay healthy. Maintain some type of exercise regimen. Without your daily commute to a work place or walking around at work, you will be more sendentary that before. You need to take up walking, hiking, running, etc., if you haven't before. Something to burn off calories and keep you in shape. Set a goal to do whatever it is you choose at least three times a week to start with. This will help with your physical and mental health and help you stay on a disciplined schedule for you work at home experience.