So your boss called and said there is no need to come to the office tomorrow. You can just work from home. Great! A chance to sleep in later because you don't have to commute. Perhaps this will be a nice relaxing day when you can mosey on over to a comfy chair with your laptop, free of supervision. Ahh, me time!
But beware. It's very easy to let things become to casual. Without structure, "me time" can get in the way of productivity. To actually get work done, read these 5 steps to working from home and being productive.
1. Start your day as if you're going to work
Take a shower! While not having to step out in public may trigger an urge to stay your grimy self, taking a shower triggers your body for the work day. Also, pajama pants and a ratty tee shirt don't exactly scream "let's get to work." Dress to impress, even if you're impressing yourself.
2. Have a dedicated workspace
Taking a laptop over to the living room couch isn't going to get it done, as much as you would like it to. Eliminate the distractions of the TV, refrigerator, and even the liquor cabinet by setting up a home office. Visit this link for some direction on how to make it the most productive environment it can be.
3. Plan out your day
Without anyone checking your progress, it's important that you be your own boss. Break up your day into time slots that are dedicated to work. Fast Company proposes creating a spreadsheet marked with specific tasks, so you can keep yourself accountable and know that you're getting things done.
4. Don't get sucked into Facebook
I realize this is easier said than done, but sometimes we hopelessly tell ourselves that we're just going to check our notifications. This turns into an hour of reading and commenting and, "Oh look, someone commented on my photo." Before you know it, you're lying in a ditch somewhere and you don't know what happened.
We're social beings. When household solitude ceases to engage, run out to the nearest coffee shop with laptop in hand. A change of environment can provide some much-needed inspiration. According to a NY Times article, the sounds of espresso machines and hipster chatter actually have the power to spark our creative engines!
Working from home gives you the freedom to work in your own style. Just keep this in mind: With great freedom come great responsibility. Be honest with yourself and make the necessary adjustments to increase productivity.
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