Working from home has its benefits. You don’t have to iron awkward office wear, you aren’t sharing desks with any annoying colleagues, and there isn’t a problematic commute to make you late for work. – 10 stress points.
But there is always a flipside.
If you are a Facebook addict, or just easily distracted, working from home can turn a career heaven, into procrastination limbo. But don’t worry, we’ve created a guide for idle hands on how to get productive, and stay there.
Although comfortable, using your bed as an office seriously messes up your feng shui. Set aside a room, or area, dedicated entirely to work. So, whenever you enter this area, you know that it is time to get your shoulder to the grindstone.
Debug Distraction Programmes
If you have a television, throw it away. Or at least, unplug it at the socket. It’ll save you money, and precious time wasted in front of Friends reruns.
Don’t need the internet? Temporarily disconnect. If you spend hours in front of social networking sites, it’s time to nip it in the bud.
Music. This one is tricky. Some people find it productively fluid; others, a distraction. Try a day with music and a day without – record levels of productivity and gauge which kind of home worker you are.
Don’t Become a Home Working Potato
Sitting at home all day will most likely degrade your health. Take advantage of your home working perks, and get a gym membership, or invest in some fitness equipment.
Introduce one hour dedicated to exercise every day. It’ll revitalise those aching brain cells and keep you slim, instead of a couch shut-in.
A Room with a View
Staring at a blank wall all day is enough to drive you crazy. Position your desk so it is looking out a window. Occasionally glancing at the outside world will keep you sane; on rainy days, it’ll make you thank god for working at home.
It doesn’t matter what it is, as long as it isn’t your PJs. Wear something comfortable, but presentable, if you have to Skype work. Get some relaxed loafers for men, or pumps for women. No need for shirt and tie.
Stock up on necessities: cuddly jumpers for the Winter, water, caffeine, snack bars, and teddy bear, so you don’t find yourself slipping away from your desk to pick up any items you “just need.”
As soon as you step away from your desk, you’re out of the safety zone, and into distraction central. Prevent this by keeping all essentials to hand.
Don’t get lured into that honeypot of overtime. Just because your office is your home, it doesn’t mean you should be chained to the desk. Arrange a cut-off point, and stick to it. Stop yourself from creeping back to your work space to finish off that item for so-and-so at 10 p.m.
You need downtime like everyone else. Set your alarm clock for the end of the day. Then walk away.
Zoe is a professional blogger and freelance writer who enjoys working from home. Currently, she is writing on behalf of Jane Shilton.