One of the common misconceptions that most people have about working from home is that it must be very easy and fun to do. While there is truth to that, that is not the whole picture. It takes a lot of discipline to accomplish things in a comfortable and controlled environment where the lure of the TV and the bed are constant.
Managing your time at work
If you’re new to a work-from-home arrangement, regardless if you’re doing accountancy services for dentists or giving clients a virtual tour on a house you’re selling, here are a few things that will help you better manage yourself as you work remotely.
Prepare for your workday daily
To truly enjoy the benefits of working from home, you need to prepare for it by planning how your day will go and how you intend to go about it. Planning your day will help keep you on track. It also allows you to monitor your progress throughout the week.
Whether you do it at the start of your day or plan for the following workday at the end of your shift, you need to get organized. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. That’s as basic as it gets.
Set a schedule and stick to it
Just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean you throw all conventions out the window. Remote work means you work at home. You should still treat it as you would any other workday.
Set a schedule that you can follow regularly. Make sure to include even time for yourself and your family when you plan your calendar. Discipline at work allows you to enjoy the best of both worlds: your time at work and personal time.
Setting a schedule helps you establish a routine that makes it easier for you to build the right habits. And the right habits build discipline and develop character.
Structure your day according to what works best for you
More than anybody else in this world, you know yourself best. You know what gets you pumped up and what distracts you. Take this knowledge and make it work for you by structuring your workday according to your natural inclinations.
For instance, if you’re the type of person who’s optimally functional in the morning, be sure to include all tasks that require greater focus and attention during those hours.
Get rid of distractions
One of the pitfalls of working from home is the limitless distractions that surround you. From the bed to the TV to the chores that need to get done to hyperactive children running around, distractions are inevitable.
Be proactive in this aspect and make the necessary adjustments that will minimize — if not completely eliminate — distractions and disturbances.
Have a dedicated workstation where you can work in peace and quiet. Set boundaries for yourself and unplug from social media and Netflix while you’re working.
Discuss certain parameters with your family regarding your working hours. You need to get them on board to help you become a successful remote worker.
Take your breaks
Breaks are designed to re-energize you and help you regain focus. Long hours at work tend to produce mental monotony in a person which negatively affects your cognitive function.
Take a few minutes to breathe, relax, perhaps grab a bite or a cup of coffee, move around, or do anything that will distract you from work. All of these help reinvigorate you and bring back your mind’s sharpness so when you return to your work, you’re back at 100%.
Don’t hesitate to take your breaks. In fact, you can take frequent breaks as long as you get the job done at the end of your shift.
Be accountable to someone
One thing that’s both good and bad about remote work is that you have no nosy managers or supervisors constantly watching you perform. You have to admit that knowing your boss is around keeps you on your toes at the workplace.
It’s a different ball game when you’re working from home. It takes a strong mental fortitude to be fully engaged and remain ultra-productive when you’re at home. For this reason, you need to set up some safeguards for yourself such as some of the things mentioned above plus making yourself accountable to someone else.
Other than checking in with your boss periodically throughout the day to keep them updated with your progress, ask one or two of your colleagues to also contact you at different hours of the day to see how you’re doing, even if you don’t like the idea.
Stop once you’re finished with your day
To really enjoy the perks of working from home, you should know when to stop and call it a day. Sometimes, the struggle with remote work is you tend to keep at it which takes away precious time for yourself and your loved ones. Keep in mind that managing yourself under remote working conditions include learning how to keep a healthy balance between work and personal time. Other aspects of your life need your presence and attention, too.
If you want to be successful in doing remote work, meaning you are able to maintain a healthy work-life balance, then you need to build the right habits and stay disciplined.