Strategize: Working from Home

Do you work from home? This semester my schedule allows for working from home a few days each week.  There a few key tips that I have realized are pivotal for my working from home success.  Let's discuss!

1.  Get Dressed.  I'm serious.  It sounds simple and easy, but it is even more simple and easy to stay in your pajamas when you roll out of bed and onto your computer to start right in on work.  The simple act of going through a morning routine (washing your face, put on a bra, wear REAL clothes) can do wonders for feeling productive and professional.

2.  Make a Schedule.  Plan your day in time segments.  When working at home there are so many distractions and other to-dos that can come up.  Instead of trying to avoid work by scrubbing under the oven, plan a few 15-30 minute work breaks to use for errands, household tasks, whatever.

3.  Go Outside.  A big benefit of working from home is the luxury of fitting in "you" time whenever you need it.  Instead of having an hour for lunch as you would at an office, take an hour and go to yoga.  Go for a run.  Meet a friend for a walk/talk session.  Refresh your mind and perspective with some fresh air.  You will be ready to buckle back down and wrap up your work when you finish.

4.  Eat Normal Meals.  I find that when I'm working from home, I love to sneak into the pantry for handfuls of this or that quite frequently.  I have been trying to take set times for meals instead of this nibble-method (which undoubtedly is an intended distraction that piles on extra food that I don't need).  I will start with checking personal email with breakfast and coffee, work until I feel hungry (which is usually around 1pm), and put together a quick lunch.  If I take time out of the day for exercise, I make something that I can munch on while getting back to work.  It feels much more structured to eat real meals.

5.  Lists and Rewards.  Make lists! Week lists, day lists, to-do lists, to-do-tomorrow lists.  I find it helpful to keep track of what I have accomplished and what is yet to be done.  When you make it through a list or accomplish some challenging tasks, reward yourself! Take 10 minutes to browse favorite blogs, check in with your significant other, make some tea.

Do you work from home? How do you stay on track?

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