How to Work from Home Effectively

Work from homeI recently had a stint of working from home and experienced how challenging it was despite my previous conception that it would be entirely easy and convenient. To assist myself I utilized my tools as a therapist to develop an action plan. Perhaps it will be helpful to you too. The pointers listed below are geared for those working from home but are also useful to enhance productivity for errand running days or those projects we all need to get done.

Morning physical and mental stimulation

As much as commutes are dreaded, they provide some jostling to the system to get us going. For example, if you drive there is a change of scenery along the way and walking to and from the car. To create some physical and mental stimulation start the day with a 10-30 minute walk or jog. It will wake you up, clear your head and spur inspiration.

Structure

Most of us would like to deny the need for structure, however we are all generally the most productive and at our best with at least a bit of it. At work we have a schedule. Without this at home time can fly by without much done. Impose structure on yourself through creating a written weekly schedule. Be as detailed as possible. Make sure to include start and end time to the day, meal times, set hours to work on certain projects, any appointments or meetings, and two priorities to begin the week with.

Avoid Overwhelm

To avoid feelings of overwhelm break tasks down into smaller parts. Use your schedule to demarcate when the parts will be accomplished.

Avoid Isolation

As independent a person you may be, the isolation of working from home can have negative affects on motivation and inspiration. Develop as much of a collaborative, supportive and stimulating work environment as possible. This could be scheduling two regular lunches or coffee breaks a week with a friend or developing a professional support group with colleagues. Also, scheduling work time in a coffee shop or library can be energizing. Consider trying out one of the co-working spaces that are popping up everywhere these days.

Creating a Sense of Accomplishment

At work we generally have set responsibilities with some recognition of completion from an outside source, such as a boss when a report is handed in. Without this it can feel as if significant progress isn’t being made even when it is, provoking feelings of hopelessness, self-deprecation and decreased motivation. To foster a sense of accomplishment refer back to your weekly calendar and note the tasks that you completed, or similarly create a to do list, crossing items off as you go. Another method is to tell someone close to you about what you plan to accomplish for the week so they can hold you accountable.

Create an Effective Work Space

Your workspace should not be in your bedroom or living room because these places are associated with relaxation and this will have an unconscious impact on your energy level. You want to create an energy boosting and organized space that makes work as easy as possible. Get rid of clutter. If you don’t have a home office, the next best bet is the kitchen because it’s a place of action.

I wish you prosperity in all your endeavors!