I’ve been working from home or remotely, for almost five years. It definitely has its perks, but you MUST keep these five things in mind.
Some like to think that working from the comfort of your own home is a dream. Sometimes, I wouldn’t want to be working anywhere else, other times I really need to change things up.
There are certain things about working from home that can decrease productivity, increase frustration, and create distraction if you’re not careful and proactive when working this way.
1. You are what you wear… and so is your work
It is so easy to wake up, stay in your pyjamas, maybe even skip washing your face or brushing your teeth, and just sit down infront of your computer. I’ll admit, I’ve done it before.
But I can tell you this: THIS IS BRUTAL FOR YOUR PRODUCTIVITY.
What happened to me when I first started is I would wake up, stay in my pyjamas, and before you know it, it’s 4PM and I’m stil in my pyjamas.
What I noticed was this consistent feeling that I simply didn’t do enough. I didn’t feel confident in what I was doing or how much I got done.
I continued this for months! It was bad and I defintiely was not proud of it.
If you can’t take yourself seriously, how can you take your work seriously, and more importantly, how can you expect anyone else to take you seriously as a business owner.
How you are dressed while you work affects you mentally and I strongly believe it affects the quality of your work as well.
I say this because I’ve experienced it!
I’m not asking you to put on a suit, or even a collared shirt. But when you wake up, wash up, put on some jeans, a tshirt or whatever, and get your day started.
Don’t try to run your business in the most comfortable way possible. Your work and company will suffer.
2. Have a designated “work area”
I have found this to be crucial when working from home because it is very easy to go from working at your desk to your working on your couch infront of the television.
You do it because you can. But I guarantee that you will not get as much done if you’re working where you play or worse, where you “Netflix and Chill”.
I would always tell myself I could get more done if I were more comfortable.
I live in a bedroom condo, so I don’t have an office, let alone a desk. I use a standup desk sometimes on top of my kitchen island. But most of the time, I set up my laptop, and second screen on my kitchen table. That is my “work area”.
Do I slide over to the couch and work sometimes. Yes, I have before, but I know deep inside that I will get WAY MORE done at my kitchen table. I’ve designated that as my “work area”.
Let your brain and your body know it’s time to work by working where you have designed to be your work area. Your couch should not be your work area.
3. Change up your environment
Working at home can fill your day with distractions like stuff to get done around the house, or putting the television on, or cooking something for lunch, or dinner, or anything else that’s not related to helping your business grow and succeed.
Working at home can also be lonely and quiet. Personally, I CANNOT work in silence. Podcast are great to fill this void, as well as music, or radio.
I have had Netflix on in the background sometimes, but be careful of this. I’m usually not paying attention to it, but rather it’s just nice to have some familiar noise in the back.
Either way, all of this can be dangerous in leading to procrastination, laziness, and a lack of productivity. So it’s time to switch things up.
Head over to a coffee shop.
Coffee shops are where I seem to be THE MOST productive. Something about all the vague chatter, glances at people walking in and out, and the abundance of stimuli that isn’t enough to distract me, but enough to keep me company and even inspire me to work harder. I love it.
I highly recommend giving this a try. At 5$ per day it’s cheaper than an office and well worth the increase in productivity you’ll get, PLUS IT GETS YOU OUT OF THE HOUSE!
Once you’re there, you’ll see what I mean.
4. Create some structure
It’s important to get up. Like walk around, leave your chair, even walk outside if you can. You can get a little stir crazy sitting by yourself all the time.
Even though you have the flexibility to work whenver you want when working at home, try to create a schedule for yourself. You will eventually burn out.
I used to work past 3AM at times, but then I wouldn’t wake up until 11AM and it screwed everything up. I worked when my wife got off work. Nobody was happy in that situation. Plus, don’t you feel lazy waking up after 8:30am?
Eventually I would do the bulk of my work at night, when a lot of my clients needed me in the morning. You don’t have to wake up at 4AM like some of the crazy morning rituals you read about, but wake up at a decent time so you’re not working throughout the entire night.
Also, make sure you eat. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve just worked until dinner. You need fuel to work.
5. Be grateful and excited!
Sure, you need to be extra proactive, disciplined, and productive when you are working from home, but then again you’re trying to build your business so you should be like that anyway.
But honestly, with all things considered, working from home or being able to work remotely is awesome. When people are stuck in their commute for hours, and you get to simply wake up and get to work, that’s something you should be extremely grateful for.
While everyone else is dreading going into the office on Mondays, I can’t wait to get up and get things going for my business.
Let the fact that you are able to work from wherever, whenever you want while building your business excite you, inspire you, and humble you. Do not take advantage of this.
It truly is an extremely fortunate situation to find yourself in so don’t let it go to waste.
Trust me, I haven’t had to walk or commute into an office for a handful of years, and I’m grateful for every morning I wake up and still don’t have to.