I’ve been working from home for the last 12 years… and LOVING it!! Over the years I’ve predominantly worked for myself, but I’ve also worked from home doing several contracting jobs and it’s a great working solution for me. I’m self-motivated, driven, focused and hard working which also then means I’m productive and efficient in working from home. Maybe you thought you were all those things too… until you were actually given the freedom and permission to work from home. Then you discovered that given the opportunity, you’d rather binge watch Netflix or play Cwazy Cupcakes (Netflix reference there for anyone who has actually binge watched my favourite show at the moment, Brooklyn Nine-Nine).
See how quickly I went from writing my blog to thinking about something completely different!? Well, that’s exactly what happens to many people’s brains when they attempt to work from home. Yes, the time saved in transport is brilliant. Reducing the chatter around the water cooler is great, but are you actually more productive when working from home?
Here are my top tips to successfully working from home.
- Have a plan
Know what time you’d like to start work. I always start within about 20mins of waking up and get started for the day. I enjoy eating breakfast at my desk and doing emails first thing, I feel like I start the day ahead when emails are sorted before the day really begins. If you can fit a quick walk into your work from home day decide what time you’ll pop out for that. Also decide in advance what time you’d like to be able to finish working for the day. Otherwise, if you’re anything like me, you sit down to work and 12 hours later realise you forgot to stop (easier to do when you work for yourself than when you work for someone else!)
- Keep your desk tidy
Your desk is a reflection of your work, your headspace, your creativity and your productivity. Messy, disorganised desks will hold you back from reaching your potential. I suggest to my clients that at the end of each day taking 5 minutes to tidy and organise your desk. Leaving your desk organised means that when you sit down in the morning there isn’t anything to distract you from getting straight into productive work.
- Keep a pen and notepad handy
This may seem a bit old school in the age of digital everything, but when an idea flies into your mind, rather than diverting your attention to deal with it, simply jot it down and keep going with the task you have at hand. I write all sorts of notes for myself while I’m busy doing one task. It might be a blog idea, client to follow up, a phone call to make or often it’s domestic things like things I need to pick up at Coles or a play date I want to organise. By writing them down I know I’ll get to them, but they won’t sidetrack me from the important work at hand.
- Have an organised desk
An organised desk looks different to just a tidy desk. A tidy desk means there aren’t things on it that don’t belong there… but an organised desk and office help you know where exactly those things do belong. Where is the best place to keep your receipts? How regularly do you need access to a stapler? How many pens do you need within arms reach? Where does your phone sit during a work day? By having homes for everything on your desk or in your office you’ll become an efficient worker – less time looking for things and more time on the important things.
I love helping those who work from home set up their desk in a way that will keep them productive and enjoy their work from home environment. Each desk, each person is different so learning the needs of each person and implementing systems to suit them is very rewarding.
If you work from home for yourself you definitely should spend some time setting up your desk in a way that promotes quality work, distraction free time and creativity to flow.
If you work from home for an employer, speak to them about organising a home office consult with me, they will be making a huge investment to the productivity of the business by helping you make the most of your time.
Enjoy the Freedom!