How to work from home and actually get stuff done
Working from home is so completely different to working in an office environment. There are distractions, and there is no one watching over you making sure your work is getting done. How much you work is entirely up to you. Despite this, working from home is actually incredibly rewarding, especially if you are working for yourself.
There is something incredibly freeing about being able to decide when and where you work, and being able to fit that work time in amongst your everyday life. It’s especially amazing for those us with kids. I get to be there for school drop-offs and pickups, as well as sports days and other school events. I don’t have to ask anyone for a day off when my kids are sick.
If you already work from home or are thinking about making the switch, these tips on how to work from home and actually get stuff done are for you.
Sort out your work space
There is no rule saying you need to have your very own work space in order to work from home, I don’t! Our current house doesn’t have space for a dedicated work area, and given I work using a laptop that doesn’t really matter. I work wherever suits me at the time, whether that be the dining table, the lounge or even outside on a nice day. Sometimes being flexible is the best option when you have young kids around anyway.
When we build our next house I plan on creating my very own home office, but I’m sure I will still work in other areas of the house. You will soon find out what works best for you.
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Create a routine
One of the biggest things I have discovered when working from home is that a routine is essential. The biggest benefit of working from home is that you can work whenever suits you, so you don’t have to work in an 8 hour solid block every day. Your routine might involve a 3 hour work block in the morning, and another 3 hours after dinner.
If you don’t set aside dedicated time to work, you will soon find life gets in the way and you aren’t actually getting anything done. Like any other routine, the more you stick to it the easier it gets.
Work in shorter time bursts
This especially applies if you have young kids at home with you, but working in short bursts of time, like 30 minutes to 1 hour, might be the best option for getting things done. That way, you can work solidly for 30 minutes with minimal distractions, then move onto something else, like doing some cleaning or the school run. It can be very easy to get distracted by that pile of dirty dishes, so working in short bursts might mean you still get work done in amongst other distractions.
Don’t get distracted by ‘busy work’
This is one that catches out so many people that work from home. It’s very easy to get distracted by the ‘busy work’ to the point that you prioritise that over more important tasks. Busy work might be things like answering emails and checking website analytics. They are important tasks that need to be done, but only after the more important tasks that make you money.
If you are running your own business from home, next time to get started on an activity, ask yourself if it’s something that’s going to directly make you money, and if not, is there as money making task you could be doing instead. Set aside some time to check emails and do other admin work toward the end of the day, when your motivation is starting to decrease.
Join a community
Despite it’s perks, working from home can get pretty lonely. Joining a community of others in the same situation as you can be a great way to help with that lonely feeling, and give you the chance to talk to other who ‘get it’. There are some fantastic groups on Facebook, or you could even start your own.
If you want to actually talk to people face to face, there are also a huge number of groups that regularly meet in person, some paid and some free.