For an undisciplined person like myself working from home could be a disaster. I can always find things more interesting to do than actually focus on the things I need to get done. To combat this glaring weakness in my character I am sharing some of the ways I’m learning to be productive while working alone.
Act like you work for a living
I am fortunate to have a room for a home office. I set a time each morning that I need to “arrive” at the office and a time in the afternoon when I can “go home”. I don’t stay in the office all day, but it helps me make the mental shift from home to work and back again.
Eat like a human
I always “go to lunch”. Even on days when I don’t have a lunch appointment I stop working around noon and go into the kitchen for lunch. I need some form of routine in my life and a lunch break helps me keep that routine. When my wife worked from home, however, she almost never stopped for lunch. I guess it depends on how your wired. I’m wired to eat.
Dress like a worker bee
Every day before I “go to work” I get cleaned up and dressed just like I would if I were going to an office. Even if I don’t leave the house for the day this ritual helps shift my mind from home mode to work mode. If I don’t follow this routine I find the work and home merging into a blob of worm. No one wants to be a worm.
Meet with real people
I schedule appointments to meet people for coffee or lunch almost every day. Even though I am an introvert I need face-to-face human interaction. Sometimes these appointments are work related, sometimes they’re just relational, but I find building connection times into every day helps keep me balanced.
Skip the meetings
For me the more I can make working from home look like working at an office the more productive I can be. Where I draw the line is scheduling endless meetings to discuss trivial points ad infinitum. That is one part of working on a staff I don’t think I’ll ever miss.