You’ve finally achieved your goal of working from home and you’re ecstatic! You can’t wait to have all of the flexibility that you have read about working from home will bring you. Your work-life balance is about to be so on point and your life will become all the better for it. No more getting home in the evenings from a long day at the office and fighting traffic on your commute home. Your commute is about to become 10 seconds. You’ll be able to get everything done around the house and get your work done. Does all of this sound familiar to you? I’ve had a home office for over 16 years now, but I still remember my thoughts and feelings when I first began to work from a home office. However, little did I know that working from home is a learning process and in order to do it successfully, you have to put some boundaries in place. If not, you may find that the blissfulness of working from home can turn into a nightmare of chaos if you don’t learn how to master it. Below are some tips to help you get off to a great start of working from home.
Set a regular work schedule.
The first and most important thing that you will need to do is to set a start and end time for your workday. Okay, so now you do have some flexibility of when you want to work since you’re working for yourself. So, you can choose your own schedule – this is your flexibility. However, you do need to decide on a specific time that you will be in your office each day. Also, choose what time you will end your day.
Stick to the work schedule that you choose.
Sticking to the work schedule that you choose is very important because this will determine your productivity. You will find that you will get much more done if you hold true to the work hours that you choose for yourself.
Have a system for scheduling doctor’s appointments.
Going to the doctor is something that we either have to do for ourselves or our family. The only time that you can do so is usually during normal business hours. Aim to schedule your doctor’s appointments either as early as you can or as late as you can. Putting the appointments at the very beginning or end of your day allows you more time in the office.
Do breakfast for business meetings.
The same premise holds true when you schedule business meetings. Scheduling to have coffee with a business colleague can save you loads of time. You can be finished with a breakfast or coffee meeting usually by 10 a.m. leaving you with the rest of your day for your office time. Lunch meetings are in the middle of the day and tend to kill any productivity for your afternoons.
Try and refrain from running errands.
Okay, so you may find that it’s very tempting to just run a quick errand but try and save all errand running for after-hours and weekends. There may be times that you need to do a bank or post office run; however, don’t go anywhere else while you’re out. You may think that you can just do a couple of places since you’re already out, but you’ll find that this eats up a good amount of time.
Do not take phone calls from family and friends unless it’s an emergency.
A lot of people don’t really get what it’s like to work from home. You may find this especially true about family and friends if they don’t work from home. They may feel as though since you work from home that you can chat during the day or do things for them. Let them know your work hours and ask them to not contact you during those hours unless it’s a true emergency.
Having the opportunity to work from home can be a true blessing. However, you have to remember to make your work time a priority. You will find that you will be more successful working from home if you put the above boundaries in place and stick to them.