A couple of weeks ago, I wrote and posted Work From Home Strategies – Part 1. This post is a continuation of tips and tricks I’ve learned over the 23 years I’ve been working from home.
– Take Vacations – When you’re working from home, it’s really easy to just bypass taking a little R&R time for yourself. With the flexibility of working from home, you are able to get things done around the house, or maybe knock off a little early to take a day trip somewhere or go shopping… but that isn’t really allowing you to disconnect entirely to relax. Taking vacations allow you to completely disconnect and re-charge! That is so very important! Matter of fact, we’re headed to the mountains later this week for a breath of fresh air and to visit friends. It’s been wonderful to have a trip to look forward to!!!
– Morning Routine – It’s tempting to sit around and work in your bunny slippers and robe, but it’s not really setting the tone for a productive time while you work. I had a boss that used to say that what you wear to work sets the tone for your professionalism when in the office (he wasn’t big on casual Fridays lol). The same holds true when you work from home. Also, we humans thrive on routine. Try setting a routine for yourself. Get up at a certain time (yep, that means setting an alarm – I get up at 7 each day), take a shower, walk the dogs, eat breakfast, and be in your home office at a set time each day. It really does help to set the tone for productivity.
– Everyone in Your Space Needs to Understand You Have to Work – this one has been a struggle for my household, and I bet the majority of people who work from home can attest to this. Especially if you have kids who are home, or a spouse who works a different schedule and is home while you have to work. It’s so very important that everyone in the house understands you have to work. There needs to be respect for your need to maintain a schedule, and for quiet time to get your tasks accomplished. Have a sit down family meeting to explain this. Talk through what everyone needs to make this work. Your job is just as important as anyone elses in the household. The fact you do it from home shouldn’t change anything.
– Sick? Take a Sick Day – If you work for a company, you get sick days. Take them if you’re not feeling well! As a self-employed person, I do not receive sick days. But hey, I still get sick. Matter of fact, I had a wicked case of food poisoning about three weeks ago, that had me in bed from Sunday night until Wednesday. On Tuesday, I did get out of bed with the intention of working, but it was futile. I managed to answer some emails, and eek out a quick little voiceover job, but that was it. I was definitely not at my best, and had to take some sick days. My clients were very understanding.
Working from home does require a certain amount of discipline. But I think we tend to put more pressure on ourselves than necessary. It doesn’t have to be drudgery. I have found that co-workers and clients are very understanding! They have lives and families, too. Yes, work needs to be completed by certain deadlines, and be done well. It’s a delicate balance of taking care of work and life. You can do it!
Most importantly, remember, work can be FUN. Don’t take yourself too seriously!!