- Treat it like a normal job and set a morning routine
- Make sure you have a dedicated work area to avoid distractions
- Remember to take regular breaks away from your work space
For those (lucky people?) who work from home, whether it's just for a couple of days a week or full time, it can be hard to stay on track. Here are some handy tips for way to help you stay motivated.
Treat working from home like any normal job
Set a reasonable alarm, get up, shower, brush your teeth, get dressed, and, if you really want to make sure you get that morning burst of motivation and energy – go for a short stroll to start your day.
It's easy to stay in bed and work on your laptop in your pyjamas, but it'll rarely give you any of the 'get up and go' you'll need to absolutely nail your to-do list.
Set strict working hours
Plan to start work at 9am, take a proper lunch break, and shut down your computer at 5pm. Try to stick to your working hours; you won't stay motivated or productive if you work long hours every day.
Create a good workspace
Create a place where you can work, somewhere peaceful with no distractions. By making sure you have a dedicated work area you will be more productive and it also means when work is done you can just turn everything off and switch back to home and family life.
Not only should your desk be somewhere quiet and relaxing to help you concentrate, it should also be clean and organised - otherwise it'll make you feel agitated and flustered.
It's worth mentioning to your home insurance company if you have any expensive office equipment. While some policies cover items like computers, laptops and printers as standard, it's not always the case.
Plan your day and create some lists
Write down all of your projects and tasks that you need to get done. This will make sure you stay on top of things and you can tick them off as you go. By writing a list, you won't forget to do things and it's also really satisfying and rewarding to see all the ticks when it's complete.
Set yourself deadlines
It can be all too easy to get distracted by household chores and Netflix when you're your own boss, so deadlines are an absolute must.
There's nothing wrong with rewarding yourself with downtime (maybe an exercise class or episode of Game Of Thrones) for every few pieces of work you complete – it'll help keep you motivated and on track.
Limit how many times you check social media
Are you one of those people that likes to head to Twitter or Facebook and refresh to see if anything new has happened in the last 2 minutes? When it's work time try to limit your social media checking, make sure you don't have any social media notifications on and try not to have them on your desktop, this will stop you from getting distracted and help you to get work done quicker.
If you can do your work without WIFI, then turn it off, if not, try not to keep tabs for things like Twitter closed so that you're not tempted every time it tells you there's a new tweet you haven't read.
Remember to get some human interaction
The biggest downside to working from home is the lack of office atmosphere – including someone offering to make you tea!
Make sure you factor in calls with clients instead of just emails, work from a coffee shop for a few hours a week, or meet friends and family for lunch to help you stop feeling lonely and bored.
So that's it! Vary your days, stick to your own rules and remember to have fun. We hope these tips will help you be more productive, have a better work-life balance and make working from home an absolute pleasure.
For more on how to master working from home, check out these other useful tips.