First, let me just say that I know exactly how lucky I am to be able to work from home. There are several people on my team who also telecommute and there’s a pretty great system of support there. Here’s what’s making working from home a success for me.
1-Have a dedicated work space. I have a desk in our office, which also houses M’s drafting table and our sizable book collection, but I really only do my ‘work’ here. Blogging usually happens on the dining room table, Internet surfing on the couch. Sitting down at this desk is a trigger that it’s time to enter ‘work mode.’
2-Tidy room, tidy mind. Since this is really the only place I work, it can get cluttered with post-its and print outs pretty easily. If I don’t complete a task before the end of the day, I create a ticket for myself and toss the post-it. Similarly, I do my absolute best to keep the trunk clear of clutter and the closet organized. It just helps me to focus on the task at hand if there are less distractions.
3-Establish a routine. I do have to keep office hours for my company so that really helps with that routine. I log on that the same time every morning and do my best to log off 9 hours later. That doesn’t always work out, of course 🙂 As I also get emails to my phone, it can be very hard to shut down ‘work mode’ and just relax with M. Using my personal computer for blog stuff and turning off email notifications have helped. But I still check emails before I go to bed…I’m working on it.
4-Podcasts. Sometimes I crave silence but there are loads of times when I want something humming in the background. Some of my favorite podcasts include: Filmspotting, Filmspotting SVU, The Dinner Party Download, The Splendid Table, Welcome to Nightvale, Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me, Sawbones and the Savage Lovecast. I know that’s a big list but they only come out once a week so I gotta spread it out 🙂
5-Show yourself grace. You work from home! Take the extra few minutes to fix yourself a healthy lunch and clean up afterwards. Make a cup of tea and leave the computer on the desk for a few minutes in the afternoon if you need to reset. You’re work product will be better for it.
Do you work from home? How do you make it work for you?