Take Clear Breaks.
It’s very easy to not take “real” breaks when your home is also your office. So be mindful about this!
Interact With Other Humans.
People working in the office never realized how their little interactions with their co-workers actually help them get through the day until we’re all asked to work from home. I was already working from home, so I really didn’t think this would affect me that much. Boy was I wrong. All was good for a while, but then I began to realize how much I actually was seeing real, live people on a regular basis, and how much I really missed that! From weekly in-person mastermind meetings, bi-weekly networking breakfasts, monthly business group luncheons, meetings with clients face-to-face, the real-life interaction added up to much more than I had realized. So, don’t take this tip for granted. Interact with other humans.
Designated Work Hours.
Have planned work hours, even if your boss doesn’t require that, and communicate your expectations with anyone who will be home with you. Make sure any roommates, family members, and dogs (well, maybe not dogs) respect your space during work hours. Let’s face it, we know the cats will never respect your workspace! Just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean you’re home.
I had a boss when I was first starting off working in an office, many, many moons ago, that made sure everyone took their lunch hour. He didn’t want to hear about deadlines or who on the team was out sick, or you weren’t hungry, or any other excuse. You took your lunch break. Every single day. No excuses. Why? Because we, as humans, need a break, for both our physical and mental well-being. I do make myself take a lunch break now, away from my desk, even if it’s just 20 minutes. I always come back feeling a bit more refreshed with a clearer mind. At other times during the day I make sure I get up and stretch and walk around a bit.
A Place to Work
This may seem silly to even mention because of course you know you need a place to work, right? This should be YOUR place, whether it’s a corner of your bedroom, the dining table, or an old converted closest (I’ve seen some really nice closet conversions!) If your working hours are 8am-4pm and the only place you have to work is the dining table then anyone else living with you needs to understand that and respect that. Coordinate lunch times together, if needed, but make it work. When my kids were little I bought tri-fold boards at the dollar store and let them decorate them as their “homework centers” and when they came home form school they had snack and got set up. They were both at the same table, but had their own private space. They liked them so much I even made myself one!😉
Leave Work Behind
Just as you should have designated work hours (see above), you should also have designated personal hours. When work is over, it’s over, until the next business day. No checking email or taking phone calls or texts (although I have to admit I am guilty about answering texts on the weekend). Just as you need to return from lunch refreshed, you also need to return the next day refreshed from a peaceful evening or weekend.
Many of my helpful habits have been learned from Darren Hardy, success mentor and former publisher of Success Magazine. One of his books, which I’ve read and listened to many times, is a book I recommend to anyone and everyone, called The Compound Effect.
What are your Work From Home tips? Leave them in the comment section below!