When you’re working from home, without the watchful eye of your supervisor or the distractions of colleagues, the working day can lack structure.
Read our top tips to break up the day and create your own a performance-enhancing, creativity-spurring routine…
Start the day right
It’s far too easy when you’re working from home to roll out of bed 15 minutes before you need to log on, switch on the laptop and dive straight in, still dressed in your pyjamas.
That extra bit of time in bed might feel good at the time but sticking to a morning routine helps you to draw the line between ‘work time’ and ‘you time’. Plus it gives you time to wake up and gather your thoughts.
Even if you’re not naturally a morning person, good habits are made, not born. Set your alarm with plenty of time to spare: have a shower, get dressed, eat breakfast, make a coffee, do a few sun salutations… Start your day like you mean it before you check your emails.
Fake the walk to work
Surely nobody in their right mind misses the commute to the office when they start working from home? On the other hand if you work and live in the same place it can feel like you’re trapped in a prison of your own making.
Getting outside a little bit each day can be incredibly beneficial. Take the dog for a walk, go buy the paper, or take a lap of your local park. A bit of fresh air will clear out the cobwebs and get those creative juices flowing for when you arrive back at the ‘office’ ready to start working.
Focus, rest, repeat
Athletes know that rest is a key part of their training. It’s the same when you’re working from home. Staring at a screen for hours and hours on end will grind down your creativity and sap your productivity levels so taking regular breaks is important.
The key to staying at optimum productivity is to focus fully on the task at hand and then, when you feel your energy start to lag or your concentration lapse, take a break. Move away from the laptop, disconnect completely from the task at hand and do something else for five minutes, like making a nice cup of tea, putting the laundry on or reading an interesting article.
Take a lunch break
Whether working from home or in an office too many of us simply stuff a sandwich in our mouths in-between one-handedly typing out emails and call it lunch. Take a cue from our continental neighbours and embrace a proper lunch break.
If you know anyone else local at home during the day see if they can meet up for lunch once a week. Or if it’s a nice day, pack up a little picnic and eat outside in the sunshine. At the very least move away from your desk.
Create your own working traditions
Do you miss payday drinks and Falafel Fridays? When you’re working from home, without the social aspect of the office, it’s harder to separate one day from the next. We all know that one social butterfly in the office who organises everything – well now that’s you.
Invent your own little rituals to break up the day and the week, whether it’s a once a week lunchtime run with a friend, cake-eating at the cafe Mondays or an end of the week glass of wine after clocking off on Friday.
Call it a day
It’s unrealistic to think that you’ll be clocking off at 5pm every day when you’re working from home. Some days might be relaxed, others tear your hair out hectic. If you need to work late to get something done that’s what you need to do. On the whole though, set yourself a ‘clocking off time’ and aim to stick to your boundaries. When that time comes around, finish what you’re working on, turn your laptop off, step out of your ‘office space’ and call it a day.
Posted by The Secret Businessman