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Working at home has become more common than ever thanks to the internet. Many people are realizing that they enjoy starting their day right from their homes. They can be their own boss and enjoy some perks such as being able to make a delicious drink using orange spritz syrup and take a quick break when they need to.
However, staying disciplined working from home can become very difficult very quickly. However, there are some things you can do to make it easier to maintain the habit. It’s helpful to start with maintaining the separation of work from home. Remember, both are what you make of them.
However, here are some ways you can make it even easier on yourself.
Get Out of Bed
It might be best if you don’t work in the same place you sleep. Otherwise, you’ll get to a point where you associate work with exhaustion and not be as productive as you could be.
If you live in a cramped space, you could try working at a local library or a coffee shop. If noise is too much of an issue for you and you have the spare cash, you can rent an office space through Sharedesk or WeWork with fellow freelancers.
Investing in noise-canceling headphones is an option as well. They tend to cost a couple of hundred dollars, but they may be the more budget-friendly option in the long run.
Have the Right Office Gear
If you’re going to trade your brick-and-mortar office in, make sure to check with your company’s IT department to be sure that you have all of the necessary setups to take your job to your home. You also need to make sure that you have a back-up in case your primary connection fails.
If your company uses a VPN, you need to make sure that you have access to that, too. You will also need a comfortable chair, a phone, and a headset.
If possible, you’ll also need room to get up and stretch or walk. If possible, invest in an adjustable desk so that you don’t have to be sitting every minute.
Buy Baby Equipment
If you’re a stay-at-home parent with an infant and on a budget, you don’t necessarily have to hire a sitter. You can keep your baby near you by investing in anything and everything from a swing to a bassinet.
If he or she is a bit older, you can invest a little play gym.
Dress the Part
If you’re expected to video chat, dress in at least business casual. If you like to dress up, there’s no one telling you not to maintain that either.
Working in your pajamas can make your mind think that it’s going back to bed soon. Make sure that you shower or that you at least look clean and put together.
Let Light Shine
Make sure that you have plenty of light. You don’t want to put a strain on your eyes while you’re working. It makes the muscles go floppy often to the point where you’ll need an increasingly stronger prescription for glasses and/or contacts.
If you have a window in your space, definitely work near that. However, make sure that it’s not reflecting on your computer screen.
If not, you can invest in a desk lamp with a color cast bulb. Yellow is particularly helpful as it imitates sunlight. A white one is not advisable because they often give off too much glare.
Work the flexibility to your advantage. If you have older children, this will probably mean scheduling your hours around their school day. Or if you simply have a certain routine that you like to stick to, you can schedule your hours around that.
However, it does not mean that you can afford to slack off! You need to stay consistent with your hours so that your clients will know what to expect from you.
Remember, actions speak louder than words. If you don’t take your work seriously, then how can you expect anyone else to?
It doesn’t have to be all serious. It’s also recommended that you take breaks on a fairly regular basis to stay balanced.
If you work best with music in the background, then no one’s stopping you now. Chat breaks are okay but getting on social media during your work hours is definitely not recommended. It’s often a long distraction and doesn’t promote a lot of productivity.
If you really do work from home, you can also decorate your space to make it more of an extension of yourself.
Krystle Cook – the creator of Home Jobs by MOM – put her psychology degree on a shelf and dived into a pile of diapers and dishes instead. She is a wife and mother to two rambunctious boys, sweating it out in her Texas hometown. She loves cooking, DIY home projects, and family fun activities.