For the first 18 months of our business, my business partner and I worked from the sunroom of a very small apartment. Below is a few of the lessons we learned along the way.
1. Get up early. Use the time that you would have spent commuting wisely. Exercise, spend extra time with family, plan meals or spend some time on a personal project. If you sleep in you only going to loose more time in your day and counteract one of the main benefits of working from home.
2. Get Dressed. You don’t need to be wearing a 3 piece suit, but tracksuit pants are a definite no. It might be psychological, but it will help you switch from ‘laying on the couch mode’ to ‘work mode’. I use ‘Smart Casual’ as a guide to feeling comfortable working from home.
3. Step away from the washing machine! When I worked at home, completely menial housework tasks sometimes appeared more appealing or urgent and was a easy distraction from work. Suddenly a sunny day seemed like a a very sensible reason to stop what I was doing and quickly pop a load of washing on. The problem being that all of these quick tasks add up to a clean house but a very unproductive work day.
4. Create a space. Create a dedicated working area (see our blog here for some Home Office Inspiration). Try and stay away from your kitchen table, lounge room or anywhere where you are likely to be interrupted or where you have to move to accommodate others.
5. Get out of the house. Don’t forget to get out of the house now and then, schedule some meetings, attend a networking event or take a walk at lunch time. Cabin fever can kick in very quickly, so make sure you plan your schedule ahead of time to prevent this.
6. Set a schedule
7. Stick to your schedule. Yes, I know this is a bit tongue and cheek, but what is the point of setting a schedule if you don’t use it.
8. Schedule in some exercise. By working from home you are more then likely already sitting around all day, but you are also missing out on the movement that many others benefit from getting to and from their office. DO NOT underestimate the benefit that exercise has on your mindset and motivation levels. Make time for exercise regardless of your workload.