WORKING FROM HOME – GETTING IT RIGHT!
Certainly over the past 10 years, an increasingly commonplace objective on executives radar is work/lifestyle balance. Very often this will include a day each week where we work from home. This can be as we look to have a day at home with the children, save the commute or a simple preference to work outside the office for a period of time.
I too have joined this working from home movement and now look after my daughter one day a week and “try” to keep on top of my workload. I say try, as it has become increasingly hard to juggle both parenting and work commitments. In fact to the point where last week I was wondering what is the most effective way to “get this right” With that in mind I thought the below would aid in achieving this.
Get started early! Believe it or not, one way to work from home productively is to dive into your to-do list as soon as you wake up. Simply getting a project started first thing in the morning can be the key to making progress on it gradually throughout the day. Otherwise, you’ll prolong breakfast and let the morning sluggishness wear away your motivation.
Actually, treat your day at home as you would in the office. The mental association you make between work and an office can make you more productive, and there’s no reason that feeling should be lost working from home.
When working from home, you’re your own personal manager. Without things like an in-person meeting scheduled to break up your day, you can be quick to lose focus or burn out. Just because you’re not working at an office doesn’t mean you can’t, well, have an office. Rather than cooping yourself up in your room or on the couch — spaces that are associated with leisure time — dedicate a specific room or surface in your home to work.
Spending time figuring out what you’ll do today can take away from actually doing those things. And, you’ll have planned your task list so recently that you can be tempted to change your schedule on the fly. It’s important to let your agenda change if you need it to, but it’s equally as important to commit to an agenda that outlines every assignment before you begin. Try solidifying your schedule the day before, making it feel more official when you wake up the next day to get started on it.
You might be under the impression that working from home establishes a more work-life balance, but be careful with that assumption. Working from home can also feel like being at a casino — you can get so caught up in your activity, in a relaxing environment, that you lose complete track of time.
In lieu of coworkers, whose packing up and leaving the office reminds you to do the same, set an alarm at the end of the day to indicate your normal workday is coming to an end. You don’t have to stop at exactly that time, but knowing the work day is technically over can help you start the process of saving your work and calling it quits for the evening.