Working from home is awesome. Anyone who has ever had the opportunity to do so can attest to that. You’re in your comfort zone, the fridge is right there, you can work in your pajamas out of bed. I mean, what’s not to love? But while you’re lounging around, it can be hard to maintain the same work ethic an actual office brings out of us. How do we tune out distractions or obtain our social needs for the day? Here’s how you can be successful when you work from home.
Kick Off Your Day Early
Are you nuts? Who would wake up early when they’ve finally eliminated a mind-numbing commute from their day? You should! The problem with rolling out of bed and starting work immediately is that you’ve denied yourself a chance to wake up. The great thing about getting ready for work is that your brain gets into gear. When you work out, sit on the train, or even make yourself breakfast, you’re prepping for the day ahead.
A huge problem with working from home is that there isn’t a “need” for this anymore. You can work in your pajamas and have breakfast whenever you want. But, have you ever felt super groggy in the morning? If you still feel like you’re in nighttime mode, it’s time to change your routine. Your work performance will be all the better for it.
Stay Out of the Bedroom
Again, this might sound crazy at first. After all, one of the best perks of working from home is relaxing in bed all day. But, that’s only a good idea on paper. In fact, studies have shown that people need to designate certain areas of their home for sleep only. The Harvard Medical School believes that “Keeping computers, TVs, and work materials out of the room will strengthen the mental association between your bedroom and sleep.”
So, not only will you get a better night’s sleep at the end of the day, your brain will also recognize that it’s bedtime. This way, you won’t head to your bed at 10:00 p.m. with the nagging feeling that you need to work. Designate a zone in your house that’s specifically for working. Whether that be the kitchen table or a spare bedroom, this tip behooves all at-home workers in the long run.
Get Dressed for Work
As fun as it is to stay in PJs all day, you need to train your brain for work. A great way to separate your home life from your work life is to dress as if you were going into the office. This doesn’t mean that you need to don a suit in your living room, but wearing work-appropriate clothing can help you achieve the perfect mindset for a good day at work. Plus, it’ll also eliminate any last-minute scrambling should anyone dare a video conference.
The same is true for job interviews. Even if you’re interviewing with someone online, you should still dress as if you were meeting them in person. There’s not only an air of professionalism, but it puts you in the right headspace to knock employers off their socks.
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Limit Your Distractions
With the TV and bed calling out to you, it’s important to pull away from distractions. Aside from dressing the part and having a designated work area, there are additional steps you can take. For example, you can set a schedule for yourself. Plan ahead and set tasks that you need to accomplish at work. Your mind will be focused more so on getting everything done rather than looking for ways to distract you.
Another tactic you can try is to break up your schedule based on your energy levels. Some people have no issues at all with ploughing through work for several hours straight. Others need to recharge throughout the day, though. When you’re working with a fried brain, it’s easy to distract yourself with a much-needed break. Instead, Dr. Travis Bradberry suggests a different work:break ratio. He says “52 minutes of work, followed by 17 minutes of rest” is the ideal ratio to avoid burnout and to replenish your energy for another solid hour of work.
Working from home is awesome, but you still need to be diligent. Eliminating distractions, dressing for work, and kicking things off early are all good ways to ensure you pump as much energy as you can into each day. Try to keep out of that bed, too.