Many internet web professionals today chose to work from home. Many of us have everything we need to get working right here on our own computers. Working from home is the ultimate dream for many of us. No smelly public transport, only tapping away on your keyboard every day in your sweatpants or pijamas. Another plus is unlimited fridge raiding capabilities!
After falling in love with a romantic Italian man, I decided to leave my job in England and head out to Italy. I soon realized I didn’t do my research as the city I landed in wasn’t English language friendly. This meant I found it very difficult to find a job. So, I took my own initiate and began to work for myself, at home. This undoubtedly made a huge impact on my life.
Since working from home I genuinely feel that I works incredibly longer hours, because I find myself wanting to prove to myself that I can do this. I can work from home and be productive. It’s important to have everything you need before working remotely, like a reliable phone line, up to date computer/laptop, printer, scanner, etc.
Over time I’ve had to develop techniques which have certainly helped me to keep my sanity and most importantly, my productivity.
1 – Change of scenery
A usual symptom of working from home is the notorious cabin fever. You constantly wake up in your house, eat in your house, work in your house and finally sleep. It can suddenly become horrifyingly easy to avoid leaving the house for a few days at a time.
To fight this, it’s ideal to work from different location as frequently as you can, or at least once or twice a week. Even if it’s just heading across the road to your favorite café. The change of scenery is fundamental and I promise you that’ll you will be amazed at the difference it will have on your daily mind set and work productivity.
2 – Escape the computer
Once you finally finish your work for the day, you must switch off your computer! Don’t close the your laptop or place your PC into sleep mode. Genuinely and physically shut it down. Don’t touch it again till morning!
Shutting down your computer or laptop helps to provide a distinct cut off point when work ends and your home life begins. It also makes compulsion email checking very difficult. Finally, it allows a break for your eyes and computer.
Now that you’re switched off, why not do something different? Go watch your favorite TV show, cook dinner, anything that doesn’t involve your laptop or computer. You need to draw a line between home and work to prevent driving yourself mad.
3 -Take a break
If you find that you’re struggling to focus and your attention is wandering, feel free to take a 10 minute break. One bonus about working from home, or for yourself is that you can work to your own pace that suits you.
Instead of fighting the urge to check your Facebook account, a good tip is to give in. Get up from your desk, make a drink, take a look at the newspaper or social network sites. Then, once your 10 minutes are up, return to work. Just don’t let 10 minutes turn into an hour!
4 – Create boundaries
One major problem of working for yourself at home is that you can suddenly become permanently available, or that’s what your friends and family believe. People suddenly assume that you can go to lunch with them ‘because you don’t need to get back to the office’.
You must be straightforward from the start. Set your Skype to ‘DND’ or ‘invisible’ and explain politely to friends and family that you’re still required to work during the day, even if you aren’t in an office.
5 – Stick to a routine
Lastly, and I believe this is the most important; make sure to set your alarm and get up each morning at the same time. Pretend that you are leaving the house. Make sure to get dressed, and follow the usual routine you would have when going to the office.