How I Work Well from Home

I have been working from home now for about six months and I love it. During that time I have learnt a lot about what works and what doesn’t when it comes to working in a home environment and so I thought I would share my five top tips with you. I hope that this might help some of you who are new to working at home to focus your time and become more productive. It is worth noting that I am by no means an expert and am still learning myself, but I know if I had known the following when I started then, let’s just say, I would have saved a lot of time and got a lot more done everyday.

Tip #1 Lists, Lists and more Lists

I am a self-obsessed listaholic. I just love lists and for good reason. Lists are an amazing way to keep yourself organised by plonking all of the things you need to do onto the paper and out of your brain.  I always have two lists on the go, one for things I need to get done over the week (this is where I brainfart onto the paper) and one daily list of things I need to tackle. I think the biggest mistake that people make when writing lists is making them too long, don’t fall into this trap! By making your list so long you are fighting a losing battle, a battle that will leave you disappointed and frustrated at the end of your working day. The likelihood is that will probably never be able to do everything on your 20 point list in one day and so will be constantly dissatisfied with the amount of work that you have done, and let me tell you work satisfaction is so important when you are working from home.

Instead of overloading yourself try to make short daily lists, breaking your workload down into manageable chunks. Ask yourself what you will realistically be able to achieve in the day and only add these things to your list, pulling them from your main weekly list. We all know that amazing feeling when we tick everything off from a to-do list and by making shorter lists you can have that feeling every day. And remember the list isn’t final, you can always add some more things to it once you have had the satisfaction of ticking everything off.

Tip #2 Get Dressed

This may seem odd to a lot of you, you may be thinking why would you want to get dressed when working from home means you could literally stay in your pyjamas all day? Sounds great doesn’t it, but is it the most productive way to work? I argue not (as nice as it sounds!).

It isn’t really about the clothes, it is more about the mindset you enter when you put them on. Your brain will associate pyjamas and loungewear with relaxing and taking it easy, whereas it will associate daytime clothes with getting up and getting on with things. This isn’t to say you need to dress in heels and workwear to work from home but if you just make an effort to put on some clothes that you would be happy to go out the house in then it has been shown that you can be more productive. It also helps to create boundaries between work and home life bringing me onto my next point …

Tip #3 Separate Home & Work
I know this may sound ridiculous, how can you do that when you are literally working in your home? However, this is actually one of the most important things to do when your home becomes your workplace. It is so easy to let your work begin to take over your home life and before you know it you won’t know where home starts and work ends. To stop your personal life and work blurring together one of the best things you can do, if possible, is to create a workspace that you can close the door on at the end of the day, or at least walk away from. I know this isn’t always possible for everyone, but having an office space that isn’t your kitchen table means that you will actually feel like you are ‘going to work’ and being able to leave everything out to pick up the next day is actually really useful. If you don’t have room for an office, try using an unused corner of a room or your landing, it is amazing where a desk will fit.
Tip #4 Know When to Stop
If you are the same as me, working from home probably means that you don’t have a 9-5 job and  you will know that having flexible hours can be really great, for example if you have a child (I don’t have one of those btw!). However, just because you have flexible hours doesn’t mean you should be working at weird times of the day or for that matter overworking. It is so easy to just keep working and working when you are home alone with no distractions and no-one to say shall we go and grab some lunch etc. Time can easily run away from you and before you know it everyone else is home from work and you haven’t even had lunch. It is so important to take breaks and try to create a sort of routine to your ‘working day’. This will stop you from feeling like you need to work at ten in the evening and instead allow you to relax into your working knowing that you have time in your routine to fit everything in. It is all about balance people!
Tip #5 Give Yourself Commuter Time

This is something that my dad regularly talks about. Commuter time to him is, yes, the time people take to travel home, but also the amount of time people have to unwind and get out of work-mode before they get home. Interesting right! I thought about this and realised something, people who work from home have NO commuter time and whilst that is brilliant because there is no time spent on trains or stuck in traffic jams, it also means they have no time to wind down after a busy day. I have, therefore, introduced commuter time into my daily routine. It is so important to take that time to chill after work and drift back into home mode ready for a relaxing evening.

Whether you are new to the world of working from home, or a seasoned professional I hope you found this post useful. And if you have any tips to share, please do down below, I’d love to hear them.

Love Holly x


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