Whether you run a small business or you’re a freelancer, working out of one’s home can be very convenient and rewarding. Your hours and workload are more flexible, making it easier to balance your work and your personal life.
Not only that, you can also cut back on certain expenses like transportation. But even such a comfortable setup can have its downsides: it’s definitely easier to get distracted or become lazy and unproductive when working from home — the urge to just relax or do something else entirely could get too strong.
So here are five tips that could help you achieve a good balance and maximize productivity even when you’re working from the comfort of your own home.
Set up a proper workspace
It could be in a small office, or even on a deck or veranda, but it should be a place where you could do your work in relative peace. Keep the things you’d need to do your tasks within reach, like your laptop, a notepad and pens, and other tools that would be necessary. Try to be tidy and organized to give your workspace a professional, efficient feel. Other parts of the house maybe for comfort and relaxation, but your workspace should make you feel focused and productive.
Dress for success
One of the advantages of working from home is that you can be casual and comfortable, without really caring about your appearance. But as ideal as wearing your sweats or pajamas to work may sound, you should still take note of what you wear when you’re working. This helps you get in the zone to work, allowing less distractions. Being in your sleep clothes could inspire you to sleep, so try business casual on for size when working from home. You might not have to shave or take a shower all the time unlike when you have to go to an actual office, but dressing the part as often as you can would really help put you into a productive mindset.
Having a special occasion at home on a workday? Going to an important appointment? You can do all that and more if you plan ahead and tailor your schedule to accommodate certain things around your job. This way, you can still honor your engagements without sacrificing your productivity. You might have to cut back on your work hours, or even take a day off if absolutely necessary, but at least you can rest assured that your work will be done, and that you wouldn’t get swamped with pending tasks.
Follow a work routine
You might not have a job that’s nine-to-five, but working from home is definitely more manageable when you observe a work schedule. With a routine, you could do errands and handle other personal matters separately from your work hours so you can focus better. You could do errands in the morning and then start work in the afternoon, or even vice versa — whichever works best for you. Following routines can help your mind focus on the task at hand, whether you’re cleaning the house or having a telephone conference.
Give yourself a break
Another plus of working from home is that you can rest pretty much whenever you want. And while sleeping on the job is not a good thing, getting power naps and having moments to let your brain breathe is very important. Take a walk, listen to soothing music, or just close your eyes for a few minutes. These little things can help boost productivity, and would keep you from feeling exhausted and burnt out at the end of the day.
Working from home is different for everyone — but taking these tips in consideration, you should be able to figure out what style works best for you, and would help you get the most out of workday.
May Flores is a multitasking maven who works for Brilliance Online Diamonds. She’s able to squeeze in some freelance work between cooking up and delivering marketing material as a home-based writer for several blogs.