Working from home can be wonderful if you can make it work for you. It requires a lot of self discipline and compartmentalization. While you have the freedom to spend the day watching Netflix, you have the knowledge that if you did that, there would be no money coming in.
Here are our top 10 tips for all of you who are currently working at home, or are considering giving it a shot:
1. A separate space for your office – Having a space solely dedicated to work in the home provides a clear distinction between work-time and off-time. Consider your commute to just be a very short one, and be ready to get down to work. Bonus: You can also write off your work space on your taxes!
2. A separate bank account – It’s much easier to keep track of business expenses and file your taxes when you have a separate bank account dedicated to it.
3. Daily work schedule – Without a rough schedule, you can fall into one of two categories while working from home. You either work way too much and never spend time relaxing or socializing, or you work too little and watch Netflix all day long. Since you have no boss around to dictate your hours, create your own!
4. Organize meetings outside of the home – It’s easy to just not leave the house for days when you work from home, but it’s necessary to do so. Try to organize meetings and attend events in your field outside of the home. It will keep you in touch with those in your industry, boosts your mood, and can provide you with a new perspective. Don’t have meetings? Still try to get out of the house. Bring your laptop to your local coffee shop!
5. Save for Retirement – While working from home has many perks, a retirement plan isn’t one of them. Whether you are saving a percentage of your income each month, or you have some smart investments in the works, start planning for your retirement today. Your local bank will have many suggestions for how to get started!
6. Buy a Plant – Add some greenery to your work desk. It can be a source of inspiration, cleans the air in your home, and exposure to nature has been shown to reduce stress levels and increase productivity.
7. To-do Lists – At the end of each work day, create a list of items you’re going to work on the next day. A few things you have to get done, and then some you would like to get done. Then, complete the items you have to get done first.
8. Stay Healthy – Get plenty of fluids and eat healthy, and if you aren’t a fan of exercise, just try to move around whenever you can. A standing desk can be very helpful, as you often move your feet around while standing. This gets oxygen into your blood circulation which can boost your mood and energy levels. Being moulded to a chair can leave you feeling drained at the end of the day.
9. Brush up on your tech skills – If your website goes down or your computer is having problems, is there anyone there to fix it? If not, try to learn how to do some basic fix-its yourself, and you will save a lot of time and money.
10. Post a Sign – Do you have children or social house mates? Make sure there is a door between your work space and the rest of the house, and post a sign on it. If you have young children, you could colour code the sign. For instance, Green says come on in. Yellow says unless you really need me, don’t come in, and Red says do not even think about coming in – contact someone else.
Do you work from home? If so, what are your strategies for maintaining an optimal work-life balance?
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