11 of the Best Work-From-Home Tips
Working from home can be incredibly isolating and challenging. Some days you might be able to really buckle down and get sh*t done, and others you might feel unmotivated and, frankly, a little lonely. So, whether your desk is actually your kitchen table or you've made your own at-home work station, setting rules and boundaries for yourself is key. Keep reading for 11 tips and tricks to help give you a structured routine and be as productive and efficient professional.
Create a clean work space.
"A separate office is ideal, but not necessary," Jane Miller, CEO and founder of JaneKnows.com, which provides career advice to millennials, told POPSUGAR. "Your kitchen table can work just fine, but clear off the dishes and get rid of any clutter." You'll lose focus easier in a messy area!
Make sure your workplace is away from where you relax.
I asked my Facebook friends about their personal work-from-home hacks, and a commenter mentioned that setting up your work space in a place that's away from your designated chill area is important. Basically, don't try to fill out all those sales reports while you're lying in bed. The distracting temptations — like the idea of a nap — are just too great to avoid.
Transplant yourself to an entirely new location.
If your apartment is noisy, head to your building's business center and find your own little corner to work. And if you have a house, sit outside if the weather allows.
Buy a good desk chair.
"You don't need to wear high heels and a shift dress, but changing out of your PJs will help you transition from lazy to work mode," Jill Jacinto, a millennial career expert for Works, told POPSUGAR. I don't know about you, but when I lounge around in my baggiest sweats all day, I'm surely not in the mood to make an effort at anything. Put on jeans and a shirt — you'll feel more ready to take on the day's tasks.
Plan your workday around the times you're most productive.
Another winner from my informal Facebook poll, planning your assignments around your most productive hours is key. Not everyone is efficient from 9 to 5. Maybe you're better off breaking up the work from 7 a.m.-12 p.m., and then again from 6-9 p.m. Do what's best for you to ensure you get the most done!
Set realistic goals for the day.
"Setting goals is always important to a successful outcome, but making sure they're doable in a reasonable time frame is equally important," Miller said. Don't try to take on the world in 45 minutes — assign specific stuff for every hour. Keep it practical!
Treat yourself after you finish something.
"Before you open your favorite blogs or read the news, look at your to-do list and work on your first task until you can cross it off," Jacinto said. "Afterwards, treat yourself to five minutes of Instagram scrolling [or] checking Tumblr posts. Set an actual alarm on your phone so you know when reward time is over and it's time to move on to the next project." Compensating yourself after getting something significant done is an awesome way to stay on the path. (Plus, that alarm hack is fab!)
Take breaks to talk to people.
"Schedule a few phone calls or Skype sessions to break up the day," Miller said. "Interacting with others will give you more of a sense of community and productivity." It's easy to get off track when you're all by yourself. Ensure that doesn't happen by calling your mom at 3 p.m. or Skyping your friend who moved across the country at noon.
Recap your day or week.
One of my Facebook friends said he reviews his progress on a weekly basis. You can even do this daily. "Make sure you take the time to reflect on what you accomplished — that will give you incentive to have an even more productive day tomorrow," Miller said. Pick a time to evaluate yourself. Did you complete your tasks? Did you reach your goals? Is your boss happy? Answer honestly. And hey, if you're not totally, 100 percent on track? It's OK. You are human, after all.