After months of deliberation, you have finally decided to give up the tedious 9-5 routine and start working independently. Now, you not only have a better work-life balance, but you can work on your own terms. Sounds promising, doesn’t it? Especially when you don’t have to live your days by clockwork. But with great opportunities come great challenges. And working from home, as easy it might sound, is no cake-walk. Whether you are running your own consulting from home, or working as a freelancer, working from the comfort of home, after a long haul of office environment can be tricky. If you are used to waking up at 6, workout, eat and rush to catch the 8 o’clock local, a sudden change in this routine can become overwhelming. But as they say, it’s always the first time and once you figure out a few tactics to deal with the initial transition, working from home as a newbie can seem much easier.
Fix a routine
Just because you are going to work from home, doesn’t mean you can ditch your morning routine. Most of us tend to cut ourselves the slack of being at home and that leads to complacency. Your work location is different, not your day. Sudden changes in your schedule can affect your productivity as well as your health. So, continue with your regular schedule, do your chores and go about your day.
Set up your workstation
Forego the misconception of lounging on your sofa when you are working from home. Designate a separate area in your house where you can work. Set up a desk and chair, some storage shelves and keep your headphones, speakers, printers etc. handy. Add some greenery for a little visual treat. While you do this, ensure your work desk is far enough from your bed or couch, or chances are, you would slouch and get cozy every now and then! Treat this work space like your ‘home office’, and you would feel more focused at work.
A good reason why we all dress up when going to an office, is because looking good, makes us feel good. Then why not do that at home? The right attire doesn’t necessarily mean business suit, ties or stilettos. But it also doesn’t mean working in pajamas or shorts and tees. Wearing the right clothes for the right activity, psychologically helps us to work better. See what you are comfortable in- even something as simple as a shirt and your favorite denims can help. Once you get into the habit, you would notice the difference in your approach to work, yourself.
Assess your productive time
Because you know that you are not answerable to anyone else, there are high chances that you would slack at certain times of the day and will be highly productive at other times. A wiser thing to do is not push yourself to be productive all day long without any actual output. Rather assess when you can work the best. If that means your fruitful period is from 7 am to 1 pm, or 5 pm to 10 pm, go ahead. Whatever it is, ensure that you can manage your own time, without stressing. Otherwise, the whole purpose of working independently is lost.
When you are in an office set-up, you are always surrounded by different activities, but you still manage to get your work done, right? Then why not at home?The biggest challenge of working from your home is the domestic distraction around the house. It could be your children playing around, your pet/s wanting some attention or your phone constantly beeping with messages or updates. Put on your earphones and play some instrumental music while you work. The trick is to not consider these as ‘distracting elements’ but rather a part of your office set-up.
Because it’s our home, our comfort zone, we tend to get too comfortable when we try to work from home. But with the right ideas and tricks, we can wiggle our way around and focus on our new way of working. After all, working at your own will and on your terms is something we would all want to do, don’t we?