Some businesses start out as a space in their owner’s homes, the garage or simply in the pre-existing study alongside their children’s homework table covered in crayons and pencil sharpenings. It is so easy to become easily distracted when the television is nearby, family members ask for a ride to the mall and when you can see the dishes piled up in the sink. My problem was also having my laptop and workspace a literal roll away from my bed.
What can you do overcome that homespace work inertia?
Tips for working from home:
- Always set deadlines- I’m sure many of you already do this. However, how many of you set your own deadlines and don’t meet them as you’re your boss, you’re a little bit more lenient on the time factor. Set deadlines with others. Book things in advance and have your work based on meeting the deadlines before you meet people. Even if it’s not something they actually require but it will look more productive when you are meeting them and get to say – “I have just finished x, y and z over the last two weeks”.
- Leave your deadlines in a public space – have a check system run in your household. If someone at home knows when something is due and you’re not being your most productive, they are more likely to ask you about it. Not only this, they’ll understand if you become extremely busy when certain deadlines come around.
- Create a new or pseudo workspace – If you don’t have a proper workspace – make one. Sitting your laptop on your lap in your bed or on the sofa can be really counter-productive. I find occasionally packing some of my belongings with me and moving to a quiet space like a local library can be very beneficial. Not only do you have nil home distractions, you are in close access to a plethora of potentially useful resources. Most libraries these days also provide powerpoints at each private study carrels.
- Set up home business hours and respect them – Work by these hours and make sure your family are aware of them. Just because you are working from home, it does not mean you are freely available to do all house chores. They’re your hours so set them up in a way to include house duties if you need to. I start working from 10am – that means all the time before that can be dedicated to doing the laundry and grocery shopping if I need to. Most days an hour lunch break is in there – but that can also mean getting the dishes done and cleaning out the bathroom. At night, I don’t finish until 7pm – luckily, for me there is someone who is ready to take over on the night duties like making dinner.
- Find a work buddy– This can be a double edged sword here depending on who the work buddy is. A friend who also works from home or has some small office space can actually encourage you to do work. When there are others around you that are also busy, you’re more inclined to get your work done too. Bouncing ideas off others and having someone to talk to can also take the edge of being alone all the time. Work within set hours and try not to enjoy each other’s companies too much.
- Get outside! – it may sound simple but it works. I moved my laptop away from my usual workspace and outside to our outdoor dining area. There I couldn’t procrastinate with rearranging my desk and was simply focused on the task at hand. I couldn’t hear the talk of family or the sounds of television. Simply just a change of desks may work. Taking over the entire dining table when no one is home feels great with all your work spread out.