Working from home is not for everyone – despite my constant evangelical (bordering on brainwashing!) approach to try and get everyone to join in with how I love to work – turns out that not everyone can do it.
Most of the people who I coach come and see me because of their job/career/work situation. They want to make some changes but don’t know how or what to do. Most of them really like the idea of working from home and know someone who does it, but are usually very quick to announce it’s not for them.
Their reasons? Usually it comes down to fear (like most major life changes!) and the worry that they will be distracted, lose the plot a bit and end up glued to the TV all day and consequently end up poor, alone and eaten by Alsatians.
But it does NOT have to be that way and if you REALLY want to work from home I truly believe that everyone can do it – even if it is just a day or two a week. The key to being GOOD at working from home is that old devil called organisation! If you plan effectively, organise your working day to suit YOU and set goals that are realistic then trust me, you will soon be a work at home master.
Here are seven ways to stay super focused and organised and to make sure you WIN at working from home:
- Decide how many days/hours a week you will commit to working from home and stick to the plan.
- Invest in the following: a decent paper diary or planner, a wall chart/calendar and make use of your digital scheduling options and then actually USE them to help you organise your week. Personally I LOVE the Best Self range of products for keeping me on track and super motivated.
- Plan proper breaks. In an office environment we all have the chance to nip to the loo, grab a coffee or a gossip at the water cooler. Working from home is different-and in many ways better but one of the biggest changes is lack of contact with other humans and the opportunity for regular breaks. It is so easy to sit at your desk and then realise two hours have flown by, so set a timer on your phone/watch and have regular breaks built into your day to clear your head. This will keep you organised and on track.
- Make sure that friends and family know what your working hours are. Flexibility is great but dashing around to keep others happy while you should be working will only mean you are left working later in the evening when everyone else has finished for the day. Be organised about your time and schedule in coffees/lunches and meet ups so that you stay on track.
- Keep your workspace and desk organised and as clear as you can. Trust me-this has always been one of the best ways for me to stay on track with my work flow, and if like me you are a slashie and juggling multiple roles then keeping a clear and tidy workspace is even more vital.
- Make lists! Make weekly and daily action lists with details like who the project is for, what the priority level is and the deadline. Allocate hours accordingly and then celebrate by ticking all your tasks off when they are complete!
- Organise your day to suit you-I start work very early in the morning-sometimes at 5.30am and then I can finish early. This is helpful if you are working across time zones, and even if you are not then starting early means you will be working at your most productive even before the rest of the world has started to emerge!
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