If you’re even slightly long in the tooth, the likelihood is you’ve come to working from home after a long stint in the corporate world.
You’re familiar with the bureaucracy and hierarchy that any self-respecting corporate environment enjoys, and wrangled over stationery and who gets the best armchair, and sailed through the joys of going to the bathroom for an extended period while on flex-time.
Working from home after years in this corporate environment can be a culture shock, to say the least.
You wake up one morning and the alarm hasn’t gone off, because you never set it.
Your partner has probably sailed off to work, leaving you snoozing…when you are supposed to be working from home.
You get up, and you are faced with the daunting prospect of a full day working from home, with nothing to structure it but your own governance.
As a working from home person myself, I’ve discovered some techniques for combating the inertia which can set in when you finally take the plunge and shift from the rat race to working from home…
Work out what you want to achieve
You have an idea of where your company is headed.
Visualise the end product, and then track back from there. Develop a business plan which maps out the specific steps needed to get to where you need to be. This helps focus your activities and stop you from procrastinating.
Write a strict schedule
Humans work best when we have a routine to keep to.
Try writing a ‘working from home’ schedule which mirrors a corporate working day. Get up at a specific time, factor in things such as when you are at your best and plan to do onerous tasks then.
Most people are sharpest in the morning – work with your personal strengths to achieve more. Don’t forget simple things such as taking breaks and getting exercise to break up your day.
Be kind to yourself
The corporate environment operates on systems of reward and incentive.
Working from home needs to be exactly the same.
What benefit will you get, if you apply yourself for three hours solid?
This could be something silly like having a great coffee, a lovely lunch or rewarding yourself with a nap!
Set apart a specific work area
It can be tempting while working from home to let your office spill in to other areas of the house.
What can be better than blogging in the living area, watching television and sitting with the dog?
The problem is, this isn’t conducive to a good routine or strict working practices.
Keep your office confined to a single room, and this will make it easier for you to get up, shut the door and walk away at the end of your working day.
Know when to switch off
There is nothing worse than a new business owner who works on.
In the end, you’ll either burn out or lose productivity unless you learn to draw a line under your day.
Switch off the laptop of PC, and walk away. Your job will still be there in the morning – remember to take time out.
Don’t let domestic tasks distract you
Just because your home is your new office, doesn’t mean it has to take over.
There may be some difficulties when you initially start working form home, for example you feel obliged to do the laundry, cook dinner or clean every day just because you are there.
Remember that you are running a business, and learn to switch off from household activities during your set work hours.
Establish your most productive time, and cash in on it
When are you at your peak, when it comes to working?
If you’re an early bird, re-shape your working hours to accommodate this. You own your schedule now, so if 9-5 isn’t your best work routine, feel free to change it!
If your creative juices flow best at a specific time, schedule your tasks around this. There’s no rule that says you can’t work in ‘shifts’ to cater to your personal preferences, as long as you know when to call it a day.
Have you moved from corporate world to working from home?
How was the transition for you?
Please share your views in the comments below. Thanks.