I’ve spent a lot of my working life working from home. For the past three years, though, I’ve been working in London. Last week, I took the plunge and became a full-time writer. A ‘writer’ seems like the best way to describe it because I write everything. I’m doing lifestyle pieces for publications, content for brands and I’m even ghost writing not one, but two, books. Needless to say, I need to be productive when I work from home.
With a lot of time to get used to it, here are my tricks to getting the most done from home:
01. Get A Desk
If you’re working from home full-time, you shouldn’t be working on the sofa or at the dining table. There are two key reasons for this; firstly, you need a chair that can support your back properly. Secondly, you need to differentiate your space.
You need to have a place for work and a place for ‘home’. I don’t go into my office unless I’m working. I occasionally take my laptop with me to sit on the sofa, but the bulk of my work is done sitting at a desk.
02. Adopt The 25-5 Method
Set a timer on your phone. Work for 25 minutes, break for 5 minutes. Don’t break from what you’re doing in that 25 minutes unless your house is burning down. Text messages can wait, scrolling through social media can wait. In fact, you can even put your phone across the room so you don’t get tempted by a text message.
Use your 5 minutes to do whatever you want, but get back to it after that. For me, this is the only way I can work when I have a deadline and it works like a charm.
03. Spend Sunday Evening Getting Organised
There’s no better time to plan the week than when sitting watching TV on a Sunday evening. I purposely designed an organisational pad (available on Mooku for £6) and I use it every single week. In fact, I don’t know what I’d do without it.
Write your top three tasks/goals for the week at the top of the page and then fill each day with what you have planned. I keep mine on my desk so I can refer to it whenever I have a phone call etc. It’s easier than delving into my iPhone calendar, although I keep that update, too, as Jim & I have a joint calendar.
04. Step Away From The Computer
It’s so easy to end up working all day and all night when your office is within walking distance from your bed. I’m against setting myself working hours (see below) when I’m working from home, but you do have to finish work at some point.
There are so many good things about working from home, including work/life balance. Make sure you don’t tip the scales and end up veering towards too much work and not enough life.
05. Enjoy The Benefits
The best thing about working from home? You’ll never have to queue for the treadmill at the gym, or queue in the supermarket, or queue in the shops. It’s a queue-free situation. You work from home so you get to do things according to your own timeframe.
Don’t start feeling guilty that you’re not subscribing to the usual 9-5. You’ve made an active choice and now you’re allowed to enjoy the benefits. I work best in the mornings, so I use this time effectively, but if I want to go to the gym in the afternoon, I do.