There is this romantic notion that all people who work from home just throw on a robe and start hacking away. That’s not how I roll. Since the first day that I officially started working at home, I’ve always been dressed. After working in an office for 10 years, I decided that I’d give the same intensity to work at home as I did in the office. To do that, I made a few rules to work by:
- No PJs. I’m not saying that a person needs to put on a three piece suit in order to focus, but by working in their PJs, they are not showing respect for what they are doing. Working at home is work. Have respect for what you do. Besides, it’s got to be way to easy to go to your bedroom for a nap when you are already dressed for it.
- Buckle down. I work at my dining room table. I have a laptop and could go anywhere in the house to do what I need to do, but I don’t. By having a defined space to work, it helps me separate from what is work and what is home. Having a home office is ideal, but if you don’t, find your space.
- Take a hike. Well maybe not a hike, but get out of your chair every so often and walk around. When I worked in an office, I would take breaks to share a cup of coffee with my co-workers. Instead of coffee, I get up and stretch. I sometimes even make it all the way outside and walk completely around my house. I wakes me up a lot more than the coffee ever did and I get to enjoy the greenery. I guess there is something to be said for literally stopping and smelling the roses.
- Check the clock. Keep tabs on how long specific tasks take you. Without the constant interruptions of meetings, I find myself focusing on one task to the detriment off all the other things that I need to get done. I try to set up specific days for tasks that repeat themselves, and prioritize all other tasks around them. Slotting those tasks in and making sure that there is a proper balance is important so that progress is made on multiple fronts.
I thought that the transition from working in an office to working from home was going to be a lot harder. The biggest problem that I have with working at home is knowing when to stop. I love being connected and I find myself on the computer from dawn to dusk and then some. It’s not like I need to get in my car or catch a bus that runs at certain hours. Now if I could only run the rest of my life the way that I run work, I’d be in good shape.