Working at home can be challenging, but with these tips, you can rock it out!
Shower. Take a shower and get dressed before 9 a.m. I know there is the old cliche about working at home in your pajamas, but really…you are working and should act like it. Please note that I said BEFORE 9 a.m. I’m not some sort of monster! 🙂
Set office hours. Seriously. If you are a night owl, make your office hours later. If you are a morning person, create early morning hours for yourself to work. There are two pitfalls that can happen when you work at home without office hours: you can work ALL the time, or conversely, you can start a load of laundry, return a couple of phone calls to your mom and sister, and all of a sudden it’s 3 p.m. Office hours help you structure your day around when you are most productive.
Give yourself rewards. When I first started working at home, I had a problem with staying on task. I was doing bookkeeping for a few clients and I HATED it, but it was paying the bills and I needed to keep up with it. I would do everything BUT the bookkeeping, so I built-in rewards for myself. If I worked my office hours, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., my reward was that I could watch Oprah. This was a serious reward for me, and it really helped me figure out how to structure my day so that I could get my reward.
Find a great app for to-do’s and tasks. We love Asana at UnleaSHEd and would be so lost without it. It’s a free app that you can use alone or with teammates. We track everything in it and it’s come to be a lifesaver for us after a bit of a challenging onboarding. It’s hard to create systems where there are none, but Asana is easy and fast. Here is a link if you are interested in checking it out www.asana.com
Track your time so you know which clients are helping you make more money. Harvest is a super cool tool to track your time. We use it at UnleaSHEd and it’s helped us understand which clients take more time than others. It is easy to forget to turn off, sometimes…as one of us may or may not have spent three full 24 hour days working on a blog!
Find the right scheduler. If you have the type of business where you make appointments, get a scheduler/calendar app! My favorite is Acuity Scheduling. You can find a link to it here: CLICK HERE. It’s amazing because you can set up programs, classes, one-on-one appointments that are one time or reoccurring. It also works with PayPal, so a client can pay and book all in one place…which is awesome for customer service.
Get up and move. I find myself needing to get up and go for a walk about 3 p.m. every afternoon. When I worked in an office, I don’t remember feeling this way, so I think it’s the fact that my environment inside doesn’t change much! I don’t do this for exercise, but instead I treat it like a walking meditation. My dog reminds me when it’s time to go, and we walk for at least a half an hour every day. I come back to my office refreshed and ready to tackle the rest of the afternoon.
Eat stuff that is colorful. It’s so easy to reach for non-healthy snacks (there is some sort of builtin accountability when you know your coworkers are going to see your food choices, isn’t there?). I go to the store every Sunday and prep meals just like I used to when I went to an office. I find it’s so much easier to work my office hours when I’m not worried about what’s for supper, or if I have healthy options for lunch all ready to go. I wash and cut up veggies right when I get home from the grocery store, so there is no barrier to eating them when I’m hungry.
Coffee. One of the perks of working outside of the office is the yummy coffee drinks you get on your way to or from work! I do so miss my Decaf One-shot White Chocolate Mocha with Non-Fat Whip from Caribou. I have discovered that I can make a pretty good coffee at home, using some sugar free flavorings from Target and some non-fat whip. It isn’t the same, but it also doesn’t have nearly the number of calories or fat grams!
So this is how I have survived working at home for years…What tips do you have? Do you have any apps or tools that help you, too?