How to Make Working From Home Work For You

working from homeI haven’t showered in days.

I can’t remember the last time I had a face-to-face encounter with another human being.

I know the midday television schedule by heart.

No, I am not depressed or unemployed.

I work from home (Awesome Comic)

 

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Working from home isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

I hate to deflate your lofty daydreams, but transforming your kitchen into your office is chaos. It’s only a slight improvement over the cubicle dwelling you’ve been used to. Office life might be horrendous, but at least you get to leave at the end of the day. You get to walk out the door. There’s distance between you and your work. At least for a little while.

On the other hand, if you work from home, the office is always within reach. It’s always on your mind. There’s always more that can be done, so you’ll do it. Or, maybe you don’t do any of it. EVER!

If you’re not able to manage your day-to-day, if you lack discipline, working from home will be a complete disaster. You’ll start by sleeping in, just a little.

Snooze. Snooze. Snooze. Five minutes will turn into 45. Before you know it you won’t even need to hit the snooze button. You stopped setting an alarm.

After you wake up, whenever that might be, it’s time for a little breakfast. Or brunch. Or maybe lunch. Let’s be honest,  it’s not okay for a grown adult – a professional at that – to eat an entire box of cereal from a mixing bowl using a ladle. But this is the fine line we walk when we work from home. It’s a slippery slope. It’s a downward spiral that starts with the snooze button and ends when we stand up during a teleconference forgetting that we don’t have any pants on.

How embarrassing.

 

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Thankfully, it doesn’t HAVE to be this way. By planning for the worst, we can make working from home work for us.

Create a schedule. Work expands in proportion to the time we have to complete it. That means the more time we think we have to complete a task, the more time we will take to do it. Avoid this predicament by creating a start and stop time. You have the freedom to structure your own work day, but make sure you know when it begins and ends.

Designate a workspace. Set aside a space that is a serious, work zone. Otherwise, it’s easy to get caught up in personal tasks or entertainment. Don’t forget to outfit your home office with the tools of your trade.

Take breaks. Build breaks into your day. Maybe that’s walking the dog or going for a run. No matter what you choose to do, use your breaks as a hard stop or a break in action to regroup. This is a great way to stay fresh and focused on the task at hand without becoming overwhelmed.

Factor in face time. When you work from home it’s easy to lose touch with the outside world. You don’t have to become an introvert and let your social skills fall by the wayside because you don’t get your share of office banter. Schedule lunch meetings. Work from a coffee shop. Hit the gym. Make time for people.

Set boundaries. Let your family and friends know that although you work from home, you still have to work. Give them your office hours. Tell them you are unreachable during those times. Make sure you lay down the laws early on so you don’t have to deal with a confrontation later.

 

Do you work from home? How do you make it work for you? 

About Joe Vennare

Joe is the co-founder of Hybrid Athlete where he writes, instructs and speaks about all things fitness. But, there’s more to him than just exercise, so he moonlights as a writer, bookworm and self-professed knowledge addict. For more, follow his business and fitness escapades on Twitter, @JoeVennare

Comments

  1. Joe this article was SO on point. I am constantly explaining to my family that yes, I actually have real work to get done. I’m also guilty of the hate-hate relationship with my alarm clock 🙁 Snooze and I were far too comfortable at one point in time. Haha! The schedule idea is great! Something I’ve tried here and there, but after reading your article I think I may give the schedule another shot, a more detailed schedule maybe? Wish me luck!

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