I’ve had the joy of working from home since 1986. Now I’m sharing my work from home tips to keep from losing your mind or your job
Some of the years, my home held workspace. And most of my time was spent in stores, the car, or planes. I had a home decor company and spent most of the time in the garage. Then, Mike hired me as a payroll clerk, and we shared an office for five years. Now I work from home blogging for the last seven years and love it.
My work from home tips
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Get ready for work
Dress for work as you would for regular workdays. Wearing work clothes helps you feel at work. Take time to do your makeup, hair, and add jewelry or just aftershave for guys. I always say dress to your shoes, but don’t walk around your home in heels. When I had a meeting and wore heels, I changed at the door.
Set up a comfortable place to work
If possible, set up your work area away from home activities. Be aware your body may feel the effects of working in different positions than at your desk. Try to have the same setup at home to avoid getting stiff.
Ideas for your desk
- Add a table in a closet. It’s a great way to end work, close the closet door.
- If you have an area outside, bring your laptop out, even for a few minutes, work needs a breath of fresh air.
- Use a piece of furniture. I turned a rarely use buffet into my blogging desk.
If live video is involved, check your background beforehand. A plain blank wall is better than a messy bookcase, or a pile of toys, or your undies hanging. Although, that might go viral!
Here’s a sneak peek at my craft room where I create live and time-lapse videos to share DIY ideas and tips.
Avoid these things, if you can
Don’t work with the TV on in your work area.
Avoid social media during work time, unless your work involves social media.
Things to help your productivity
- Use an app to track your online time. I’ve used Rescue Time.
- Know when you’re most productive at different tasks.
- Play soft music, especially if your office has music. I’m always surprised by how many emails I can answer during one song.
- Do the most important work first. Don’t waste time on busywork.
- Take breaks.
- Schedule breaks that work best for you and those around you. Your breaks might consist of helping the kids with schoolwork or walking the dog. I use a timer set at 45 minutes when working on the computer. My break might be a simple stretch or a 15-minute walk with the dogs.
- Read the best short read about productivity and eating frogs.
It’s easy to snack all-day when working 15 feet from all the yummy food in the fridge. My best tip to keep the snack monster away is to plan meals and snacks.
An example of bundling work for me is doing all DIY projects for the month on the first weekend. Then, taking photos for three days for the month. Next, spending a week creating social media for the month. I’m not that organized. But this is my goal to get there.
For those working from home in a temporary situation, bundling may consist of day by day grouping work. Complete your email once daily. During your productive time, work on the critical project for the day or week.
Understand your work hours might be different than in the office. Working from home is rarely a 9 to 5 job. During this time, a quality company is more concerned with you getting work done, not whether you stopped working a 2 in the afternoon.
Working with others at home
You may need to adjust when you work on different tasks. Do high concentration work during the children’s naptime. Answer emails while the kids are doing their school work.
If you find too many interruptions, try wearing a hat as a sign to others that mom is working. Teach others to wait until you remove the hat to ask for a snack.
If you’re having trouble working from home
- Reach out to coworkers or your boss for tips to adjust your comfort level.
- Talk to friends and family who work from home about your issues.
- Send me an email with your challenges. I enjoy helping others.
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