How to Accomplish Your Goals when Working From Home
As a long-time freelance content writer, author and web denizen, the myth that working from home requires less motivation and drive than your typical corporate resumé has long been dispelled. Working from home requires a great deal of resolve and self-discipline, and an eye on establishing a functional and personalized long-term routine.
In this article I will attempt to provide readers with food for thought regarding tailoring a workable routine that adapts to your specific temperament and needs. Making the most of the advantages of working at your own pace without turning it into a ground-hog day akin to most stereotypical corporate environments.
Still with me? Great, without further ado I give you my subjective tips on accomplishing your goals from home,
Separate Work And Play
Working at home can lead to a scenario where work and play are inseparable. While comfortable, it can be difficult to train the mind to separate the two -- leading to low levels of motivation and concentration.
One great way to passively improve concentration is to physically separate the two worlds. Dedicate a specific room or computer to work-related endeavors and only ever use it for this purpose. While it may seem fake and specious, it is proven to be quite an effective way to improve efficiency.
According to John P. Trougakos, a management professor at the University of Toronto Scarborough using a break to get some food is crucial to maintain both cognitive and physical concentration.
All Work And No Play Makes...
Everyone's working at home goal (unless you are forced to because of other reasons such as parenting) is to strike a balance between work and play. If we were to simply turn the house into another cubicle we would not be making the most of it's potential.
The effects of taking a break when working are also beneficial to ladies and gents working from home. Whether you take make a strict routine out of it (such as a 15 minute siesta every hour) or take a break when you feel you're reaching terminal velocity is up to you. The important part is that they remain fairly brief and you resist getting sidetracked by distractions. My personal rule of thumb is to take a break whenever I begin to feel the onset of concentration induced nausea (which is pretty often!).
What can be done in 15 minutes? Here's a few personal tips that I enjoy immensely.
- Drop by the local bar and have a decaf.
- Take the dog or yourself for a brisk jog.
- Do some stretching exercises.
- Make a call to a friend.
I can't stress the importance of physically leaving the seat (instead of opening, say, a YouTube tab) with regards to beating stress levels.
Stick To Your Schedule
If possible stick to the same hours every day in order to for a chemical and psychological routine to take shape, making it ever-easier to get your goals accomplished.
The number of hours of work as well as what time in the day you should work will depend on the comings and goings in your own day-to-day life. If you can afford to work in the mornings, they should take precedence over afternoons for one very simple reason. Studies show that those who are active during the morning tend to lead happier more fulfilling lives due, in part, to erecting a routine around our natural circadian cycles.
One often overlooked facet of working from home is it's ability to lead to stress. Mixing work and play can also lead to social isolation and lack of movement due to the eradication of the need to get "out there". While there are many advantages to avoiding the stress of a commute or dealing with the general push and pull of social work stress, the amount of time you will spending in the same environment can directly affect your stress levels and lead to existential feelings of stagnation.
In order to avoid the build up of stress, it is imperative (even more so for work at home aficionados ) to develop a mild exercise routine, develop and maintain a strong social circle and to externalize as much off-duty time as much as possible.