Working from Home

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Many people nowadays work from home, either keeping in touch remotely with the office or working for themselves. But how do you organise your work-life balance? Read our tips to help keep the chaos at bay and make you as productive as possible.

Get dressed to ‘go to work’

Yes, the idea of taking calls in your PJs is great. But the reality is that if you take your work seriously, and that means setting the alarm, having a shower and getting dressed, you’ll get more done.

Leave the house

You need to get away from work on a regularly basis. If you work from home it’s too easy to spend the whole day inside so make sure you leave the house, preferably to do some exercise. Even a brisk walk around the block will get the oxygen going and keep your mind alert.

Have a schedule

One of the joys of working from home is that you don’t have to do 9 to 5. But having some kind of schedule will lead to greater productivity, particularly if you have a family. Make it realistic though! Plan some time off to do other activities.

Lay out your goals

You don’t have a line manager keeping an eye on you and making sure you achieve what you set out to do, so you’ll have to do it yourself. Have goals, both long and short-term, and review the goals regularly to see what you’ve achieved and what you need to tweak.

Avoid temptation

One of the greatest gobblers of time is the tendency to do a few chores before you start working. “I”ll just do the washing up” can shave an hour or two off your day. The same applies to watering the plants, or any of the other home activities that will seem suddenly pressing. Resist, resist. Sit down at your desk (or stand up) and start working.

Keep track of the snack

The kitchen may be the greatest temptation of all. Working from home can easily turn you into a permanent grazer, just popping to the kitchen for another glass of delicious Sunny-D to help you think more clearly. Of course there’s nothing wrong with having a snack but make sure that the time you are away at your desk doesn’t add up.

Keep weekends sacred

It’s all too easy to think you’ll catch up on some work at weekends. But you need some time off, so try to protect your weekends and make some time for the family, and you.

Keep your family on side

One of the hard things about working from home is the need to set boundaries. If you have a separate room as an office then you can close the door and make sure no one disturbs you. It’s much more difficult if your desk is in the family area, or even if your desk is the kitchen table. But make sure everyone knows you are working and they must not talk to you.