When I tell people that my work is done entirely from home, I usually get the same response: “I could never, never do that”. They don’t mean my job sucks (at least I hope so), but they do mean the motivation and self-discipline issues that come with working from home.
An office gives you a regulated schedule. Colleagues provide you with social interaction. A physically present boss gives you the responsibility. How the hell are you supposed to do a decent job in the absence of all of these things?
Over the years, I have become something of an expert in the field of home productivity. Not to say that I never give in to the temptation to use my bread freedom, but I have managed to hold myself accountable not only to my various employers (including Forbes), but above all to myself.
Here are eleven ways to do it, and I think you can use at least a few of them, whether you work from home full time or just occasionally.
1.Wake up early
For many, this can be the hardest part of working from home. Without a desk to go to and a boss to tap on his watch and look irritated if he’s late, there can often be little motivation to get up at a reasonable time and start working. I fell prey to it very early in my writing career, waking up at 10 or 11 in the morning and starting the day from there. But it’s not worth it.
Training to get up on time like you have a more traditional job will put you in a routine that encourages productivity. Studies have shown that getting up in the morning makes you more proactive and, personally, I have found that it makes me much more productive, much faster. Waking up at 7:30 am every day allows me to start work at almost 7:45 am It’s not too early for someone who has to worry about a long drive in the morning, but it’s not too early. It’s not 11 am either, like I’m a hangover student who just remembered I had a semester to finish.
When I forced myself to stick to this schedule, I found that over the years my most productive time of the day was 8 to 11 a.m. After breakfast my mind sharpened. It’s early in the day, so I’m motivated to work harder, faster, and more efficiently in the hopes of ending the day early. In my business, it’s before noon that a lot of people search the internet for information when they go to work alone, so for me waking up early makes me more successful than my competitors who are still sleeping.
2.Put on real clothes
When working from home, it’s incredibly tempting to wear the most comfortable clothes you have whenever possible, especially since most of the time you get out of bed and go to work soon after. Again, without colleagues, what’s the point of dressing? Why can’t you wear sweatpants and / or a snuggie all day until you have to step out of your cocoon to seek out real human contact?
In a Forbes article earlier this year, Dr Karen Pine, professor of psychology at the University of Hertfordshire and a fashion psychologist, had this to say about dressing for work (she also didn’t know that there was a job title as “psychologist mode”):
In other words, if you are content to wear loose clothes all day long when working from home, you are more likely to be more lazy and therefore less productive.
Now there is a limit here. I’m definitely not suggesting that you put on a suit and tie and sit at your desk all day without anyone appreciating your keen sense of style. But I suggest that you wear real pants, if only to combat certain stereotypes about your profession .
Now there is a limit here. I’m definitely not suggesting that you put on a suit and tie and sit alone at your desk all day with no one to appreciate your sense of style. But I suggest I actually wear pants, if only to combat some stereotypes about your profession (you’d be surprised how often I’m asked if I wear pants to work). For me, jeans and a t-shirt are enough, and I find myself in a much better frame of mind than if I were just working in sleepwear most of the day. I haven’t really tried wearing a tie, so I’m not going to throw this idea out the window, but it’s probably a bridge too far for me.
3.Don’t work where you sleep
This is another lesson I learned very early on, although I didn’t really have a choice when I started my blogging career sitting on my bed in my Manhattan apartment which was literally almost that, a bed. . If wearing pajamas makes you lazier while you are working out, working in triple bed for that effect at the very least. Not only that, but it will also stress you that the place where you do all your work is the same place where you try to relax and fall asleep at night.
It can even apply to work next door to use up your sleep. Once I moved to a room with a few more square meters of floor space, I put a small desk literally at the foot of my bed. I got off the mattress and literally went to work (in my pajamas) thirty seconds later. Sometimes this might be necessary given the layout of the living space, but if you can avoid it, try doing it.
Now that I’m older and married, my wife and I are buying two bedroom apartments. It’s not about a failed relationship that requires separate bedrooms, but a dedicated office space for me.
A working room, just for working. Now that I have my own desk, I’ve found that I feel more like a person with a more traditional job, rather than a guy who gets up and opens a laptop to start the day. And if you work from home full time, you can deduct at least part of your rent as a business expense, since it’s technically office space. You can also literally rent office space somewhere outside of your home if your budget allows, and you don’t mind a real trip that takes longer than the twelve steps to get to your home office from your bedroom.
4.make a schedule
It seems relatively obvious, but most people won’t be able to function properly from home if they don’t have at least some sort of regulated schedule to guide them. It might start by waking up at a set time each day, as I mentioned above, but it also translates to whatever you need to do on any given day.
My work daily
Obviously, it will depend on your job.for me I write for three website . I know what time I can write my posts. Again, I do most of my work early in the morning and can write something in the morning that is posted in the afternoon due to the magic of early planning. But it’s always done, and I don’t miss the deadlines due to the mental schedule permanently etched into my brain which includes not only work, but also meals, errands and time spent at the gym. , which can often be accomplished on a given working day, allowing more free time later.
I don’t physically write a schedule anymore because everything is locked in my head right now. But when you are just starting out, it can come in handy. And of course, there are countless applications for it.