Some dream of it, others hate it, working from home can be as idyllic as it is catastrophic. To start the day off on the right foot and get through your to-do list, here are 10 tips to put into practice right away.
Between staggered hours, Netflix breaks, working in pajamas and waking up late, homeworking is a real productivity trap. To avoid procrastinating at home, follow our tips .
Define your work environment
No, a cozy bed or a soft sofa are not appropriate spaces for work. In order to be concentrated and productive, you must first define a setting in which you will work in peace and quiet, far from the cries of your children or the music of your lover. If you have the space, the best option is a separate office in your house. Once the door is closed, no one can disturb you. It’s a strong signal to your family and to you that you’ll be mentally focused on efficiency and effectiveness.
But whether it’s a closed room or a simple office in your living room, decorate it to your taste, make it attractive and practical. Everyone likes to work in a beautifully decorated and comfortable place. So don’t hesitate to decorate your table, buy frames and, above all, put your work tools (printer, fax, telephone) within easy reach.
Prepare yourself as if you were going out
We all know there’s nothing better than the idea of being able to hang out in bed longer and work in your pajamas all day at home. However, this is far from optimal! While we’ll give you a few extra minutes of sleep (the car ride saved), we don’t recommend keeping your jogging. The brain works partly by habit. When you get up in the morning to go to the office, you take a shower, put on a more or less casual outfit and jump in your car towards the open space. Little by little, this little ritual conditions us for an intensive work day. Reversing these patterns can be a little dangerous for our productivity. That’s why we invite you to copy them even when you’re homeworking.
Nevertheless, there is no need to dress up in a suit, because a priori, nobody will see you. Normally, a soft sweater and comfortable jeans should be enough (you can even keep your slippers). In short, it’s time to take advantage of this opportunity to dress up in your most comfy outfits. If you need to get some fresh air before starting your day, don’t hesitate to get up at the usual time and walk around your neighborhood or go get a nice chocolate croissant at the bakery.
Make a to-do list
The setting changes, but the tasks do not. On the contrary, sometimes they pile up and you find yourself wanting to vacuum in the middle of the afternoon when you have five files on the stove. Rather than letting yourself get overwhelmed, it’s better to plan your to-do list. A bullet journal, a to-do list on your wall, a reminder of tasks on your phone… it doesn’t matter what method you use as long as it keeps you focused on your daily goals.
Stick to your schedule
As we all know, working from home usually means adapting your schedule to suit you. Some people are morning people and prefer to get up at the crack of dawn to start their day so they can get done faster. Others are allergic to their alarm clock and will prefer a gentle morning and an intensive evening. Generally speaking, you have every right to make your work day your own and to divide it up as you see fit.
But beware of your colleagues who may respect their traditional schedules. In this case, you can’t count on Laura, your office bff, to send you an urgent file at 10pm. If you have to work actively with your colleagues, it is better to agree on the day’s program. This is the most efficient way to stay connected to your associates in case of a problem.
Take meaningful breaks
Just because you’re working in a nicer setting than your usual office-carpet-green plant doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give yourself some well-deserved breaks. Plus, you’re probably home alone and without the usual hustle and bustle, chances are you’ll be more productive. Which means you shouldn’t feel guilty if you decide to take an hour off at lunch. Be careful, however, not to take advantage of it to “run a few errands” or “just watch one episode (I promise)” of your Netflix series of the moment. We all know how that ends up!
Be careful to keep your personal and professional life separate
Just because you’re at home doesn’t mean you’re supposed to take care of the housework, the kids and the bored companion in the corner. No, homeworking is working. So don’t feel guilty about not taking care of your children when you are with them, because if you were at the office, they wouldn’t see you anyway. So we impose a certain discipline on ourselves so that we don’t hold the youngest in our arms while we are typing on our keyboard. You set rules for yourself and for them. On the other hand, nothing prevents you from taking advantage of your lunch break to quickly vacuum the house if it allows you to free up your evening.
Be connected, but not too much
Yes, you need to be responsive, answer your emails quickly and keep your phone close to you. But be cautious of hyperconnectedness. We don’t always realize it, but we quickly spend a few dozen minutes checking the Instagram timeline and the news on our Facebook account. In the absence of hierarchy and colleagues, we generally dare to deviate from research for work to online shopping. So beware of wasting time on the networks. Fortunately, some applications can help you stop procrastinating. They can block your access to networks for a certain period of time or calculate the number of minutes you spend… hanging out on apps. In short, we fight evil with evil.
Break the solitude
Some people can’t stand working alone without interaction with the outside world. After a few hours, they become like caged lions. If this happens to you, don’t hesitate to break the solitude quickly before you go crazy. Get up a little earlier and go for a walk in your neighborhood, take advantage of your lunch break to have lunch on the terrace or call your friends to plan your weekend outings. If you’d rather stay in all day because you’re afraid of being distracted, there’s no excuse for not getting out a little once your work is done.
To start the day with energy or to decompress after a stressful day, get active. Find the practice that suits you: a little yoga, a few swims, a dozen HIT exercises, a little running,… Go ahead, release endorphins.
Working from home can sometimes be complicated, which is the reason for this article. If you’ve been productive and you’ve reached the end of your to-do list at the end of the day, reward yourself by inviting a few friends over for a bottle of wine, go out for a bite to eat with your lover, take your kids to the park, go to the beautician for a little relaxation… Find a way to make yourself happy!