Ahhhhh working from home. Sounds like a dream gig, doesn't it? It can be, but working from home is a constant battle against distractions. I’ve learned the importance of being able to focus! By optimizing my productivity during the time that I have, I can accomplish a significant amount of work while maximizing time with my son. Maybe you have a full-time work-from-home career, or maybe your set-up involves splitting time between office and home. Working from home can be especially challenging if you have a few children to watch after as well. Try these techniques in order to GET MORE DONE!
1) Set up a pleasant, organized, dedicated, well-lit work station. I have been loving my new InMovement Standing Desk. This versatile desk can be adjusted from a sitting to a standing position. As a nutritionist, I am very aware of the importance of physical movement during the day. Did you know that sitting all day can affect a person in a multitude of negative ways? Have a look the statistics below. They are very enlightening! This explains why I feel tired and worn out on days that I spend hours sitting in the office.
My InMovement Standing Desk sits comfortably on top of a 26 inch deep by 38 inch wide table. In order to move the desk from the sitting to standing position, you simply grasp the handles on the side and then press down on the desk surface. The desk can then be adjusted comfortably to your height.
When I adjust my desk to a standing position, I feel energized to efficiently finish pieces of work throughout the day. My workstation at home is warm, welcoming, and a place where I can fully concentrate on my blog pieces. The belief that quality work can be done while on a couch or sitting at the kitchen table is faulty thinking! Set up your home office correctly from the beginning. Click here to get started, and use promo code FirstThyme!
2) Write Out a To-Do List, and Slot Difficult Tasks during YOUR Prime Time. This might seem obvious, but having a clearly defined task list will help you to stay on track for work completion. And how great is it putting a line through a task once it is complete?! Keeping a mental list has never been an effective method for me. WRITE THINGS DOWN! If you are a morning person, get your more challenging items completed first. Resist the urge to dive into the “fun stuff” – save that for later in the day when your brain battery is a little depleted. If you are blogging from home, plan ahead by outlining the pieces that you want to work on for the next business day. With that, you can hit the ground running every day. Any type of at-home work should be organized in this manner. This method will set you up for a successful day where you feel accomplished once dinner rolls around.
3) Maximize Nap Time. I have found that it is nearly impossible to split my attention when my son is awake and exploring the house. One must take Maximum Advantage of that coveted nap time. My son has been sleeping for the last two hours and I have been able to complete a lot of work during that time period. I save tasks that need less focus when he is awake (such as dishes, laundry, and alphabetizing that spice rack).
4) Hire a Mother’s Helper. If your little one is struggling with naps lately (and they all do at some point!), call in reinforcements. Hire a sitter to come to your house to occupy your child(ren) while you sneak away to your work space. Even for just for 2-3 hours, if you have planned a list of things to-do, you can maximize this time to your advantage. Just because you are home does not mean that you need to do it all (work + entertain your kids). We all know "doing it all" takes an extraordinary amount of outside support and organization. The best “mother’s helpers” can often be neighborhood kids who live right on your block, and would appreciate an opportunity to make a few dollars while helping you out.
5) Dedicate "Work Hours" for Yourself, and Make Them Known to Others. Even though the to-do list may never end, select two windows during the day where you think you will be able to get the most amount of work done. With luck, one of these times will be the above-mentioned nap time. If you stick to these hours that you have set in advance, you are more likely to work within these hours. Don't forget to take breaks! This practice mimics the reality of working in a corporate office, and structuring your day in this manner will help you to stay on task while also enjoying the perks of working from home. Another HUGE benefit of setting up official office hours is that these can be communicated to friends and family. During this time, don’t answer personal texts/emails and stay off of social media. This sets the tone among your social network that your time is valuable and although you are home, you DO have a job to do!
There you have it – my best advice for a successful at-home office. In this day and age, there are more work-from-home opportunities than ever. These jobs are by no means easier. It takes a certain type of dedicated person to be successful with working-from-home. Implementing my tips and others that work for you will help to ensure a rewarding and well-balanced career.