Right now more people than ever are trying to figure out how to work at home successfully, for a prolonged undetermined length of time.
Working at home with your own business is one thing, but when you’re working at home for your 9-5 that’s something different.
If you, like so many are trying to figure out how to incorporate your 9-5 into your home life without losing your mind, then this post is for you.
Where I write mostly talk about how to build a business outside your 9-5, I’m starting to ask, what happens when all of a sudden your 9-5 is your working at home life.
How do you fit your day job and your side hustle into your work at home life?
Well while the world is undergoing the biggest work at home exercise ever, it’s your moment to test and refine how working at home can work for you long term for your own business.
Working from home comes with its own set of benefits, distractions, and frustrations that are very different from those you find in the office.
Can you really work at home and be productive? The answer is it’s up to you!
Working at Home Tips
1: Create a Devoted Workspace
Although it doesn’t have to be a whole room, you’ll need a desk, a good support chair and a couple of drawers designated for your work. A small storage cabinet will also come in handy for supplies and work-related documents.
Consider the spaces in your home that are currently not often used. Maybe a guest bedroom or corner of your kitchen or living room could double as your place to work if you make a few changes.
2: Create a Routine + Set a Schedule
If you’re able to set a time to start working in your home office and follow through with it, then you’re one more step closer to being successful in working at home.
When you work from home, no one is watching over you.
You don’t have someone 10 feet from you whom you can consult with or ask a question.
Create a structured schedule. Depending on the type of work you do, it’s helpful to have a schedule that reflects what you’re working on and how long you want to spend on each task.
Now, this might be simply because you probably have set hours for your day job. The trick is to also include breaks and time to work on your own stuff.
It’s way too easy to fall into the pattern of just working on your day job stuff all the time.
Start with what time you will start and finish your day and stick with it. Schedule in time to eat and create a morning and evening routine that breaks up the start and end of your workday.
For instance, I find doing a workout just after I’ve signed off for the day, helps me shake off the day job and refocus on my business.
3: Co-ordinate With Your Family
Are others in your home during the workday that might cause distractions?
Talking with your loved ones about working from home is important to your success. Work on your schedules for the week together on Sunday night.
Figure out when each of you has meetings that might require you to have a quiet room and no one walking in your background if it’s video. If you have kids and are there at home this is vital as you may have to figure out a way to tag-team each other between meeting with regard to child care.
So it’s even more vital to have that Sunday sit down or even find a way to give each other access to diaries to coordinate work life and family life.
4: Use The Pomorodo Technique
Can you stay focused and on task while working at home?
Of course, you can.
Just use the Pomodoro Technique to ensure you complete tasks and take a break.
This technique involves you working for 25 minutes on a single task and then taking a 5-minute break. Take a walk around the house, go make a coffee or get a snack. Then after 4, 25-minute sessions you take a longer 20 – 25 minute break.
This technique will stop you from wasting valuable work time by checking your emails, social networking sites, and text messages during the day. For better concentration and greater productivity, refrain from these activities while working (unless you need to check emails for your work).
Better yet schedule a 25-minute session just for checking emails and responding.
This will help you plan your day and create your schedule as mentioned above.
5: Schedule Virtual Socialising
Working at home can be lonely, especially if you’re self-isolating.
So it’s important to stay in touch with those you work with and also family and friends.
When it comes to work, schedule regular catchup calls to catch up on work and on life. You can use tools like Zoom or Microsoft teams to set up these types of virtual meetings.
And remember, people just like you all over the world accomplish working at home successfully, way before all this happened. With careful planning, personal responsibility, and the ability to screen out distractions, you’ll find working at home to be rewarding and liberating.
You may never want to go back to the day job office life again!
If you’re looking to get started with any of these steps, check out the Build Your Business Vault – where you’ll find templates, worksheets and checklists that will help you to get started!