Whether you’re an entrepreneur, a virtual assistant, or other key remote employee, you have the perk our friends in the corporate world long for: working from home. So many people consider this the number one amenity of owning their own business. Working from home and creating my own hours? I’ll admit, it is indeed a perk.
That said, however, it is not as flexible or care-free as one might picture it. There are definitely struggles that come with working from home. The dishes don’t do themselves, your midday meal doesn’t magically appear from a drive-through window, and the laundry somehow finds itself spread across every horizontal surface within reach. Add to the mix any children you might have running around, who need to be fed, cared for, and paid dear attention to, and the distractions multiply exponentially.
Today I’m going to share three tips, that while seemingly small in nature, will create a big impact in your ability to successfully work from home.
1. Dress For Success
One fantasy shared by many is the chance to work at home in sweats, pajamas, or other sorts of ridiculously comfortable, and unfit-for-public attire. As appealing as it may seem, it’s been shown time and time again to seriously hamper productivity.
Wearing non-work attire makes it far easier for your mind to focus on distractions. If you work in pajamas, you’re going to spend your time thinking about how comfortable your bed is, how to get last night’s nacho cheese out of the leg of your pajama pants, or perhaps you’ll even find your mind drifting to your favorite Saturday morning cartoons.
When you dress for success, you’ll remain focused on the tasks at hand, and make better use of your time. The real kicker is, when you need to hop on an impromptu web meeting, or even drive to a last-minute on-location meeting with your client or colleagues, you’ll already be entirely presentable.
The good news is, you don’t have to sacrifice comfort. Clothes have come a long way, and there are plenty of affordable work-clothes that not only look sharp, but feel amazingly cozy and comfortable.
Trust me on this one. When you get up in the morning, get showered, dressed, and put together from head-to-toe. Your productivity will see a stark increase over you trying to work in slippers and sweatpants.
2. Dedicate Your Work Space
Having your own, dedicated work space is imperative to maintaining focus and productivity. When you have consistency in your work environment, your subconscious knows when you’re in that “place”, it’s time to work. It’s no different from consistently preparing food in the kitchen, or brushing your teeth in the bathroom. There are certain places to do certain things, and working at home isn’t any different.
Not only is it helpful for your mindset to work in a dedicated space each day, but it’s helpful for keeping track of important documents, equipment, notes, or other resources you need to find in a crunch. If you’re spreading yourself out over different rooms, counters, etc. it can be too easy to lose track of important notes you need to retrieve at a moment’s notice.
I know there will be times you’ll be more productive if you can just stretch out on your sofa with your laptop. There are always exceptions to every rule. That said, it’s important to be consistent and find a work environment that appeals to your senses and helps keep you focused.
Create a space that’s comfortable, appealing, relaxing, and as free from distractions as possible.
If you’re looking for ideas on how to create your home office space, check out our Pinterest boards for some inspiration, and see what our team finds beneficial for home office setups.
3. Get Out
It can be too easy to be tied to your work, even from the comfort of your own home. In fact, since you’re already home, and able to be in your most familiar environment, you might find yourself “trapped” within the walls of your abode.
As important as it is to stay focused, be productive, and work on taking your business and the experience of your customers to the next level, you also need a break.
Getting out for a walk, a favorite coffee, a meal, and especially some socializing, is so important.
We aren’t designed to work constantly, and we aren’t designed to hole ourselves up for long periods of time. We’re designed for relationships, and before you forget how to foster one, you need to get out of your house once in a while.
Make it a point to break up the intensity of your work with routine outings. Go to the gym, go to the mall, and disconnect yourself from your tasks for a while.
Breaks are not just a chance to do something different for a time. They’re a fantastic opportunity to reboot, refresh, and relax. If you find yourself in a creative rut, or up against an idea-block, get out of the house for a bit and clear your head.
Not only will it do wonders for your soul, but your productivity will often find a new groove once you return.
Implement these three small changes, and I promise you they’ll have a big impact on your ability to work from home.
What have you done differently to make working from home a successful venture for you?