Hard to believe how long it’s been since I started working from home. It started because my office was 40 minutes away from my house and I had a very unreliable car at the time. I mentioned it to my boss at the time and I was on 100% commission in sales so there was no risk to him.
It was just a matter of being responsible and setting aside a dedicated work place inside the home. I’ve been doing it ever since. Most of the time, my workspace would be in the basement right next to the water heater and furnace. It wasn’t glamorous at all but I that is what made me focus on setting my hours. Usually the day would start at 7:30 am and I’d work until just before 9am. Then I’d take a 10 minute coffee break and work again until 11am for a 15 minute break. Go until 1pm and then step outside for a stretch or for lunch etc. I’d take an hour off and not even think about work then get back at it for 2pm and take a coffee break at 3:30 for five minutes and go until 5pm. It was a routine that I kept until my kids were born and then I had to adjust it just a little bit.Let me tell you a few secrets I’ve learned about working from home over the years..
Let me tell you a few secrets I’ve learned about working from home over the years..
- Get dressed. Seriously, you don’t need to wear a suit but at least put on pants and your professional face.
- Get a dedicated working computer / space. Get a comfortable keyboard and mouse. Get dual monitors so that you can be more productive. BUY A GOOD CHAIR!!!! Don’t think that sitting on your couch while watching TV in the background will be an effective way to work.
- Speaking of TV, turn it off. Turn off the distractions. I might keep a radio on in the background but not a talk radio station, just music. Keep your distractions to a minimum.
- Set a schedule and stick to it. Treat this just like a real job. Don’t dilly dally and have your lunch at 11 for an hour. Try to have your meals ready or know what you plan on eating.
- Know when to turn everything off. If your day ends at 5pm then shut it all down. If you want to work on a Saturday morning, that’s upto you but I would suggest adding a note to your calendar instead to remind you to follow up with on Monday morning.
Can you cheat somedays and leave 15 minutes early? Sure, just be sure to have your cell phone with you. Can you start dinner for your family while you’re working? Yes, of course you can. But only if you have prepped all the food first and it won’t take more than 15 minutes. Set your boundaries.
Here is a bonus tip, try to set up a day a week where you have to get out and socialize with clients or meet someone. Otherwise, time can get away from your and you’ll never leave the house. There are weeks when I never got out of the house unless it was for grocery shopping.
That’s it. Those are my tips on how to work from home. Feel free to ask me anything about it