I love working from home
Set your own working hours. The commute is stress-free.
However, there are ground rules I keep having to remind myself about:
- Keep you Work and Living Areas Apart
A separate room or area where you are in ‘work mode’, nowhere near a TV or kitchen. It should be quiet for making phone calls. This may be the bedroom. If you are in a relationship, your other half will help you resist doing those all-nighters…
- Establish Working Hours
When are your best working times? Mornings, afternoons or evenings. Set a minimum of two 4 hour slots when you work best and stick to it.
- Dress for Work
Just because you can work in your underwear… don’t! Shower, get dressed, have breakfast then start work. It will help you focus.
- Close the Door
It won’t keep everyone out, but it lets family know that you are working.
Keep your mind clear with a clear workspace. Maintain a zero-tolerance policy on this.
- Track your Day
When you start and stop a task note the time down. This helps show you how productive you’ve really been.
- The Power Hour
Spend the first hour on Strategic Thinking. What can you change to make the business what you want it to be ?
- Prioritise Your Tasks
Compile a task list of the day’s achievable goals. Prioritise in order of: important & urgent, important & non-urgent then urgent & non-important and finally non-urgent & non-important.
- Reduce Time on ‘Non-Fee Generating’ Tasks
Checking email, updating knowledge via social media, tidying up your work space or computer files are important, but do them quickly and move onto tasks that get you closer to raising an invoice.
- Email less. Phone more
It’s far quicker to exchange ideas, schedule meetings and build relationships over the phone. Make a point of meeting people too. It will help you become human again.
- Schedule when you look at Email
We can all be contacted instantly 24/7, if we choose to. Stay in control. Respond to out-of-hours emails by scheduling them to be sent 9am the next working day(ask me how). Check and respond to messages 3 times per day:
i. at the start of the day
ii. after lunch
iii. at the end of the day
- Give yourself a Break
Re-energize. Take regular breaks and ‘switching off’ from incoming messages. Reuters enforce this strictly with their employees so no excuses! Unless you work for the emergency services, nothing is that urgent. Leave the work area.
- Get some Fresh Air
It’s too easy to become unaware of weather when you work from home. Just half an hour walk per day will help clear your head.
- You’re Not a Component in your Business’s Machine
Retain interests and contact with friends & family.