Some people think that working from home is a perfect excuse for not working at all. I guess they don’t like their job much.
For me, working from home is something that allows me to get my work done faster and better.
My best articles were born in silence when I was alone and didn’t hear or see any other people. That’s because I was completely relaxed, knowing nobody would bother me. It’s the opposite of sitting stiffly in one place in the office like big corporations require.
If your job is writing, drawing or creating something, you need a good amount of that kind of freedom in order to be creative in the long run. And that’s what working remotely gives you. You just have to manage it wisely.
Here are some ideas to make your working from home more efficient.
1 – Set up your routine
It’s important to define your everyday routine and manage it. You can do it through trial and error to find out what works best for you. Do you work better in the morning, in the afternoon or at night? Are you more like Winston Churchill who worked from his bed a few hours after waking up or like Obama who jumps off the bed to hit the gym first thing in the morning?
I usually get up at 8 a.m. and do some exercises. I eat breakfast, prepare coffee and in the meantime, I check my emails. Then I take a shower and dress like I would go to the office. Except I don’t. I spend 2-3 hours researching, writing and working in silence. Around noon, I go to the office with my bike and join the rest of my team.
But not every day looks the same. I think it’s important to make your routine flexible, so when something else comes up, you can easily change your schedule.
That’s why there are days when I wake up, come downstairs, sit with my laptop on the couch and start writing immediately. That’s the time I finish the article that I have started the day before. I forget about emails until I come to the office. I’m all immersed in the writing process. I love these days.
2 – Make use of no distractions
Unless you have your own room with “do not disturb” sign on the door in the office, you will face a lot of distractions. People walk in and walk out. They eat their food at their desks (I do too, but that obviously doesn’t bother me), they talk, joke, listen to music you might personally not like. It all makes it hard to focus.
Working remotely allows you to get rid of distractions. Focus on your work and nothing else. A deep focus that you achieve in silence can do wonders to your working process, especially if you do creative things.
But what about your flatmates or people pinging you on Facebook or Slack? I can say it’s all about positive communication, but to make it all work, you need to set up boundaries for people around you.
3 – Set up boundaries
When you work, you work. If you have a partner at home, he or she needs to understand that you can’t do his laundry or cook a quick lunch. Because you’re at work!
Make everyone understand that just because you’re at home, it doesn’t mean you’re available for everyone.
One time I was at the coffee shop and I overheard a conversation of two girls. One of them was a crime book author working from home and she was complaining to her friend that her partner didn’t understand her job. When she locks herself up in her room to focus on writing she can’t do anything else, just that.
And her room is pretty impressive by the way. She has maps all over, fingerprints, compasses etc. This sense of mystery can easily charm people from the outside (or from the other room, in this case).
So when her partner comes to her room and says: “Wow, your job is fun! Listen, I scheduled a plumber in an hour, but I won’t be home, can you take care of it?” Then you can see her point.
That’s a classic scenario when somebody doesn’t understand a person who actually works from home. What you can do is set up strict hours for focused work without distractions. Your roommates and teammates need to respect that.
4 – Finish your work with the idea of what comes next
Do you know what is my trick to make the work easier in the morning?
Preparing for it the day before.
In my case, it means ending writing the moment I know what will come next. This way, I’m able to start writing the next day immediately after I sit down to work because it’s all in my head already. And we all know that starting on the right foot tunes us positively for the rest of the day.
The same with any other tasks, like recruiting people or looking for event sponsors. Prepare a list of people who you need to call and leave 2 or 3 of them for the next day. This way you won’t have any excuse to start your day with procrastination.
5 – Do not dissociate from your team
If you work remotely, it’s important to have a stable Internet connection. After all, your boss doesn’t want to hear excuses like – I couldn’t work because I had no Internet. That’s not an excuse nowadays. Besides, working remotely doesn’t mean you have to stay at home. You can obviously work from coffee shops and other places you like best.
I have to admit, when I work in the morning from home, I don’t really bother answering people in Slack, because that’s my writing time and I will protect it. But also whenever I’m not in my writing flow state, I don’t make a big deal of answering my teammates.
I respond to people, so they know I’m still there. After all, we are a team and we should never forget that unity means strength.
Guest post by Olga Kolodynska
Olga is a content writer for LiveChat. She’s responsible for preparing articles and monthly newsletters. If she’s not working on her newest post, she’s probably hiking somewhere in the Polish mountains. You can read more of Olga’s articles on LiveChat Blog.
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