I know that I am very fortunate to currently be working from home. The problem with it is, is that there are always distractions. And right now, I have the joy of dealing with a potential dropped nap (it’s still up for debate), which well, how do I get work done if there is no nap time? I mean, it’s a ruddy nightmare (hence it’s still under debate because I really need him to still nap!). I got Nicky from The Organised Blogger to write a post all about how to be a better work from homer – because if there is anyone that needs these tips, it’s me!
Working from home sounds wonderful, doesn’t it?! But seriously, when you think you’ve got a plan of action and it’ll all be roses around the door, you’ll be knocked off your daydreamer pedestal and realise that the working from home lifestyle, doesn’t always go to plan!
Start your day as you mean to go on.
Take a cold shower to get that body awake and your mind’s wiring super connected. It will make you uncomfortable, think of it as a shock to the system! But you will feel better for the whole day.
Find your why?
Find serious reasons why you should work. The reasons have to go beyond yourself. Get honest in your thoughts and you’ll soon find the Va Va Voom to get focused and determined to see each project or task through to its conclusion.
Get the work vibe going
This might sound a tad bonkers, but I have a friend who would drive around the block once each morning which would help him switch into ‘work mode’. Leaving the house and home and returning just minutes later walking into work mode. He said it helped him with distractions.
Go Wifi hunting
If you have times where it is impossible to work from home, there are places that people use called co-working space. Basically, a group of people that also work remotely, meet in a central location that has offices and other helpful utilities that support those that work remotely. This will add to your costs but may save your sanity! You may want to see if you can find a few locations near you.
I also block time in my diary for tasks, and also put my home phone on silent and family and friends understand my working from home status and don’t drop by unannounced. There’s nothing worse than having your work time compromised, or for the visitor to feel awkward, or they’ve outstayed their welcome.
If you don’t have that luxury, creating deadlines for yourself makes it a lot easier to say “sorry, I can’t stop right now, I have a deadline due in about an hour and I’ve got to hand in this work”. Then you don’t get all the guilts when your friends assume that because you work from home you must be free or able to make time for them
I schedule “walking” calls so I can get out of the house during the day and move. Not only does this get me active, but also the dog too, and of course a job ticked off our house list!
Why not try the Pomodoro technique?
For many people, time is the enemy. We race against the clock to finish assignments and meet deadlines. The Pomodoro Technique teaches you to work with time, instead of struggling against it. A revolutionary time management system, it is at once deceptively simple to learn and life-changing to use.
You have to be disciplined and schedule lunch with friends – I think you’ll quickly realise how isolating it is from a traditional “office” where you see colleagues. Find an online Tribe in your niche and schedule “coffee chats” with members to get to know them on a personal level. Find those connections with others also working remotely.
There are many time-saving apps out there. One of them is a great app called Freedom, which blocks distracting websites for a given period of time, to help build those good habits and keep you focused on the job in hand.
The One Thing
Having recently read The One Thing by Gary Keller; it’s a goldmine of answers to the most common questions regarding procrastination and lacking motivation. There are practical techniques I have never heard of before and I’ve gone through many books on this subject. To fully use them, I think it’s best to simply read the book – it’s a short one and you’ll find tips on getting you to do your best work
Working from home with children
This is the toughie because whatever age your children are when they are around you whilst working, you are not giving your full attention to them, or your work.
It’s really important to ‘enrol’ your kids in the vision of what you are creating for your life as a family. Get them excited about the future, help them understand why mummy/daddy works so hard.
Do a family vision board together. For sure, have set work hours and when it’s kid time, shut everything down. Let people know when you ARE available, for example, when we have no kids at home.
TIP: Add your business hours in your signature line. Those contacting you know not to call, or not to expect an answer during certain times.
Show your children that you are turning your phone off and putting away on a shelf. Announce NOW it’s OUR time, what do you want to do? Play a game with them, go for a walk, read together or just talk. The more you honour the time that is theirs, the more they will honour when mummy has to go back to work. You will never regret the time spent with them, and that email or text? It can wait!
This is where blocking and routines are super important!
Try to have certain days for certain jobs. Fridays could be left free for general appointments, so you can tie up loose ends before the weekend. Work out what suits your working needs and home life environment.
Having a crazy busy life can mean you lose connection with your family. So, try your best to eat dinner as a family every night.
Why not do meal preparation on a Sunday afternoon/evening? You can literally just throw dinner in the slow cooker or the oven.
* Get in some help, even just for the holidays!
* Get your groceries delivered.
* Ask your friends or family if they know someone that can help clean every other week.
Remember, you can’t do it all, so do what’s important and leave the rest.
Nicky is a work from home mum to 3 children who is currently setting up her blog www.theorganisedblogger.com where she aims to help bloggers create an organised workflow, enabling them to create more content and enjoy more time with their families! You can find her over on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.