There’s no denying that working from home offers many advantages. I have been doing it for the past 6 years. In many ways, it offers the ultimate freedom; somepeople may be able to set their own hours, working when, where and how you want. Others, are grateful for the morning commute and dress code (or lack thereof). With all the benefits of working from home, there are pitfalls you should be aware of and watch out for or your work from home experience can easily and quickly turn into an unproductive nightmare.
Failing to keep business and private life separate.
This is one of the most common issues for people who work from home, especially those who are self-employed. When the home office is “right there”, it can be hard to stay away even if you should really be off work for the day. Before you know it, you’ll have spent another few hours of your precious weekend on work. This is the fast track to burning out, and something you must learn to avoid if you want to be successful working from home. Likewise, when you’re “at work”, you shouldn’t involve yourself in at home duties unless you choose to do so during a designated break time.
Here are 3 things you should do to keep your days running smoothly:
- Invest in a slow cooker. Prep your meals prior to the start of your shift and let it cook while you work. This has been my go to method for years.
- If you have school age kids, try to schedule your break time for when the get home from school. It allows you to check in with them about their day and allows them to ask questions to avoid interrupting your work flow.
- Say no to visitors. People seem to automatically assume that when you work from home you’re not really working and you are readily available to them. Set boundaries in the beginning to avoid the frustrations later!
Not planning your work.
This mostly applies to people who are self-employed and may not have a boss telling them what to do every day. When you’re working on your own projects, planning is an absolute must. If the first thing you ask yourself when you start your day is “Ok, what am I going to do today?”, then you’re setting yourself up for failure. It’s much better to plan out the next day before you go off work in the evening, so you’re ready to get started first thing in the morning.
#Tip want to really get ahead? Get a yearly planner and set aside some time to fill in your upcoming daily to-do’s. It’s worth the effort!
Working at irregular times.
When you’re free to set your own hours, it doesn’t mean that you should only work “whenever you feel like it”. Chances are after a few months that you’ll rarely feel like it at all, especially when there are so many fun distractions around the house. That’s why it’s better to try to stick to working the same hours every day, even if it might resemble a “real job” a bit too much for your liking. You can always take breaks during the day if you need to recharge, but try to at least go into your office around the same time if you want productivity levels to stay high.
Not getting out of the house regularly.
When you work from home there is usually very little motivation to go outside. You’ve got everything you need at home anyway, right? That’s true, but after a whole week you’ll most likely be feeling isolated and lonely, and that’s perfectly normal. If you’re an introvert, like me, it might take a bit more to get cabin fever but it’s still important get out once in awhile. Try to make time for little things like grabbing lunch with a friend (or solo) – something as simple as that can really boost your energy and make your working week easier and less lonely.