1. Set Out a Work Space
Creating a comfortable and professional work space will help you get into “the zone” and set the tone for a productive day. Make sure to carve out a little space filled with your computer, resources, pens, diary, and everything you need to feel “at the office” at home. It’s very important NOT to work in your bedroom as this creates an association in your brain that your bedroom is a work space—which will cause impaired sleep, extra stress, and will inhibit you from relaxing in your personal space.
2. Keep a Tight Schedule
Whether you work office hours or create your own schedule, writing down your to-dos and goals for the day/week/month will help you stay productive and on top of deadlines. If you’re old school (like me), make daily lists in your diary and tick them off as you go along. A great online to-do tool is Wunderlist—an app that allows you to add recurring to-dos, tick them off, and set alarm reminders. Make sure to sit down and be ready to work at the start of your day so that you don’t feel rushed. Make that cup of coffee, flick through emails, and then get to work and smash out the day’s work.
3. Dress for Success
It’s tempting to stay in your PJ’s all day when you work from home, but it’s been proven that people who get up, dress up, and make-up are more productive. Setting the tone for a great day of work doesn’t just start with your environment, it starts from inside, so take pride in yourself and you’ll find you take more pride in your work, too.
4. Eliminate Distractions
It can be really easy to get distracted when working from home. The phone rings, the family interrupts you, your dog does something super cute, all these things pull your focus away from the tasks at hand. Setting a private work space will help eliminate distractions. Creating boundaries will help others know that you’re working—and stop potentially embarrassing moments where your family doesn’t realize you’re in a meeting! Make sure you have everything you need for a peaceful and focused work day and then focus that energy into producing great work.
5. Take Breaks
Working from home sounds amazing, until you realize that you hardly EVER take a break. Sitting for extended periods of time at the office is detrimental to your health, and it’s just the same at home. Get up, make a cup of coffee, do some sit-ups or jumping jacks, have a quick conversation with your online colleagues, do SOMETHING to give yourself a break. You may even want to schedule these in, lest you forget and fall into the downward spiral of never-ending work.
6. Learn to Unplug
As someone who works online, and especially in social media, it can be really hard to unplug and unwind. When you’re done with work, take some time to do something away from your computer. Force yourself to not constantly check work emails on weekends, or view them every time they pop up on your phone. Try not to work too much overtime and burn yourself out. Give your all during your work hours so that you can confidently unplug knowing that you had a productive day. And most importantly, remember that balance is essential and necessary for a healthy, happy work life.
This post was written by Kirstin Venn. Kirstin is a Social Media Content Specialist Lead with Media Connect Partners.