In the pre-COVID era, many people dreamed of telecommuting. Most people envied their friends who worked from home full-time or part-time. Who wouldn’t love to work from the comfort of their living room, right? When you work from home, you can avoid the dreaded commute and dress in your comfortable pajamas or sweats.
However, as the pandemic forced more people into home offices, some harsh realities set in. As it turns out, not everyone is suited for working remotely. Following some proven tips for working from home will help you make the most of every day.
Dress for a Day at the Office
Remember those comfy pajamas and sweats we mentioned earlier? The problem with those is that they are too comfortable. To be productive, you must treat your day like it’s a regular workday, which it is. That means getting up, showering and getting dressed, right down to your shoes. A fully dressed person is more alert and ready to tackle the day.
Plan Your Schedule
When you work from the office, you probably use a scheduling tool or a to-do list. Do the same thing when working from home. Whether you work best from an online calendar or a physical planner, you’ll stay on track if you’re planning your schedule.
One of the most popular tools for planning your day is a bullet journal. With a bullet journal, you can do more than plot out your appointments. There’s room to jot down your thoughts and ideas and even track things like staying hydrated. Elisi is a digital bullet journal that allows you to bring your journaling into the digital space.
Stay Focused with the Pomodoro Method
The Pomodoro Method is one of the most straightforward time management methods. You simply work on a task for 25 minutes and then take a five-minute break. This 30-minute cycle is called a Pomodoro, named for the little tomato timers most of us had in our kitchens when we were growing up. At the beginning of your day, set a goal number of Pomodoros to complete.
To track your Pomodoros, you can use the traditional tomato timer, or one of the numerous apps for using the Pomodoro Method, or you can use the free online Tomato Timer.
Keep Distractions to a Minimum
When working from home, it’s easy to let social media distract you from your schedule. After all, it only takes a few minutes to check in with your accounts, right? The problem is that these minutes add up and eat into your productive time. The simplest solution is to log out of these accounts so that it takes some effort to check them.
You can also try working in an incognito browser or using a tool like RescueTime to monitor how much time you’re spending on various activities.
Set Work Boundaries
When you work in an office environment, there’s a definite beginning and end to the workday. Working from home needs the same boundaries. Remember, the more closely you follow your regular work schedule, the more seamless your workday will be. Try to avoid jumping right into work the minute you get up in the morning. Take some time to read while you enjoy your coffee or do your usual workout or meditation.
Equally important, have a set end time to your day and stick to it.
The good news is that the influx of telecommuters means that people have actively researched the best practices for managing their time while working from home. These tips will work for you so that you can get everything done with minimal stress.