Working from home is the dream for so many. With my lifestyle, it’s the only way of work that makes sense. There are so many benefits such as being able to claim your home office as a tax deduction, no commutes and greater flexibility.
However, working from home can be a challenge, particularly if you struggle with discipline, focus, or concentration.
It’s essential to set up a good space in which to work that will allow you to feel comfortable and relaxed yet focused and productive. You want this to be secure, quiet and a place where you will not be disturbed.
Many people, when they think about working from home, have images of lounging around in their underwear, working in bed with their head propped up with a few pillows, and whilst this can be nice at first, it quickly gets old and can lead to a real slump in productivity.
A better way is to utilise a space such as a garage or shed that is external to the house – indeed, if you’re wanting a secure and private space to hole away in, you could consider investing in a garage door opener that only you have access to; meaning you have a private lair in which to focus on your work.
Ultimately, you’ll want a distraction free environment that allows you to focus on the task at hand, and ideally will differentiate your ‘home’ from your ‘home office’.
SETTING UP THE SPACE
The first step, in setting up your office is to declutter the space, as you simply cannot focus when there’s clutter everywhere. A clean space = a clean mind!
Decluttering the space that will become your office is a vital first step to create a minimalist and peaceful environment to assist your concentration.
There’s a good chance you’ll want to get a decent sized desk, even if you are working from a laptop, as most people like to be able to spread out and be able to focus on their work with plenty of space. I know I do!
What you sit on is possibly the most important factor when it comes to office furniture, as you’re likely to be sitting in this chair upwards of eight hours a day.
For this reason you’ll want a chair that provides decent ergonomic support and plenty of padding for your back and bum.
The most basic office furniture checklist tends to comprise of a desk, a supportive chair, a bright lamp, and a file storage system. There’s no need to spend a fortune, and often you can find really good deals on second hand furniture. I bought my desk and chair from Ikea and they’re fab!
HAVE A ROUTINE
Working from home can be a blessing but also a curse; on the one hand your commute is now greatly reduced, which has huge benefits in terms of convenience and cost reduction, but it can also create a less focused state meaning your productivity is likely to suffer.
It’s important to have a routine that will enable you to optimise your time, as structure will keep you focused.
You could set yourself a lunch hour for the same time each day, or adopt the approach that many successful people take which is to get dressed for work, as if you were going to the office. It’s also important to get out the house in order to beat isolation, whether this is sitting in a park with your work, a coffee shop, or even a library.
WORK WHEN YOU’RE WORKING
It’s can be way too tempting for your attention to drift anywhere other than on work, but if you’re in an office environment you are held much more accountable; imagine sitting in the office watching Netflix, rather than getting on with work.
You might have to parent yourself and set up your own ‘parental controls’ that allow you to restrict the content you’re able to access in order to remain focused. This is one of the greatest challenges with working from home, we are all natural procrastinators, and you can end up in a state of half working, half relaxing – some people even work with their favourite TV show on in the background.
The best advice on this front is to “work when you work” and rest when you rest; not multitask in two completely different spheres.
A lot of times, small business owners find themselves working in the business rather than on the business, as the leader navigating it toward success.
Instead, they are doing everything from the accounts to the marketing and everything in between.
This means that you are often working incredibly long hours, for potentially little pay, leading a life with no time to enjoy what truly matters in life. Whether you’re a business owner or an employee, there are always ways to delegate certain tasks, to free up your time and focus on what matters most.
Head to my CONTACT PAGE to delegate your social media and PR to She Does This!
RIP OFF THE BANDAID!
World renowned productivity expert, Brian Tracy, encourages people to tackle the most challenging, dreaded and uncomfortable task first – on the basis that once this is out the way you will feel a sense of achievement that will build momentum throughout the entire day.
The opposite of multitasking is batch-tasking; which is where you focusing on a single task at a time, but plough through a group of similar tasks in a session.
This means your effectiveness increases per task and your efficiency will sky rocket.